Thursday, October 5, 2017

Heart Rate and Recovery: Why is it important?

Do you know that feeling once you have made it past the point of just “warming up” and beginning to feel out of breath during your workout? Once you get feel that feeling do you ever notice how your heart rate begins to increase? This occurs when the demand for fresh oxygenated and nutrient rich blood is needed to be transported to the muscles performing the arduous tasks. However if your heart muscle is weakened due to lack of exercise, heart disease, or a neurological disorder, it can affect how well you can perform as well as recover.

A research study by Michael S. Lauer, MD, (director of the Cleveland Clinic Exercise Laboratory in Ohio and the lead researcher of the study) found that individuals who had a heart rate (HR) recovery score of <12 beats per minute (bpm) were at a higher risk of heart disease than individuals whom had a normal HR recovery of 15 to 25+ bpm during an exercise stress test. (1)

How can I test my Heart Rate Recovery Time?

You can perform many different tests to increase your HR like riding a bike for a set amount of time, walking on a treadmill or the track for distance, ERG rowing machine, or just marching in place for 2 minutes. Most importantly you will need to know your desired HR target should be.  The table below can give you an idea of roughly where your target HR should be during test before completing the exercise to measure your pulse for the recovery rate.

To measure your recovery rate, take your pulse immediately upon finishing exercise then measure 1 minute post and 2 minutes post exercise and compare your BPM results. The bigger the difference the BETTER!

Here are a few inferences:

  • If the difference between the two heart rates is less than 22, your real age of heart is slightly more than your biological age (that calls for lifestyle and dietary modification)
  • If the recovery heart rate difference is in between 22–52 beats per minute; your biological age (or calendar age) is approximately the same as that of your heart age/ real age
  • A recovery heart rate difference of 53–58 beats per minute indicates optimal health, healthier heart and a real age of less than calendar age.
  • If the difference of your immediate post exercise heart rate and heart rate after 2 minutes is in the range of 59–65 beats per minute, your heart is healthier and your real age is moderately less than your biological age.
  • With a difference of more than 66, your heart is very healthy and your physical age is a lot less than your calendar age. (2)

Blog post by Craig Moody.



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