High Heart Rate

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Old 06-09-2010, 12:49 AM
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Default High Heart Rate

Hey everyone,

I just thought I would check to see if anyone had any thoughts on high heart rates.

First a little about me.

I am 5' 10", 200lbs. Eat very healthy, and have been keeping a regular diet for the past year. For the past at least 4 months I have been doing some kind of exercise, whether that be walking, running, biking or whatever, for at least 30min, 3 times a week.

Over the past year or so I have lost over 75 lbs, when I started I was very out of shape (obviously) and let a fairly sedentary life, with a poor diet.

My heart rate has always been high while working out (between 180-190), and originally I had a tough time keeping up on the bike. But now I can run or bike easily for over 45min at this heart rate. I am even able to carry on a full conversation (with a few breaths between sentances), and I don't feel like I'd be getting much of a workout below this rate. I believe my resting heart rate is fairly high as well (around 75).

Any thoughts on if this is ok? Before I thought it was just because I was out of shape, which I still am above my healthy weight range, but with the constant exercise and correct diet I figured this would drop.

(Note: I haven't paid much attention to this, but I suppose I could be working harder while biking or running to achieve this heart rate I am used to since that is what feels like a good workout to me)
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Old 06-09-2010, 01:59 AM
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Hi Nora,

First, congratulations on your great progress over the last year!

You didn't mention your age, but you're probably familiar with determining the recommended heart rate--220 - (age) = ??? x 50-85% = recommended heart rate. I've gone as high as 180 bpm, but only when doing intervals at high intensity and I don't stay at the intensity for longer than a minute at a time (and I'm 52). Are you recovering quickly during your cool down? That is another indication of cardiovascular fitness.

Based on what you've said, it sounds like your rate of perceived exertion (rpe) is within a safe zone, since you can easily carry on a conversation. One other question is, how accurate is the heart rate monitor you are using? Gym machines are notoriously inaccurate since they're rarely calibrated. Have you tried different modes of cardio and, if so, are you still experiencing elevated heart rates with them? A resting heart of 75 is pretty average for females. However, I'd suggest you bring it to your dr.'s attention if you're keeping it 180-190 for a full 45 minute workout.

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-09-2010, 02:08 AM
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Thanks for addressing one of my secret worries !

When I run, my heart rate is about 160...about 89% of max. With tennis, it goes up and down, more like intervals, during points and then between points. Sometimes it hits the low 170s, and my max should be 178. But I'm not dead yet, so I'm hoping that's okay. Will have to keep an eye on the cool down.

My resting pulse is in the mid-50s but I have had two incidents (before I got regular with exercise) of rapid heart rate just spontaneously...in the ER with a resting rate of 179. I keep telling myself that if it happens again, at least my cardiovascular system will be used to it . But I did have a stress test and other diagnostics about 18 months ago and everything is fine.

I'm wondering if max heart rate is like BMI...a good tool but with a lot of individual variation...one size doesn't always fit all?
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Old 06-09-2010, 02:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Built View Post
Hi Nora,

First, congratulations on your great progress over the last year!

You didn't mention your age, but you're probably familiar with determining the recommended heart rate--220 - (age) = ??? x 50-85% = recommended heart rate. I've gone as high as 180 bpm, but only when doing intervals at high intensity and I don't stay at the intensity for longer than a minute at a time (and I'm 52). Are you recovering quickly during your cool down? That is another indication of cardiovascular fitness.

Based on what you've said, it sounds like your rate of perceived exertion (rpe) is within a safe zone, since you can easily carry on a conversation. One other question is, how accurate is the heart rate monitor you are using? Gym machines are notoriously inaccurate since they're rarely calibrated. Have you tried different modes of cardio and, if so, are you still experiencing elevated heart rates with them? A resting heart of 75 is pretty average for females. However, I'd suggest you bring it to your dr.'s attention if you're keeping it 180-190 for a full 45 minute workout.

Hope this helps.
Ha I am actually a male, and am 20 years old. And after a 45min work out at that intensity, I feel great after stepping off the machine, maybe a couple minutes before my heart rate returns to normal. I do plan on seeing a doctor to make sure my heart is completely healthy, especially since I haven't been in awhile. And yes I am using gym machines, and I do notice the inaccuracy, with jumping heart rates, but it tends to settle itself around the 180-190 range so I am thinking its accurate. Starting tomorrow our fitness class is providing us with real heart rate monitors so maybe that will give me a better idea.

Its good to know this could be normal I told couple friends (who aren't in the best shape themselves and they were very surprised to hear it was this high)
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Old 06-09-2010, 02:13 PM
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NoraC: Sorry 'bout the gender confusion I spend so much time on the womens forum that my mind went on auto pilot.
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