Recently I have read how heart rate recovery is one of the best predictors of heart health. I have seen some contradictory research however on the criteria for a healthy recovery rate. The faster the heart rate drops the less likely someone is to have a heart attack. The minimum heart rate recovery per minute varies in the research from 12 up to 21. I am wondering what the accepted criteria is. My other question is whether heart rate recovery varies for one person depending on their exercise intensity. Personally I have a very good VO2 max but my heart rate recovery is poor 15-16bpm. What complicates my measurement is that I tend to exercise comfortably at a heart rate level that is very high for my age. I am 48 and my avg. BMP (use heart monitor) during running is typically around 155. So I am wondering whether my poor heart rate recovery is due to working near 91% of my maximum for somewhere around 30 minutes of running. I should probably just do some moderate exercise and see what my recovery rate is.
I seem to have such contradictory data: low resting heart rate, good to very good VO2max, but poor heart rate recovery numbers and a low average EF.
When at cardiac rehab I don't think anyones heart recovered in the same amount of time. It varied dramatically across the group of 30. During vigorous exercise my rate was anywhere between 140-186. When I stopped, it would drop to 90 in around 20 seconds. It would remain at 90 for about 2 mins then drop to 67. If I didn't sit down, it would never go below 90. Some were taking three minutes to drop to 90. I think this is just a reflection on how fit the person is. If your heart is used to vigorous tasks, it will be geared up to respond much quicker. If someone never exercises and has a desk job, then it will take much longer. I personally don't think you can go by this research. Athletes have heart attacks like anyone else. I have an EF of 70% but there is bound to be someone with an EF of 55% who can out perform me. There are too many variables to factor in.
The rate of recovery that cardiologists look for is at least 12 beats per minute from peak after exercise has stopped. In two minutes you should be down by 24 beats and so on until you are in the normal range of 60 - 100 beats per minute. I am 52 and I do my workout at 85% of my predicted max which is around 140 and start checking 1 minute after I stop my cool down which is two minutes long. By that time I am usually back to the normal range.
Thanks for your feedback. I'm just wondering how long your cool down is. Have you ever checked the drop immediately after your BPM peaked? I'm wondering if the recovery rate differs depending on how high the BMP are.
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