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elevated HR after exercise
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elevated HR after exercise

I am a 25 year old male.  In comparision to many others on here, my "problem" may seem minor.

My main question relates to my recovery rate after exericse.My usual resting heart rate is around 70 (as measured first thing in the morning).  When I jog, I keep my heart at 175 to 185 BPM.  In the first two minutes following exercise my heart rate drops to under 120.  After five minutes it is between 100 and 110.  Then it stays around 100 for about an hour (or sometimes 2), before gradually returning to normal.  Funny enough, the same thing happens to my sister.  When my girlfriend jogs with me, her heart rate returns to normal within 15 mins and she is not particularly fit.    

I first realised this 3 years ago when I had a check up with my doctor.  I was late for my appointment so walked at a brisk pace for 45 mins to his office.  As expected, my HR was above 100 during the exam.  He seemed concerned.  He took an EKG which he said was normal but with fast heart rate.  He referred me to a cardiologist.  I had blood tests, an ECHO, wore a Holter and did a Stress test, where they said I was relatively fit.  From these results, my GP says I have a structurally normal heart but he says there is definately a reason for the fast heart rate.  He says he knows a good specialist in heart rhythms and thinks I should see him.  Is this a good idea?  

1.  Should I be concerned to have an elevated HR after exercise?
2.  My standing HR is almost always between 90 and 110. Walking around is between 100 and 120.  Is this normal?
Related Discussions
Avatar_n_tn
Hi Dan,
The degree to which is a problem depends on if it causes you symptoms. If this does not cause you symptoms, move on and don't give it a second thought.  My guess is that is the EP doctor will tell you as well.  Given your lack of symptoms, unless you doctor has compelling reasons for an invasive procedure (ie something abnormal on your ekg), I don't think you need anymore tests if your echo, ekg, and tsh are normal.

2. My standing HR is almost always between 90 and 110. Walking around is between 100 and 120. Is this normal?

there is significant variability between people regarding how quickly there heart rate increases and recovers to stress.  I agree that a walking heart rate in the 100-120 range is faster than 'normal,' but this does not mean there is something wrong or that you need a procedure to fix this unless you have significant symptoms or a 24 holter shows significant elevations in your heart rate that you are not aware of.

I hope this helps.  Thanks for posting.

20 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Dan.  Sorry to hear about the problems you're having.  Just wanted you to know you're not alone on this.  Like you, my standing heart rate is almost always near 100.  Sometimes just walking around my house causes it to go above 110.  I've had all the same tests you've had and was told my heart was normal.  My doctors both claimed my abnormally high heart rate was due to anxiety.  I still have trouble accepting that two years later, but I'm learning to live with it.  Some days are worse than others and I sit there asking myself what's wrong with my heart...because in all honesty I think something is wrong.  Unfortunately, I'm one of those people that can sense their heartbeat without even checking my pulse and it makes it really hard not pay attention to it when it's doing weird things.  It's gotten to the point where I'm afraid to overexert myself and let my pulse go above 150 bpm.  

My advice to you is don't let it worry you too much.  Like the doctor said, if you don't have other symptoms then you're probably okay.  You don't want to get caught up in a cycle of constantly checking your pulse.  I can tell you from personal experience that it will only make things worse.  I wish you the best of luck!  

Jose
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Avatar_m_tn
If you already haven't done this I would get an exercise heart rate monitor/watch and use that to plot your heart rate. I know that if I am in the doctors office or check my pulse with my fingers it tends to jump up from stress and the mere thought of having a high heart rate.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi
Thanks for your replies.  I have worn a heart rate monitor and I am sure my heart rate varies between 100 and 120 when I walk around.  It goes up to 145 when I walk up stairs.  The strange thing is I can always bring my heart rate down to 70, when I lie flat on my back.  Always! For example, now I am sitting at my desk at work at my sitting heart rate is 90, if I stand my heart rate is about 100.  But if I lie down on the floor, my heart rate immediately returns to 70!  I also feel and hear my heart at the back of my head if I get up from a sitting postion or if I walk up stairs or exercise.   I think its strange but maybe I am overanalysing things.  I will go to the cardiologist next week.
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Avatar_f_tn
Welcome to the club! How interesting, i have very similar experiences... When im up and walking around, its easy for my heart rate to reach 120, it always jumps when i stand up, but i can truck on a treadmill for 20 minutes, get my heart rate up to 170, and within seconds of sitting or lying down, it will quickly drop back down to below 100... I have a slight form of "innapropriate sinus tachycardia"... But ive noticed my "problem" improve greatly with regular exercise..  My natural pacemaker is a bit faster than most, and it reacts faster to stress, but im not symptomatic and its not bothering me in any way so i just let it go :) talk to your cardiologist about it, he/she might be able to reassure you or offer you some treatment options if its nessecary.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi College Girl. Thanks for your reply.  I had all the works a couple of years ago and they found nothing wrong with my heart.  I just seem to have a heart that is sensitive to certain stimulation - exertion, alcohol, heavy meals.  I find my walking heart rate strange tho but i think I may be overanalysing.  Like you I dont have symptoms thankfully, apart from an awareness of my heart beating when i get up quickly or walk up a big flight of stairs. i think its normal tho.  Good to hear that exercise has helped you.  I have just started a new fitness program so fingers crossed!  Im going to a new cardiologist next week because Ive moved to a new city. Lets see what he says!  Last one also thought I had a mild form of IST.
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84483_tn?1289941537
I agree with collegegirl, I also have been diagnosed with a slight form of IST, but I'm very aware of my heartbeat so i take the beta blocker atenolol, it works perfect and I'm lucky I suffer none of the dreaded side effects from it.
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Avatar_n_tn
I also went through the same thing. My doctor put me on a very low dose beta blocker and my resting heart rate is now in the 60
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Avatar_n_tn
I haven't been able to work out like I used to since the problems with my heart rate began.  I've tried running and after just 1 minute of very light jogging my heart rate is already around 150bpm.  I understand I may be deconditioned, but I still think something's wrong.  To me that high a jump in such little time is abnormal.  Does anyone else experience this?  Any suggestions in getting over this will be greatly appreciated.  I wish everyone the best.
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Avatar_f_tn
I do,  My heart rate will jump up to 150 even faster than a minute.. Its a mix of deconditioning and IST for me.. Ignoring this (but staying within my max heart rate) and working out despite helps me greatly... For me, i set small limits, when i first started going to the gym, ide keep my heart rate 130 or less for the entire workout, ide go as fast or slow as this allowed, somedays, ide be walking at a snails pace, and others, i could jog a bit... Then when i see an improvement, i move up to 140, and repeat the same proccess, once i see a higher tolerance, i move again to150, slowly creeping up my heart rate incriments until i reach 180 (thats what im comfortable with mentally)... Always talk to your physician if you are worried, he/she will help you with an exersice regime, this is just what works for me :)
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Avatar_n_tn
Ive also just started to notice that whenever I eat a banana for breakfast, my HR seems to be somewhat normal for the day.  I had one this morning for breakfast and it is now noon (I live in Ireland) at my HR is averaging at 75! Completly normal!  Yesterday, at the same time, my HR was averaging at 90.  This is usually my afternoon HR.  Ive had blood tests and nobody ever said I had a potassium or magesium deficiency.  Either I am completly going crazy (which could in fact be the case) or eating museli and a banana for breakfast is in fact keeping my HR down.  Does anyone else have experience with this?  If not, try it out, see what happens!
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Avatar_n_tn
When your HR is still elevated after exercise, it usually means you're not fit although it's not quite normal for it to persist for an hour or more. Unfortunately, that kind of condition is believed to present a real risk for sudden cardiac death.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/504637

http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/341/18/1351?ijkey=694849f793b274869825b05d94a06ae5e721032b

From what I read, it takes three months of daily 30 minutes exercise for a person to have the advantage of excellent exercise recovery and to have a heart beat around 60 bps at rest.

I don't know if the exercise regime I've mentioned can reverse the risk but I think it can be modified.  

My suggestion is to start the exercise slowly and easily.. and build up in intensity and duration over time. For example, start with brisk walking for 15 minutes for a week then jog lightly (or even intervals of brisk walking/jogging) for 15 minutes for a week and add 5 more minutes after a week and so forth.  

Exercise is never fun for me.. it takes a lot of work but I know it gives you HUGE health benefits, not just the heart but also cuts down the risk of many diseases such as diabetes and cancer.  
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Avatar_n_tn
I think it is important that I make a comment about this.  Heart rate recovery is a very accurate predictor of future cardiovascular events.  It is important to distinguish that the database for these trails was not done on inappropriate sinus tachycardia patients and I do not think that there is any direct data to suggest that it applies to situations like this.  We have to be very careful how we apply data to clinical situations and make sure that we are comparing apples to apples.

There is no evidence that a population of young patients with STRUCTURALLY NORMAL HEARTS and an inappropriate heart rate response to exercise have increased risk of sudden death.  This is true is some situations but I would not apply it here.

I hope this helps.
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Avatar_n_tn
And if Im not wrong, I thought the tests concerned the first 2 minutes after exercise.  A drop of less 12 beats per minute was a predictor for mortality.  My HR will drop from 175 to 120 in the first 2 minutes after exercise.  That is 55 beats.  It will then drop to 100 after 5 minutes.  My problem is the next hour where my HR stays slightly elevated at around 100.  I think that is a different scenario to the tests that have been done but Im no doctor.  I think I need to take the advice of the only expert here and forget about all this!
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Avatar_n_tn
As for the comment from netrox...I'd just like to say that you should be really careful what you post on here.  Even though you're not a doctor, reading comments like that really scares some people (myself included).  

On a lighter note it's nice to have this support, and this thread in particular helps out a lot.  I seriously thought I was a rare case, but now I know otherwise.  I'd like to keep in touch with some of you, if possible.  It seems a few of you on here are, or have, experienced the same symptoms I've been experiencing.  I know I'll have lots more questions/concerns in the future.  Please email me.  Support is one of the best tools we have in conquering these problems.  Thanks.

Jose
lilrican_56***@****
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Avatar_n_tn
First of all, I just realized that I could scare some people with that and I want to say that I'm sorry about that.

But keep in mind, a risk factor does NOT mean you're gonna die with it. It merely suggested that you may have a higher chance of dying with it. It is possible for a person to have high cholesterol and never die from a heart attack even though high cholesterol is a well established risk factor. My mother has high cholesterol, morbid obesity, and high blood pressure and she has been taking prescribed amphetamines almost all her life. You'd think she'd gonna drop dead before she's 50 yet, she's 60 years old and she never complains! In fact, she claims she doesn't even have a concept of anxiety and doesn't understand why people like me get anxious. I often wish I have her mental health!

I do agree that support is what people need.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I don't think I experience a big HR variability between lying, standing and walking, but I do get tachycardic during the recovery phase at times. In my case it's worse because my HR can stay above 100 for hours after exercise, and I get PVCs with it! I was  checked and my cardio wasn't concerned at all. The weird thing is that it doesn't happen every time I work out.
I too was told that what matters most is that the HR slows down fast after you stop exercising. I get very high heart rates while I exercise, but as soon as I stop it drops quickly, so I was told that is a sign my heart is OK. I guess my body just has too much adrenaline circulating after I work out...

Don't worry, if you don't have symptoms and your cardio is not concerned, just forget about it! I'm not too worried anymore, but since I can be very symptomatic sometimes I take a beta blocker when it gets bad, and it works wonders most of the time for me.

Take care

Fran
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 16 month post triple bypass, despite being a slim athletic individual.

If your HR does not come down completely to resting rate after exercise, its more likely you overdid your exercise.  

I am in cardiac rehab once a week, and also exercise at home.  I exercise longer at home, and it takes longer to come down than at rehab, where I do stints of 20, 6, and 20 minutes with a small break between.  It come down to 80 for me in 10 minutes, from 130.  At home I work up to 140-150, and it won't hit 80, like you, for a couple hours.

Try dropping either the speed or duration of your runs slightly, and see if your hr does not return to normal sooner.

And your girlfriend ?  She is likely in better shape than you think if her heart returns to normal and before yours.  You may be able to work harder, but it is also not necessarily good for you.  Excess CO2 in your system is almost as bad as cigarette smoke for your arteries. Ooops.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello everyone. I've been browsing the web trying to find exercise info for improving my moderately sedentary lifestyle by using the treadmill. I'm 51.
For a few years in my 40's I had tachycardia. I would bring the heartrate down by laying down (in a panic). The HR would go from 160-180 to about 85 within a few minutes. I didnt know this was from a too high dose of Synthroid. I went through tests w a cardiac physician and checked out OK, but he put me in cardiac rehab.
The tachy continued for a few years and my GP found an inverted T wave (from laying down w the high HR) and put me in rehab to correct this.

I didnt exercise after this. The meds issue was taken care of. I dont work and it became undesirable to walk for exercise outside my home.
About 3 years ago I joined a health club. I used the treadmill, started having PVC's and stopped the treadmill and walked to cool down. My HR refused to go lower than 140, after 45 min. My GP put me on BP meds and OK'd me to exercise. However, I'd been scared out of exercise. I havent exercised and now a short walk, or moderate exertion can cause palpatations. Or my HR seems too high for the simple load.
I want to resume using the treadmill and get into shape but I cannot find actual parameters for speed and incline. Does anyone have any ideas what I should be doing? Thanks to all- in advance.
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Avatar_n_tn
Regarding this string of e-mails. I have a similar problem but with a twist.

I was diagnosed as hypertensive at age 18 (49 now) and have been on Beta Blockers for years. No side effects and resting heart rate is normally in the 50's

My issue over the last several years is this:

When doing mild exercise, heart rate elevates as expected and returns to normal in a reasonable amount of time.

However, when I exercise more strenuously, particulary for a longer period of time (30 minutes) where I keep my heart rate elevated for that period of time, I experience tachycardia where my heart rate remains over 100 BPM. Along with the elevated heart rate, I also experience a BP crash. The higher the heart rate the larger the crash. In some cases, the BP gets as low as 90/55.

The heart rate and BP slowly return to normal, sometimes by the next morning and sometimes over several days

It is also the case, that once I push beyond the breaking point on the Heart Rate/BP, it seems that it becomes much easier to cause the tachycardia/BP crash with even moderate exercise. Once I lay off for awhile, it then becomes harder/normal (for me) to reach the break point threashhold

In addition, what is normally a very solid pulse becomes much fainter as the rate increases and BP crashes

I've had recent stress tests and EKG's which appear normal.

I'm very frustrated and would like to resume a consistert workout regimen. However, I'm uncertain whether to take time of when this occurs or just push through it in the hope that it gets better as I return to better shape
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674555_tn?1272603976
A related discussion, 26m with hr @100 up to 2hrs after cardio was started.
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Avatar_m_tn
A related discussion, suden rate increase after exercise was started.
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