Funny you mentioned it, because my mom had a stress test done a week ago (she's 65 years old but exercising 3-5 times a week), I was there because I love EKG's (like you all know by now..) and by the time she reached the calculated maximum heart rate (155), the doctor asked: Shall we stop the test? Why? she responded, "didn't we just start?"
Her heart rate peaked at 183, the BP kept increasing like it's supposed to. She achieved 170% of calculated work load. No problem at all, and the doctor was really impressed.
What matters is that you really are in sinus rhythm and that your blood pressure is steady.
If you can push your HR high, and maintain your blood pressure (that you don't get dizzy) it's a sign of a really well-functioning heart.
I thought it was some complicated formula but they may have changed that, was something like 220-age=X then X times 0.65 & 0.85 for minimum & max heart rates...here's what AHA says: http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4736
If you've been exercising awhile and it's going that high, time to talk to your dr - could be something simple. However, if you've gone like me with no exertion or exercise the high hr is from being out of shape, but I'd still talk to my dr =)
During a stress test if there are no symptoms and ECG remains normal going over the 85% rule is not a problem. I had a rate of 181 during a stress test and using the 85% maximum heart calculation I should have stopped when I reached 120.
Thank you for your replies. I am pretty sure this is sinus rhythm at 181 bpm and I cant think of any reason my max would go up, unless ablation or some disease process would cause it. It could also be that I am measuring my max for the first time.
Lisa, the web page you provided has great info. It does say there that you do not need to take your HR all the way to 85% to stay in shape. That is something I need to think about. After I read this, it occurred to me that my average HR (as indicated by my stationary bike over 75 minutes of pumping) is about 85% of 181. I wonder with my VT if I could actually be thickening my ventricular walls by working out too hard.
Curmudgen, impressive. I hope that was sinus rhythm. Which reminds me. I may want to have my doc monitor me while I am doing that some time to make sure mine is sinus. It feels like it, but my heart is not 100% stable. I could be getting a few extra beats.
Is something wrong. I have not checked BP, but no weird symptoms either. All the same I never gave a thought that BP should increase the entire time. Makes sense. Makes me wonder whether a person could monitor their diastolic measurement at peak heart rate (over weeks or months) to get a feeling for how bad EF is eroding. I assume the normal aging process would cause it to increase over time, resulting in reduced EF, probably the main reason my legs feel like full wine barrels when I run!!
I think one of the earliest signs I had problems was my bp/hr problems during exercise; the hemodynamic [sp] responses started with me from childhood.
My 2009 treadmill stress test showed problems walking in under 5 minutes and I fainted. I had noticed over the years my weird bp plummets and my "thumping" in my chest when I would run or do heavy exertion like moving furniture but not to the point it stopped me from doing it. I would faint, get back up and finish what I was doing; but it's because dr's told me it was nothing to worry about.
I still have no clue what changed, what tipped the scale on the wrong side that made me go down hill so fast back in 2009, but I suspect it was infection when we were at the beach but it can't be proven now and nothing was found back then which makes me suspect it even more.
Interesting question with exercise, VT and wall thickening - I'm waiting to see if you get any answers =)
We are afraid of hypertension, but BP is supposed to increase during exercise.
I read somewhere that a healthy heart should be able to maintain a product of systolic (diastolic doesn't matter during exercise) and heart rate of at least 30.000 (mmhg/minute). For example, a heart rate of 170 and a systolic BP of 176. That's a proof that the heart is able to pump rapidly lots of blood against increased vascular resistance.
In my case, my HR was 210 and so was my systolic BP. The product was 44.100.
I didn't know VT could thicken heart walls, but I'm no expert. I thought the most common side effect of tachycardias were a dilated (thinned) heart, but that's usually caused by unregulated atrial fibrillation.
If you get extra (premature) beats you are in sinus rhythm. If not, all the beats would be premature beats..
I have a question. when i work out like on a liptical or something of that nature, i usully get my heart rate up to 150 to 155 and im fine but i start having problems when i get to the cool off mode and it drops to 100 to 120. it feels like it starts to skip and i get alittle dizzy. i never monitor my bp while im working out and this doesnt happen right in the beginning of the workout. its always after im done. i do have high blood preasure but it is getting much better sinse i've been working out. im even off my meds at this time but it is strange that my heart feels this way. almost like it wants to come to a complete stop.
I don't think skipped (premature) beats after exercise is abnormal as long as your heart is working fine when you are exercising. It often occur because adrenaline levels are still high in the body after exercise (adrenaline has a half-life of 3-4 minutes).
Blood pressure often drops after exercise because blood vessels are dilated and when you stop, blood is pooling up in your legs and stomach. It often helps me to gradually decrease work load. That way you get some venous return of blood to the heart. (the muscles squeeze blood back to the heart, it's a passive reaction)
This is one reason why METS are measured on a stress test as they are a more accurate indication of conditioning. For example, when my heart rate is 160 bpm, I'm usuually working out at 11 or 12 METS while some one else may only be achieving 6 or 7 METS. For me, 6 or 7 mets only means 120 BPM so at this level of exertion, my heart is working more efficiently than some one who's heart needs to beat at 160 bpm to do the same level of exertion.
To truly evaluate conditioning, heart rate to workload needs to be determined in order to understand what condition one's cardiovascular system is really in.
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