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Low Heart Rate Immediately after exercise


I have repair ToF and two subsequent surgeries.  My most recent surgery was September 25th of last year.  I am a casual runner - I like to run 2 miles 3-4 times a week.  At 3 months post-surgery, I ran/walked 2 miles a day for 5 out of seven days.  Felt good and no issues.

Now I am 5 months post-surgery and I am running more and walking less on my 2.25 mile treks.   I always check my pulse post-exercise.  I typically take a 5 minute cool down after running, btw.  The last two times I ran, my post-exercise PR = 58 bpm.  It takes about 3-4 hours for my PR to return to the 80s - where is has been for the last two months.  No symptoms related to the low bpm with the exception of feeling like I have a "heavy" heart beat.

I have had multiple ablations for atrial fib and flutter, and this "heavy" heart beat doesn't feel like flutter to me.  I am a little gun shy about running more.  I want to run a 5k in two weeks, but don't know if I should.  I will be asking my cardiologist in a few days, and I wanted to see if I get any other thoughts from this site.

2 Responses
Avatar universal
My surgery in Sept 2014 was PVR and Tri-cuspid VR
Avatar universal

A healthy person should see his heart rate decline by 15 to 20 beats per minute in the first minute after stopping exercise. Your "recovery heart rate"--the pulse you register two minutes after you stop exercising--is a measure of how fit you are. Say you run for 30 minutes at an average heart rate of 155 beats per minute and your heart rate two minutes after finishing is 95 beats per minute. As you become more fit, your heart rate will decrease faster after that 30-minute run, and your recovery heart rate will be lower at the two-minute mark. In healthy individuals, an effective program and healthy diet can also lower significantly resting heart rate.

Faster heart rate drops indicate fitness. You can ascertain your fitness by calculating your recovery rate number, according to the Federal Aviation Administration’s “Exercise Exercise Exercise” report. Your recovery rate number is your peak exercise heart rate minus your heart rate one minute after your exercise divided by 10. It’s three if your exercise heart rate is 140 heartbeats per minute and your recovery heart rate is 110 heartbeats per minute. Your fitness is excellent if your recovery rate number is at least four, good if your number is between three and four, fair if your number is between two and three, and poor if your number is less than two. Someone with an abnormal heart rate drop of 11 heartbeats per minute has a recovery rate number of 1.1.
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Arlington, VA
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