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What Is A Good Heart Rate Recovery

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You might be wondering how quickly your heart rate should recover after you exercise. Overall, you want your heart rate to drop back to normal pretty quickly after you work out. The quicker it drops, the better. If your heart takes a while to return to its normal pace, that could be a sign of problems. In general, a good heart rate recovery after one minute of rest is:

  • 18 beats or higher.

But there isnt one magic number for everyone. What counts as a good heart rate recovery depends on many factors, including:

  • Whether you have cardiovascular disease.
  • The exercise method you use and what you do during your rest period.
  • How long you rest before checking your heart rate.

Researchers have explored this topic since the 1990s. Theyve found different ways to measure your heart rate recovery during an exercise stress test. For example:

  • If you have heart disease, your provider will likely ask you to keep moving after the main exercise. This is called an active rest, and it means you keep walking or cycling but at a much slower pace.
  • If you dont have heart disease, your provider may ask you to lay down flat for a passive rest.

Overall, its important to know that healthcare providers use many different ways to find your recovery heart rate. So, if you calculate your number on your own, its a good idea to share the number with your provider. Theyll help you understand what it means and provide tips for getting the most accurate measurement.

Target Heart Rate And Estimated Maximum Heart Rate

One way of checking physical activity intensity is to determine whether your pulse or heart rate is within the target zone during physical activity.1

For moderate-intensity physical activity, your target heart rate should be between 64% and 76%1,2 of your maximum heart rate. You can estimate your maximum heart rate based on your age. To estimate your maximum age-related heart rate, subtract your age from 220. For example, for a 50-year-old person, the estimated maximum age-related heart rate would be calculated as 220 50 years = 170 beats per minute . The 64% and 76% levels would be:

  • 64% level: 170 x 0.64 = 109 bpm, and
  • 76% level: 170 x 0.76 = 129 bpm

This shows that moderate-intensity physical activity for a 50-year-old person will require that the heart rate remains between 109 and 129 bpm during physical activity.

For vigorous-intensity physical activity, your target heart rate should be between 77% and 93%1,2 of your maximum heart rate. To figure out this range, follow the same formula used above, except change 64 and 76% to 77 and 93%. For example, for a 35-year-old person, the estimated maximum age-related heart rate would be calculated as 220 35 years = 185 beats per minute . The 77% and 93% levels would be:

  • 77% level: 185 x 0.77 = 142 bpm, and
  • 93% level: 185 x 0.93 = 172 bpm

Calculating The Ideal Active Heart Rate

  • Subtract age in years from 220 to determine maximum heart rate.
  • Multiply the maximum heart rate by 0.64 to find the lower limit of the ideal active heart rate.
  • Multiply the maximum heart rate by 0.76 to get the upper limit.
  • For instance, if a person is 20 years old, the steps would be:

    • 200 x 0.64 = 128
    • 200 x 0.76 = 152

    So, for moderate intensity activity, a 20-year-old person would need to aim for a heart rate of 128152 bpm.

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    Use A Fitness Tracker Or Smart Watch

    Some fitness trackers and smartwatches, such as some models of Fitbit and the Apple Watch, have LED pulse sensors on the underside next to the skin. These must be worn securely against the skin to get a stable and accurate reading.

    To save battery life, many of them don’t read continuously. See the instructions for your device to see how to get an on-demand or continuous pulse reading.

    These devices often have simplified heart rate zones, such as light, moderate, and vigorous. Some allow you to set a target heart rate and have a visual or auditory alert when you are in your chosen zone.

    We’ve tried, tested, and reviewed the best fitness trackers. If you’re in the market for an activity tracker, explore which option may be best for you.

    What Should My Heart Rate Be When Exercising

    Running with a Heart Rate Monitor
    • 25 x 0.50 = 12.5
    • 25 x 0.85 = 21.25 .

    To perform a cardio respiratory workout, your heart rate should be 60% to 80% of your maximum heart rate. You can use a basic formula to determine your maximum heart rate for safe exercise. Subtract your age from 220. For example, a 30-year-old has a maximum heart rate of 220-30 = 190. His target heart rate for cardio respiratory exercise would then be 114-152 . It is recommended that you consult with your physician before starting cardio respiratory activity if you havent regularly exercised before.

    Your exercising heart rate depends on the intensity that you wish to work. First you must determine your maximum heart rate, which is calculated by subtraction your age from 220. . To determine your target heart rate take this number and multiple it by the intensity percentage at which you wish to work. For example, if you are 40 years old and wish to work at a moderate intensity of 70% the formula would look like this:

    * 70% = a target heart rate of 126 bpm.

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    What Is A Dangerously High Heart Rate During Exercise

    It’s good to know your maximum and target heart rate zone so you can recognize when your heart rate is getting too high during exercise.

    Going near â or higher â than your maximum heart rate for prolonged periods of time can be dangerous, and cause you to feel dizzy, short of breath and even ill. You can also increase your risk for cardiac events.

    In fact, research published in Canadian Medical Association Journal found that recreational hockey players who consistently exercised at or above their target and maximum heart rates increased their risk of heart arrhythmia , chest pain and discomfort.

    Typically, when you’re nearing your maximum heart rate, you’ll tire quickly and slow down on your own. However, if you find you keep creeping close to or past your maximum heart rate during exercise, ease off a bit â especially if you’re newer to exercise.

    How Does The Oura Ring Work

    According to Sharon Gam, PhD, CSCS, a personal trainer and health coach based in Orlando, Florida, the Oura Ring uses technology known as photoplethysmography . “Basically, the device uses light and light sensors to detect changes in blood flow,” says Dr. Gam. “The device sends light into the skin and measures how much light is reflected back from the tissues.” The light reflection is then used to detect tiny changes in blood flow to calculate heart rate. “It can also calculate breathing rates from that heart rate data because of a process called respiratory sinus arrhythmia,” adds Dr. Gam.

    Using heart rate, the Oura Ring can track heart rate variability, aka the change in time between each individual heart beat. Since “heart rate variability is a good indicator of what’s going on with the central nervous system,” heart rate variability can deliver insights on whether you’re in a relaxed or stressed state, explains Dr. Gam. Changes in heart rate variability along with body temperature can be used to garner information about sleep, too.

    Read Also: Congestive Heart Failure Fluid Overload Treatment

    What Is Target Heart Rate

    Your target heart rate is a range of numbers that reflect how fast your heart should be beating when you exercise. A higher heart rate is a good thing that leads to greater fitness, says Johns Hopkins cardiologist Michael Blaha, M.D., M.P.H. During exercise, you can monitor heart rate and try to reach this target zone. Doctors also use target heart rate to interpret the results of a cardiac stress test.

    Calculating Your Target Heart Rate

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    Your fitness routine has likely changed with current circumstances.

    The pandemic year with gyms closed and stress levels high affected us in multiple ways. As we tiptoe back into an exercise regime, its important to do so with awareness. That includes knowing your actual target heart rate and using that number for a safe, effective workout, whether youre going out for a run, or heading back to a studio for the first time. Measuring your target heart rate is a concrete, numbers-dont-lie way to sneak a peek inside your body to find out what exercise intensity is right for you. In fact, it may be the piece of data that finally convinces you not to push too aggressively during your cardio routine or not take it so easy that you barely get your heart rate up. Not everyone is meant to work out the same way, and figuring out your target heart rate can give you a clearer sense of just how hard you should push yourself to improve your health and fitness.

    Heart Rate and Your Health

    During aerobic exercise, your heart, lungs, and circulatory system are called on to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the muscles youre engaging. Your heart rate is one way to measure just how hard your body is working to do all of that.

    Knowing your THR helps you navigate your workout safely and effectively.

    How to Calculate Your Target Heart Rate

    Your target heart rate is 70 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate, which must be determined before you can zero in on your target range.

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    What Is A Normal Heart Rate When Walking

    Your heart rate is a standard measurement of how many times your heart beats per minute, and increases or decreases depending on how hard you’re exerting yourself.

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    As such, keeping tabs on your heart rate is a great way to gauge intensity during different forms of exercise, such as walking.

    When you know what’s normal and what’s not, you’ll be able to recognize when you need to increase your walking intensity â and when to back off.

    What Your Resting Heart Rate Means

    Your resting heart rate will become lower as your fitness level increases. Vigorous aerobic exercise, such as running or cycling, has the most effect on lowering your resting heart rate. Moderate-intensity exercise such as brisk walking has less effect.

    RHR is lowered as the heart muscle becomes stronger and gets better at pumping out more blood per heartbeat. The body needs fewer heartbeats to pump the same amount of blood. If your heart muscle is weak, it needs to beat more times to pump the same amount of blood.

    If you are tracking your resting heart rate and see it rise, there could be several causes that arenât related to your fitness level, including:

    • Being sleep-deprived
    • Dehydration or in cases of high heat and humidity
    • Developing an illness or a medical condition
    • Mental, emotional, or physical stress

    Also Check: What Is The Treatment For Congestive Heart Failure

    What Should My Heart Rate Be During Exercise

    Are you not pushing yourself enough, or pushing yourself too hard when you exercise? If you are looking to get more involved in a cardio exercise routine, knowing your maximum heart rate is a key tool in deciding how vigorous your exercises should be. It will also help you to track how effective your workouts are!

    Moderate exercises are a great way to improve your fitness level and heart health, especially if you have underlying conditions that make fitness a challenging task for you. If you are engaging in moderate cardio, your breathing should be faster paced than normal, but not uncomfortable. You should not be sweating intensely during exercises like these. For example, this type of exercise can be compared to a briskly paced walk. Other examples of moderate paced exercises include: water aerobics, slow biking, and leisurely swimming.

    A vigorous exercise is a lot more intense than a moderate one. You will notice that during these exercises, you are more out of breath, talking in full sentences will be more difficult, and you will most likely be sweating more. Vigorous exercises can be as simple as speeding up a normal paced walk into a brisk walk, faster paced jogging, or even hopping on a low impact elliptical machine.

    Lets look at what your target heart rate should be for both of these categories:

    Maximum Heart rate = 220

    Heart Rate Response To Aerobic Training

    A Daily Dose of Fit: Heart Rate vs. Hard Work (#Infographic)

    If the intensity of the exercise remains constant then the heart rate will rise until it reaches what is known as steady state where it stays relatively constant as the cardiovascular system meets the demands placed on it by the exercise.

    Achieving steady state is the goal of many aerobic fitness training programmes training at a set intensity for a prolonged period of time.

    Steady state is illustrated on the adjacent graph at the point where the heart rate flattens after an initial rise in the first few minutes of exercise. For steady state to be achieved and maintained the intensity of the exercise must remain constant.

    The graph also shows how heart rates return to resting levels after exercise finishes. The more intense the exercise is the longer it will take for heart rate to return to its resting rate.

    With low-moderate intensity aerobic fitness training heart rates return to normal within 10-20 minutes. Stroke volume returns to resting levels in an identical fashion.

    If the intensity of the exercise fluctuates then heart rates will also fluctuate. We see this where work periods of high intensity exercise are interspersed with periods of lower intensity exercise. As the intensity increases so does the heart rate and as the intensity drops so does the heart rate.

    The following graph shows how a persons heart rate fluctuates throughout an 11 mile run encompassing a variety of terrain.

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    Best Smartwatch For Heart Rate: Apple Watch Series 6

    Price when reviewed: £379

    We can debate whether you should call the Apple Watch Series 6 a sports watch or a smartwatch, but theres no doubting its become a solid device for heart rate monitoring and its latest Watch much like the Series 5 impresses in the heart rate monitoring department. In fact, it might be offer one of the best wrist-based optical sensors weve tried.

    From a fitness point of view, weve put it through the same rigorous testing as we do with all of the wearables on this list and it really impresses where a lot of wrist-based monitors falter. Were talking high intensity interval training.

    Data is viewable inside of Apples own Workout app but the benefit of having a strong collection of third party Watch apps means you can also view that data in places like Strava and Runkeeper.

    If you dont care about working in heart rate zones though, its well equipped for taking reliable resting heart rate readings throughout the day and with the addition of an ECG, its now fit to tap into heart rate readings to detect serious heart issues including atrial fibrillation.

    That data can be viewed inside of Apples own Health app and also be exported to a PDF to be shared with medical professionals.

    Along with the improved hardware, Apple has clearly done some software tinkering too to improve the performance of its heart rate monitor in a big way.

    Sample Apple Watch Series 6 data:

    HR compared: Apple Watch Series 6 and Wahoo Tickr chest strap monitor

    Seeking Medical Advice About Your Target Heart Rate

    If you have a medical condition, are overweight, are aged over 40 years or havent exercised in a long time, see your doctor for a medical check-up before starting any new exercise program. Your heart rate target range may need to be professionally recalculated to take your health and general fitness into account.Some medications can alter your heart rate response to exercise, so make sure you discuss the medications you are taking and how they could affect your exercise plans with your doctor. It may be necessary to use another option for monitoring exercise intensity if you are taking certain medications.

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    Know Your Numbers: Maximum And Target Heart Rate By Age

    This table shows target heart rate zones for different ages. Your maximum heart rate is about 220 minus your age.3

    In the age category closest to yours, read across to find your target heart rates. Target heart rate during moderate intensity activities is about 50-70% of maximum heart rate, while during vigorous physical activity its about 70-85% of maximum.

    The figures are averages, so use them as a general guide.

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    Help Your Heart Work Stronger

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    Cardiovascular exercise is especially effective in keeping your heart healthy and reaching your target heart rate. This specific type of exercise gets your heart beating fast for several minutes at a time.

    Target heart rate is defined as the minimum number of heartbeats in a given amount of time in order to reach the level of exertion necessary for cardiovascular fitness, specific to a persons age, gender, or physical fitness.

    The following is an estimate given by the American Heart Association for target heart rate numbers for adults ages 45 to 70:

    • 45 years: 88 to 149 beats per minute
    • 50 years: 85 to 145 beats per minute
    • 55 years: 83 to 140 beats per minute
    • 60 years: 80 to 136 beats per minute
    • 65 years: 78 to 132 beats per minute
    • 70 years: 75 to 128 beats per minute

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