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  1. #1
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Resting Heart Rate

    My cycling exercise (not quite ready to call it training, but I'm getting close) has brought my resting heart rate down to the 58-62 range. From what I can read, that is likely responsible for the fact that I often get light headed if I stand up quickly. Seems to be mostly in the evenings. Anyone else experiencing this after embarking on a serious exercise regimen?

    I recently had a nuclear stress test, and got a green light to go for it as hard as I'd like.
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  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    BP Meds will cause that.

    My RHR is down to 42.
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    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    I get that all the time. My resting Hr is around 43-44 and often if I stand too quickly I could almost faint. It is especially bad if I am a little dehydrated or vasil dilated from a long ride.

  4. #4
    "Chooch" ciocc_cat's Avatar
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    My resting heart rate around 53 and my age is 55. Cycling is truly the "Fountain of Youth".
    "A bicycle built by a frame builder has the soul of the builder. A mass produced frame does not have soul. It doesn't know anyone." - Giovanni "Ciocc" Pelizzoli.
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  5. #5
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Same here. I have to grab something to hold onto when standing a day or so after some HTFU riding. I had not thought about how dehydration could factor into it but that makes some sense.
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    The guy in the 50+ jersey PAlt's Avatar
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    Not frequent, but yes, I do have the problem occasionally. RHR is 42, last time I checked

  7. #7
    tsl
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    For me, the reason is almost always hydration. It was just over ten years ago, six years before I began cycling, that a nurse asked me if I got dizzy when standing. I told her that it happened all the time. (My resting hear rate at the time was in the upper 60s.)

    "You're down a quart," she told me.

    Since then I've worked on hydration, and seldom have the problem. When I do, I think down a quart, and top off. Works every time.

    My resting HR, BTW, is 42.
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    Member dabbindan's Avatar
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    that doesn't seem related to me. if your resting ht rate is lower (average is 72/min and 10 either side isn't out of normal range) due to improving conditioning, you should be even less susceptible to light headedness on standing than before as your entire c/v system is in better shape and even more capable of absorbing changes thrown at it. i remember being at 54/min in high school after running cross country and the mile. are you taking bp meds? are you rehydrating adequately? if you've had the stress test and been given an ok it likely isn't something significantly pathological, but i am wondering why you had the stress test in the first place.

    dabbindan retired r n

  9. #9
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    I had the stress test because my EKG looked funny to the GP. The cardiologist said that, given the results of the stress test, the EKG isn't anything of concern. I'm pretty sure this isn't hydration related - I drink water constantly during the day. From what I've read (Lord knows everything on the net is true, right?) if your heart-rate is low, it takes longer to get the blood back up to your brain just because there are fewer beats - sort of a delayed response.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  10. #10
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    I would see stars standing up quickly back in my racing days when my resting heart rate was in the very low 40's. I think it's just low blood pressure. I'd get one of those blood pressure monitors they sell at Costco, it gives you heart rate as well. My bp is in the very healthy range, even with my tortilla chip and Coke diet...

    Luis

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    Before i started cycling last year my regular heart rate was 58. Resting about 48. Now, after 5000 miles plus it is 42 or so when i wake up, some time it takes about an hour to get it above 50. If i don't ride for a few days it stays pretty low. My heart rate has always been low though. I am 65 and weigh 190 pounds.

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    I believe below 40 is called Bradycardia. I'm 75, and I think that a lowered heart rate is typical as you age. At some point they get interested in putting in a pacemaker. Our group, Aging In Place just read a horror story about trying to get a pacemaker REMOVED once quality of life is zilch. As a matter of fact, I think my heartrate (high 30s) actually INCREASED once I started riding regularly.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Speedskater's Avatar
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    It's not caused by low resting heart rate, it's "Orthostatic hypotension". That's a blood pressure drop upon standing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthostatic_hypotension

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    Pat
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    I get light headed on standing quickly. Sometimes it is pretty intense. When it is, I just grab something and stand still until my head clears. I have passed out once and was conscious just about immediately. It usually seems more pronounced on days when I have a hard workout. So maybe it is associated with mild dehydration also.

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    Senior Member Speedskater's Avatar
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    It has been a problem for me when crewing in morning sailboat races. You have to set very still for maybe several minutes. Then at the turning mark , you jump and do heavy work as quickly as possible.

  16. #16
    XR2
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    When I first started the BP meds I'm on I had that problem. First time it happened wasn't upon standing from sitting in a chair. It was from sitting on a motorcycle seat motocross track 20 feet in the air on a 70 foot ski jump @ 35MPH or so. I kinda felt it coming the corner before the jump but once launched you can only do what needs to be done to land well. I wasn't prepared for things like that and it ruined my race weekend. My resting heart rate is 48 now and soon we'll be discussing stopping that medication altogether. However it's one of the ones that just stopping cold turkey increases heart attack risk tenfold.

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    Speedskater,

    Roll gybe on the downwind leg.

    Sorry, I could not resist.

    Lee

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    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty861 View Post
    Speedskater,

    Roll gybe on the downwind leg.

    Sorry, I could not resist.

    Lee
    I think that's why they call it the "boom".
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    Used to get the lightheaded feeling upon standing up in the days before I rode consistently. I'm 51 with a RHR of 49.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post
    It's not caused by low resting heart rate, it's "Orthostatic hypotension". That's a blood pressure drop upon standing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthostatic_hypotension
    Yep, it is too low blood flow caused by too rapid change in posture from sitting/lying to standing (note the people language ). But, Why?

    For yuks I asked one of my docs one day. He said: "Thats' just getting old and your blood vessels can't contract fast enough to maintain blood pressure" In other words age related hardening of the arteries.

    If you have had bradycardia most of your adult life and only now are feeling the effects you describe maybe he's right, eh?
    It is better to smell the flowers than taste the roots.

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    What works for me is to lean forward when rising from a seated position, bending at the waist while sitting, then straightening the legs to standing position and then straighten the torso.

  22. #22
    Senior Member tpelle's Avatar
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    Kinda off topic, but you guys talking about seeing stars when you stand up too fast reminded me.

    There used to be a radio DJ in the Cincinnati, Ohio market that did different characters. He would sometimes make phone calls to agencies with some really goofy questions and complaints, and play the results on the air.

    I remember that one time he called in to the DEA to report all the old people at the rest home getting buzzed from standing up too fast!
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  23. #23
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    Lat65, your doc is a quack. What about fit young folks who have the same issue? Are they 'hardening' too young? BS.

    Think about it....

    This is my take on it, and what I believe causes it -- what gets the most exercise when you cycle? The legs. Under hard, extended exertion for a long period of time, your body will produce additional blood vessels to help carry the extra load. Blood flow to the legs naturally increases, and the blood vessels all dilate better. (After nearly a decade of hard riding, I've discovered that my feet will 'purple up' when standing, something that will fade when I sit or lie down. It's all blood flow, like the hand and arm veins that engorge when you hang your hands low, and vanish when your hands are overhead.)

    So, when you stand after comfortably sitting, the blood just FLOODS to your lower extremities, and AWAY FROM YOUR HEAD, causing dizziness.

    That's been my experience, YMMV.

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    DX - Read again what I posted. It excludes those youngsters who have the symptoms and those elders who have had them their entire lives. Further, as has been posted, the hypotensive episode occurs whether a person has ben cycling or not. It is brought on by a rapid change in posture.

    By the way this doc is no quack. In fact he is very good. He does have a weakness in his geriatric training in that he has preconceived notions about what elders should and should not be able to do.
    It is better to smell the flowers than taste the roots.

  25. #25
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    I get that too, but my RHR is 60, and my BP is about 135/70.
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