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Old 07-09-04, 12:54 AM   #1
hollow
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HR question

It seems that after almost every ride, especially intense rides (which most of them are) it takes quite a while for my heart rate to return to resting rate. My resting rate is about 55 bpm. Around 30-60 minutes after a ride my heart rate will still be around 75-80 bpm. This seems pretty high for me, and I can feel that it's beating fast. My HR will fall pretty quickly from 150 to around 80 when I stop riding but takes a long time to return to resting. The only thing I can think of is that I have asthma so that could contribute. Or else, maybe this is a normal phenomenon and I shouldn't worry. Any ideas?
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Old 07-09-04, 07:40 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by hollow
It seems that after almost every ride, especially intense rides (which most of them are) it takes quite a while for my heart rate to return to resting rate. My resting rate is about 55 bpm. Around 30-60 minutes after a ride my heart rate will still be around 75-80 bpm. This seems pretty high for me, and I can feel that it's beating fast. My HR will fall pretty quickly from 150 to around 80 when I stop riding but takes a long time to return to resting. The only thing I can think of is that I have asthma so that could contribute. Or else, maybe this is a normal phenomenon and I shouldn't worry. Any ideas?

There are several things that contribute to the acceleration/decceleration of your heart rate; cardiac muscle tone, electrolytes, blood oxygen levels, etc. I'm not a fitness expert, but I work in the medical field. A RHR of 55 is pretty darn good. How old are you? Age and fitness level are important in determining cardiac fitness. If your HR stays at 80 when you're done riding, that's fantastic. Remember, a true RHR is when your body is completely at rest. Try sitting down and doing nothing strenuous for 30 minutes after your body cools down. Then check your HR. Most people walk around with a HR in the 70's to 80's. Most of the medical references I have indicate that a RHR of less than 85 is good for a normal adult. For a physically fit adult, less than 60 is normal.

Your asthma could effect oxygen delivery and thus your heart. Many people with asthma also have correlating heart problems, but that's usually because of lifestyle choices like smoking or poor fitness. At the same time, several well known, successful athletes also have asthma. If treated properly, a person with asthma should have no trouble maintaining a healthy heart. Question: Do you use an inhaler when you exercise? Some asthma inhaler medications will stimulate your heart and increase HR, especially Albuterol, Epinephrine and their derivatives.

If you really feel that you're having a problem with your heart, I would suggest going to your doctor. Of course, you can go to your doctor anyway if you just have questions. I'm sure he/she could help you out better than I can.


-Matt C.-
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Old 07-09-04, 08:50 AM   #3
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I see that also. My routine after a ride is to log my bike distance, avg speed, HR numbers, etc in my pc. I see my HR hover around 90-100 while I'm doing this. Guess it takes awhile to drop back down to a normal range.

I'm 44 and over weight at 243. I will usually average around 150bpm over a 25-30 mile ride. I'll check my RHR once every few weeks usually by lying down for 3-4 minutes and right now I'm ususally around 55-60bpm.
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Old 07-09-04, 12:21 PM   #4
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This is normal. I have a RHR of 39 and I see the same effect.
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Old 07-09-04, 12:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by tarmac
There are several things that contribute to the acceleration/decceleration of your heart rate; cardiac muscle tone, electrolytes, blood oxygen levels, etc. I'm not a fitness expert, but I work in the medical field. A RHR of 55 is pretty darn good. How old are you? Age and fitness level are important in determining cardiac fitness. If your HR stays at 80 when you're done riding, that's fantastic. Remember, a true RHR is when your body is completely at rest. Try sitting down and doing nothing strenuous for 30 minutes after your body cools down. Then check your HR. Most people walk around with a HR in the 70's to 80's. Most of the medical references I have indicate that a RHR of less than 85 is good for a normal adult. For a physically fit adult, less than 60 is normal.

Your asthma could effect oxygen delivery and thus your heart. Many people with asthma also have correlating heart problems, but that's usually because of lifestyle choices like smoking or poor fitness. At the same time, several well known, successful athletes also have asthma. If treated properly, a person with asthma should have no trouble maintaining a healthy heart. Question: Do you use an inhaler when you exercise? Some asthma inhaler medications will stimulate your heart and increase HR, especially Albuterol, Epinephrine and their derivatives.

If you really feel that you're having a problem with your heart, I would suggest going to your doctor. Of course, you can go to your doctor anyway if you just have questions. I'm sure he/she could help you out better than I can.


-Matt C.-
Thanks everyone. At least I'm not totally abnormal where this is concerned.

I'm 34 and I'd like to think that fitness isn't the issue. After my ride last night I did sit around for 30 minutes and decided to take my pulse. It was about 80. I could tell it was high before taking pulse. Maybe I'll ask my GP about this next time.

By the way, i do have an Albuterol inhaler, but only try to use it when necessary. I took it before a triathlon once and I think it caused some problems during the swim. Now I just use it when I feel a full on attack coming.
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Old 07-09-04, 05:44 PM   #6
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One characteristic of getting in shape is your heart rate will fall more quickly after exercise. It's called recovery and there are several ways it can be measured. One method is right after a hard exercise session, you take you pulse, then wait one or two minutes and take it again. The difference between the starting and ending pulse is your recovery value. The larger the drop in heart rate, the better your fitness. If you measure your recovery the same way over time, you can use this as an aid in tracking your training progress. The key though is to have similar starting heart rate from similar exercise in order to ge comparable readings. This can be hard to do while cycling unless you have a heart rate monitor that makes the measurement for you.
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Old 07-10-04, 06:22 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by supcom
One characteristic of getting in shape is your heart rate will fall more quickly after exercise. It's called recovery and there are several ways it can be measured. One method is right after a hard exercise session, you take you pulse, then wait one or two minutes and take it again. The difference between the starting and ending pulse is your recovery value. The larger the drop in heart rate, the better your fitness. If you measure your recovery the same way over time, you can use this as an aid in tracking your training progress. The key though is to have similar starting heart rate from similar exercise in order to ge comparable readings. This can be hard to do while cycling unless you have a heart rate monitor that makes the measurement for you.
I understand this and it's really not the problem. My HR drops immediately after riding, but as I stated earlier it stays elevated, or at least doesn't return to my resting HR for what I consider to be too long.
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Old 07-10-04, 06:34 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by hollow
I understand this and it's really not the problem. My HR drops immediately after riding, but as I stated earlier it stays elevated, or at least doesn't return to my resting HR for what I consider to be too long.
I think you have a non-problem. Quit worrying. Worrying may increase your heart rate.
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Old 07-10-04, 04:28 PM   #9
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I think you have a non-problem. Quit worrying. Worrying may increase your heart rate.
You're probably correct about it being a non-problem, but it's easier said than done about not worrying. I do feel better about it after some of the responses. However, when you have asthma, as I do, you tend to notice breathing and heart issues a little more.

Unless you've forgotton your Albuterol inhaler and have spent 2 hours laying in a field at the side of the road trying to get your breath back it's probably difficult to understand what the worry is. When my HR doesn't go down quickly enough, I also have a little trouble breathing.

BTW, my heart rate was 41 this morning, so it couldn't hurt to increase it a little bit.
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Old 07-10-04, 10:31 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by hollow
I understand this and it's really not the problem. My HR drops immediately after riding, but as I stated earlier it stays elevated, or at least doesn't return to my resting HR for what I consider to be too long.
If you think your heart is not acting correctly, then you need to see your doctor as soon as possible and stop exercising. Heart disease can kill you dead with little notice (even if you are young) and is not something you can get resolved here. Hopefully you are worried over nothing, but only your doctor and/or cardiologist can tell you for sure.
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Old 07-10-04, 11:32 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by supcom
If you think your heart is not acting correctly, then you need to see your doctor as soon as possible and stop exercising. Heart disease can kill you dead with little notice (even if you are young) and is not something you can get resolved here. Hopefully you are worried over nothing, but only your doctor and/or cardiologist can tell you for sure.
Thanks, I had a check up last fall after a car accident, so I don't think I have heart disease. My blood pressure's actually a little low (105/60), but I haven't brought up the asthma aspect to my GP.
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Old 07-11-04, 12:43 AM   #12
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You will see your resting heart rate after you wake up from sleep. Rarely during the day, will you ever see your resting heart rate. It makes sense, youre out and about moving around and running errands which will make your heart beat faster than resting rate. 70-80 bpm is about the norm for just doing every day stuff so nothing you describes suggests your heart is conking out. If youre still hesitant, the best thing to do is to see your doctor. Why bother asking a bunch of strangers when it concerns your life?
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Old 07-11-04, 03:26 AM   #13
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Hollow having a slightly elevated heart rate after intense exercise is NORMAL. In facts, if your heart rate went right down to your before exercise minimum rate that would be ABNORMAL and perhaps a reason for concern.

During intense exercise, you damage the muscles a little and they need repair and also they need to replace glycogen and other stuff needs to happen so they will be good to go for tommorrow. So the body sends more blood to recovering muscles then to resting muscles and that results in a higher heart rate. It is normal for post exercise basal metabolic rate to be elevated for some hours after prolonged aerobic exercise. This is one of the benefits of exercise, the affects are longer then when you are just doing it.
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Old 07-11-04, 07:18 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by hollow
It seems that after almost every ride, especially intense rides (which most of them are) it takes quite a while for my heart rate to return to resting rate. My resting rate is about 55 bpm. Around 30-60 minutes after a ride my heart rate will still be around 75-80 bpm. This seems pretty high for me, and I can feel that it's beating fast. My HR will fall pretty quickly from 150 to around 80 when I stop riding but takes a long time to return to resting. The only thing I can think of is that I have asthma so that could contribute. Or else, maybe this is a normal phenomenon and I shouldn't worry. Any ideas?

I'm no doctor, but.......

How long are your rides?

I also experience this, and I'm pretty sure it's mostly due to mild dehydration. Even when you're slightly down on hydration, your blood volume is reduced, therefore the heart must work harder to push the smaller amount of blood around the body.

Although, if your rides are only 20 minutes it might be something else
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Old 07-11-04, 12:03 PM   #15
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I'm no doctor, but.......

How long are your rides?

I also experience this, and I'm pretty sure it's mostly due to mild dehydration. Even when you're slightly down on hydration, your blood volume is reduced, therefore the heart must work harder to push the smaller amount of blood around the body.

Although, if your rides are only 20 minutes it might be something else
I don't go out if my rides if they are less than about 75-90 minutes. Those are more of the intense type rides where my HR will stay elevated. I rode for 3.5 hours this morning and most of it was at a very moderate pace and my HR dropped pretty quickly afterward.

Like many have said, it's probably nothing to be worried about. It's probably just that my resting HR is so low so I notice it more. When I referred to my resting HR of 41 earlier it wasn't when I first woke up, it was when I had been up, out of the house, and then back sitting down. I don't know what my true resting HR would be, probably in the 30s.

Thanks for all of the input.
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