Heart Rate Recovery

By Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC

Heart rate recovery is a predictor of the risk of cardiac death and an effective measure of aerobic fitness level.  Heart rate recovery (HRR) is the measurement of the hearts ability to recovery following exercise. HRR is the difference between your heart rate during exercise and your heart rate two minutes after exercise.

Heart rate recovery is easy to measure and simple to understand. HRR does not require expensive lab tests. You can measure HRR by yourself.

You can improve your HRR with exercise and proper nutrition. You can lower your risk of heart disease and increase your fitness at the same time by monitoring your HRR on a regular basis.

To determine your HRR follow these three simple steps. Exercise to seventy percent of your target heart rate (THR) and take your pulse. This is the first measurement. Stop exercising, wait two minutes (HR120) and take your pulse. This is your second measurement. Subtract the second number (HR120) from the first number (THR) and you have your heart rate recovery.

Target heart rate is the desired heart rate while exercising for safety and efficiency purposes. To determine your target heart rate follow these steps. Subtract your age from 220. This number is your maximum heart rate (MHR). Fifty to eighty percent of your MHR is your target heart rate (THR).

If you are 45 years old, your target heart rate is 88 to 140 beats per minute. 220 – 45 =175.  175 x 0.5 = 88.  175 x 0.8 = 140.

If you are 60 years old, your target heart rate is 80 to 128 beats per minute. 220 – 60 = 160.  160 x 0.5 = 80.  160 x 0.8 = 128.

Find the first number of the HRR equation by executing aerobic exercise to seventy percent of your maximum heart rate. Seventy percent is recommended because it is close to the top of your target heart rate but not too strenuous.

Never go to your maximum heart rate for your measurement. Start slow and gradually increase your heart rate. If you feel faint or pressure in your chest, stop the test immediately.

Monitor your pulse regularly while exercising. The easiest places to check your pulse are the carotid artery in the neck or the radial artery in the wrist. You also have the option to wear a heart rate monitor.

Once you get to seventy percent of your target heart rate stop exercising and rest. If possible sit in a quiet room that is 68 to 77 degrees. During future testing, attempt to duplicate the identical exercise and sit in the same position in the same room.

At the two minute resting point take your pulse at the same artery you did while exercising. This is your second number of your HRR equation.

Subtract your resting heart rate from your exercising heart rate to get your heart rate recovery. Target heart rate minus your heart rate after two minutes of rest equals your heart rate recovery. THR – HR120 = HRR.

If your THR is 140 and your HR120 is 110. Your HRR is 30.

If your THR is 140 and your HR120 is 130. Your HRR is 10.

If your HRR is 25 or over you are at minimal risk for cardiac death.

If your HRR is 15 to 25 then you are at lower than average risk for cardiac death.

If your HRR is 13 to 15 then you are at moderate chance of cardiac death. If you are in this range it is recommended that you schedule a cardiac evaluation.

If your HRR is 12 or lower you have a higher than average risk of cardiac death. If your test is in this range it is highly recommended that you schedule a cardiac evaluation.

To improve your HRR you can implement an exercise program to increase your aerobic and anaerobic fitness levels. If you haven’t exercised in a long time seek a medical evaluation before beginning. Pursue advice from a qualified fitness trainer on how to start and what exercises will benefit you the most.

Find several exercises you enjoy and perform them correctly and consistently. Work at a level at is appropriate for you and never perform an exercise that elicits pain or symptoms.

Develop dietary strategies that work for you. Increase your consumption of anti-inflammatory foods and decrease your intake of pro-inflammatory foods.

Test your HRR on a regular basis. Monthly or bi-monthly is sufficient. Progress may seem slow at first but it will come. Sound exercise and nutritional strategies decrease your risk of cardiac death while concurrently improving your fitness level.

Dr_Donald_A_Ozello

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC

Dr. Donald A Ozello DC is the owner and treating doctor at Championship Chiropractic located at 2595 S. Cimarron Rd, Suite #100, Las Vegas, NV 89117.  His web address is www.ChampionshipChiropractic.com and he can be contacted at (702) 286-9040 and DrO@ChampionshipChiropractic.com.

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC writes a weekly health, fitness, exercise and nutrition column for The Las Vegas Informer. His is also published in OnFitness magazine, LiveStrong.com, SpineUniverse.com, MyHealthZine.com and EHow.com.

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC is an award-winning public speaker. He has spoken to various groups on health, fitness, exercise and nutrition topics. His mission is to educate and inspire others to live healthier, fitter, more functional lives.

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC loves to exercise. Bike riding and kettlebell training are his current favorite forms of exercises. He credits “The Godfather of Fitness” Mr. Jack LaLanne as an early influence on his life.

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