/ Resting heart rate

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UrbanSteve - on 22 Jan 2013
I've just checked my resting heart rate and it came in at 49. I was pleased but my wife is worried! Do I have anything to worry about? Or is it a case of the lower the better?
The Lemming - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to smithers25:

Depends.

Do you do a lot of cardio excercise?
JamButty - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to smithers25: Not quite the lower the better - 0 is bad ;-)
Depends on lots of factors but if you're pretty fit and active I'd be chuffed with 49.
At my fittest last year I was 56, now hovering low 60s


interdit - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to smithers25:

Why is she worried?
If you have no medical issues and you are reasonably fit then that's a nice healthy resting heart rate, rather than something to worry about. It would be slightly lower if you measured it first thing in the morning before getting out of bed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_rate#Resting_heart_rate
Check out some of the cyclist resting rates!

Mine is 42 to 43 bpm.
colina - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to smithers25: I guess youre either extremely fit or on yer way out .hope its not the latter ! 8-)
interdit - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to smithers25:

ps. I'm 40.
UrbanSteve - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to The Lemming:

Yeah a bit; climb, cycle and run. I don't have any health issues as yet. At least I can relax about it. Like I say I was pleased with the result but when my wife frowned a bit and said I should be careful as, ultimately, less is dead I stuttered in my joy. From the comments I don't think I have anything to worry about, except maybe to try and lower it some more!
IainRUK - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to smithers25: I don't think it matters too much.. most fit guys, above their 20's will sit 40-60.. depending on numerous factors..

Generally the lower the better, but there's other parameters which are probably more indicative of health, e.g. recovery to a low rate after exercise etc.

I'd certainly not be worried by 49 bpm..
SAF - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to smithers25: Bradycardia (slow heart rate) is defined in an adult as under 60bpm.

But it is whether or not you are symptomatic of bracycardia that is the issue... ie is the slow heart rate accompanied by low blood pressure, dizzieness, black-outs etc.

My resting heart rate varies from 40 (when I'm fit) to 50, when I first started night shifts I used to struggle with my blood pressure dropping a little low which may have been related to the slow heart rate, or may have been independent of it.
JayPee630 - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to smithers25:

Don't worry, it's a good thing, you're fit!
mikekeswick - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to smithers25: Mine used to be 36 - 38 when I was 18......and a max of 198 but by god was I fit then . Actual resting heart rate by itself is n't that indicative of anything much you have to look at the bigger picture.
andy - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to mikekeswick:
> (In reply to smithers25) Actual resting heart rate by itself is n't that indicative of anything much you have to look at the bigger picture.

Yep, almost completely irrelevant - and often quoted by people who aren't really very fit as an indication of their fitness. It will probably get lower as you get fitter, but if it's in a range of about 40-65 it's like quoting your shoe size as an indication of your cardio-vascular fitness.
steve taylor - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to smithers25:

Just checked mine and it's 52, down from about 60 pre-Christmas.

Then again I've been doing lots of cardio work at the gym for the last month.
Wainers44 - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to andy: Cheers for that. I was feeling quite good that I had got mine down to 42, from 48 with the running I have been doing of late....if its that meaningless sod it...back to the pork pies and Old Peculiar for me...
RobertHepburn - on 23 Jan 2013
I would be happy with 49! I think resting heart rate is a combination of how large your heart is and how fit you are - a low heart rate doesn't indicate fitness by itself. I think that if you get fitter your resting heart rate should slowly fall? I used to find that it would be higher than normal if I was still recovering from yesterday's exercise, so I could use it to see if I was ready to train hard. It also used to be elevated if I was coming down with a cold or other illness.
trish1968 - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to smithers25:

Mine is 47 i'm 44 and very active I'm happy with that.
Milesy - on 23 Jan 2013
I am pretty fit in general but mine is sitting at 70 odd just now. Just 5 minutes in from my commute though?? When is best to check it?
M0nkey - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to smithers25:

When I was in hospital with my wife (who was in the process of giving birth to our first child), she didn't want the pulse monitor on her finger but the alarm kept going off when she took it off. I suggested we just put it on my finger to keep the machine happy and stop the alarm going off. After about a minute the alarm went off because my pulse dropped below the minimum the machine allowed (must have been less than 40 or something like that). I didn't die or anything though.

I don't think pulse is really indicative of fitness because I'm not really that fit. I think some people just have a slow pulse.
Lord of Starkness - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to smithers25:

When your over 60, and your resting heart rate is less than your age -- you're generally not in too bad shape. I'm 65 and resting HR is below 60.
Cú Chullain - on 23 Jan 2013
Lowest I have measured my pulse is 42, I am still alive.
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Shani - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to smithers25:

You probably want to consider your pulse rate in conjunction with your blood pressure.
PontiusPirate on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to smithers25:

To measure it properly, it really needs to be the absolute minimum: so that means completely at rest, preferably lying down for 5 minutes or so and even not talking before measuring it.

The best I've achieved is 39, it's currently about 44 (so it's greater than my age still!), but, sat here typing, its ~60. I reckon that my max heart rate is very low (probably as a consequence of my CV compensating for issues left over from my asthma), so 39 was never as impressive as it might, at first, seem (as other posters have said).

PP.
elsewhere on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to smithers25:
I'm in my late 40s, resting heart rate can be low 50s after a couple of mugs of strong filter coffee. If I consciously relax I can usually get it down below 50.

I'm not slim & I'm not fit so I reckon it's genetics!
Al Evans on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to PontiusPirate: When I was fell running long distances my heart rate was generally about 42 at rest, it's probably double that now :-)
I think the athletes with the lowest heart rate are cross country long distance skiers, or they were when I used to be fit, down in the 30's.
yorkshireman - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

Best I've had was 39 at (absolute, early morning) rest. I'm 37, so maybe soon I'll have a RHR lower than my age. I managed to leave my heart rate monitor strap in a Budapest hotel room last week so I can't check it now.

I'm fit - I run around 60km a week on average over mountainous terrain so I'm not too worried, but the Bradychardia link gave me a bit of hypochondria-via-wikipedia syndrome. I mean who doesn't feel fatigued, especially when you're training?

Simon_Sheff - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to smithers25:
> I've just checked my resting heart rate and it came in at 49. I was pleased but my wife is worried! Do I have anything to worry about? Or is it a case of the lower the better?

Why was she worried, was she on top of you at the time :-)

Jim at Work on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Lord of Starkness:
Yeah, I'm 63 & RHR is about 50, when I was training for the marathon it was low 40's.
I'd suggest maximal heart rate is perhaps more indicative? This is supposed to decline with age, but I'd appreciate any info re this.
Completely unrelated, but I've always felt that the perfect time to die is when your IQ & age pass each other in opposite directions, but for me that's already happened!!
deepsoup - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to elsewhere:
> If I consciously relax I can usually get it down below 50.
I find I can deliberately push my heart rate down by about 5bpm or so too, which begs a question - if I'm already relaxed and I do that, is the lower figure my resting heart rate or am I 'cheating' somehow?

> I'm not slim & I'm not fit so I reckon it's genetics!
Likewise. I'm sort of semi-fit at the moment, but even when I was very definitely not fit my RHR was at the bottom of the "athlete" range in that Wikipedia table linked to above.

I had a mate who only discovered when he was very ill in his '50s that his normal, healthy body temperature was a couple of degrees hotter than most people. It took the hospital a while to work out that he didn't have a fever.
Simon_Sheff - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to deepsoup:
> (In reply to elsewhere)
>
>
> I had a mate who only discovered when he was very ill in his '50s that his normal, healthy body temperature was a couple of degrees hotter than most people. It took the hospital a while to work out that he didn't have a fever.

Bollocks
deepsoup - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Jim at Work:
> I'd suggest maximal heart rate is perhaps more indicative?

Less, if anything. Resting heart rate changes significantly with training, fitness and wotnot, whereas maximum for an individual is pretty fixed.

A better measure might be recovery rate - how rapidly an elevated heart rate drops towards the resting rate when you stop working.
Jim at Work on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to deepsoup:
good point - what is that formula for max rate? 210 minus age or similar?
interdit - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Simon_Sheff:
> (In reply to deepsoup)
> [...]
>
> Bollocks

The bollocks are normally a couple of degrees cooler than core. More efficient for spermatogenesis. ;)
Hirosim - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to interdit:
> (In reply to Simon_Sheff)
> [...]
>
> The bollocks are normally a couple of degrees cooler than core. More efficient for spermatogenesis. ;)

Is that like a creamy golden shower?

deepsoup - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Simon_Sheff:
> Bollocks

No, not bollocks, quite true.
While in the hospice he got in touch with his (long estranged) sister, and hers was the same. She was perfectly healthy and happy, but the thermometer said poorly. As with just about everything, there's a bell-curve for what is 'normal' and not everybody is in the middle of the curve.
yorkshireman - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Jim at Work:
> (In reply to deepsoup)
> good point - what is that formula for max rate? 210 minus age or similar?

Its just a rule of thumb, and as such not really worth anything (I think the figure is 220-age).

However it is just what it says - your maximum. So go and run up a load of big hills until you vomit, and see what you got to - that's your MHR.

deepsoup - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Jim at Work:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_rate#Formulae

208-age is one of them, but there are various formulae along the lines of Constant - (something x age). They're all estimates though. The only way to know accurately is to measure it. (Something that isn't really necessary for most of us.)
PeterM - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to interdit:
> (In reply to smithers25)
>
> Why is she worried?
- maybe something to do with his chosen user name.. :-)
IainRUK - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Jim at Work: My max is extremely low..

high 160's get obtained during hard hill rep sessions when people around me are 20-30 bpm quicker and I'd say I'm relatively fit.. international mountain and ultra distance runner..

But I have stamina but was always very slow as a sprinter.. I think my max is somehow physiologically set, like a diesel engine, I can chug on at low revs yet just cannot hit the high revs other runners can over short distances yet chug through..

In the long races I always move through the field later on in a race.
IainRUK - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to deepsoup: 208-age is basically so coarse an estimate its bollox..
IainRUK - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF:
> (In reply to smithers25) Bradycardia (slow heart rate) is defined in an adult as under 60bpm.
>
> But it is whether or not you are symptomatic of bracycardia that is the issue... ie is the slow heart rate accompanied by low blood pressure, dizzieness, black-outs etc.
>
> My resting heart rate varies from 40 (when I'm fit) to 50, when I first started night shifts I used to struggle with my blood pressure dropping a little low which may have been related to the slow heart rate, or may have been independent of it.

Dizzynes is pretty normal.. if I stand up suddenly it can be a second until the heart beats again.. so blood is flowing away from the brain.. so you go dizzy..

I did some medical research using beta blockers and some other drugs and the dr couldn't speed up my heart, he had to go back to the ethics committee to get permission to up the dosage until he got the response he expected..
Simon_Sheff - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Hirosim:
>
>
> Is that like a creamy golden shower?

Yes but cold

Jim Braid - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to smithers25: This is a regular topic which gives those of us with a low resting heart rate the opportunity to say that there's nothing to worry about and by the way mine is even lower.

Check out

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=391324&v=1#x5647357

for the 2010 version

and

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=470025&v=1#x6504841

for the 2011 thread.
andy - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Wainers44:
> (In reply to andy) Cheers for that. I was feeling quite good that I had got mine down to 42, from 48 with the running I have been doing of late....if its that meaningless sod it...back to the pork pies and Old Peculiar for me...

I think I made clear (well I meant to) that it'll probably get lower as you get fitter. But simply saying "my resting HR is 4x - does that mean I'm incredibly fit?" *innocent face* is meaningless.
Wainers44 - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to Wainers44)
> [...]
>
> I think I made clear (well I meant to) that it'll probably get lower as you get fitter. But simply saying "my resting HR is 4x - does that mean I'm incredibly fit?" *innocent face* is meaningless.

You did make it clear. Mine was a totally pie and beer based flipant response which I apologise for :)

All this stuff is great to research but like you say means little in isolation....resting heart rate...max heart rate...BMI... Run more, it gets easier/you get fitter. Google "heart rate" all you like but that wont make much difference!
DancingOnRock - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to smithers25: Indeed. Some people have small hearts that beat quickly, some have large hearts that beat slowly.

You have a large heart.

There is some debate at the moment whether doing excessive cardio and making your heart abnormally large is a good thing. There have been a couple of cases where people have just dropped dead. It is however debate as there is no scoentific reasearch to determine whether their hearts were enlarged due to exercise, started large or some other reason.

All your RHR can tell you is what your WHR is once you have determined your MHR. It will also indicate if you are ill or overtraining as it will rise when you are 'resting'.

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