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Dru

Resting Pulse

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Maximum heart rate is largely genetically determined. Usually around 220 minus age. If one is very active, max heart rate may not decline as steeply. Resting heart rate decreases with aerobic training. Imagine your heart rate at 70 before training and 50 after training. The "untrained you" would be walking around at about 90 beats per minute. The "trained you" would be walking around at 70 bpm. This means the two yous could walk at the same pace, yet the untrained you is always going to be working harder cardiovascularly.

The high resting pulse rate after a long endurance event or maximal effort is an indicator of overtraining. Something like roundabout 5 over your normal might indicate it is time for a rest, especially if it stays up for a few consecutive days.

For those who have high resting pulse after extensive training, this is definitely not the only indicator of fitness. While maximum heart rate is fairly constant, the maximum heart rate at which one can still work aerobically is definitely not. A highly trained athlete can work aerobically at over 90% of their maximum heart rate. A couch potato can probably work aerobically at 50-60% of maximum heart rate. Remember the athlete and the TV addict probably have close to the same maximum heart rate. (Unless one is an older athlete who has been continuously active and the couch potato is working down the 987,435th bag of Doritos for exercise). This level, the dividing line between aerobic activity, that which can be continued for a long time,and anaerobic activity, that which brings about heavy fatigue, metabolic wastes, lactic acid, PAIN! is the anaerobic threshold. The higher the threshold, the more you can do without working anaerobically.

There are many ways to determine anaerobic threshold. If you simply put on a heart rate monitor and run around in the hills for a few hours a few times, trying to run at a constant heart rate, you'll get a pretty good idea. If your legs get heavy, body loaded down with fatigue at 15 minutes, well your probably working anaerobically to some degree. If you can keep it up, just, (keep what up?) for an hour,.... then you are probably pretty close to the threshold.

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what exactly is the Maximum Heart Rate though? following those formulas my MHR should be ballpark 195, but I have had a pulse well over 200 before while doing hard intervals and I didn't have to stop and lie down or pull out the shock paddles. Is is a level where no matter how hard I try I can't get my heart to beat faster or what?

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Exactly. The best way to figure it is to warm up a bit and then go all out. The formula is definitely a bit rough. If you are active the decline with age will be more gradual.

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To get a "true" resting heart rate you need to record it as soon as you wake up in the morning, even before getting out of bed. Preferably it's done when waking up naturally...an alarm elevates the HR.

 

A lower resting heart rate doesn't mean you circulate less blood throughout your system - it means you have a higher stroke volume per beat. Your heart is physically larger and stronger, so it can circulate the same volume in less contractions.

 

If I remember correctly, 220-age to determine MHR is used primarily in sedentary populations and has little relevance to athletes. This formula was derived from a series of tests done in Scandinavia back in the 60's on a cross section of the population there.

 

RHR is decent indicator of fitness, but VO2 max is better. Anaerobic threshold is another good one, but doesn't have a linear correlation to ones aerobic capacity so it can be misleading.

 

 

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104 bpm-I just ran up and down two flights of stairs and walked about 100yds at a fast pace.

 

When I was 19 I went to have my wisdom teeth removed. I had to be sedated and the doctor gave me the usual stupid speech about the possibility of death in sedated surgery. They had me on the table and hooked up to a heart monitor as the drugs were taking effect. The last thing I remember seeing as I went under was the monitor going ________, then seeing lots of people in white coats running around.

As my body relaxed and I went into sedation my heart rate went lower than the normal 'alive' setting on the monitor and made it flatline. I had a much lower heart rate back then-it's now 80 bpm after typing this.

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If I remember right from the 'ol college days 60-80 is considered normal for resting heart rate. I don't know if there's any correlation between heart rate and a person's body heat regulation. As someone else pointed out just because you have a lower heart rate doesn't mean you're circulating less blood, because you get a higher volume of blood pumped w/ each beat.

 

Dehydration would definitely effect heart rate. The blood is mostly water. If your body is low on water, your total blood volume will probably be decreased, also it is thicker (more viscous). Therefore your heart has to work a whole heck of a lot harder to provide oxygen to all your body tissues, meaning a higher resting heart rate.

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dru you might be on to something. I get cold hands really easily too, and my resting is low 40's. I also seem to be really susceptible to mild frostbite, but that may be more to do with being exposed to that condition repeatedly.

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my hands don't "get" cold, they just "feel" cold to others. you know, eek.gif, your hands are cold!!!!

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What the heck are you two talkin' about? confused.gif

 

Actually, though, my hands will get really cold if I'm standing around. I mean, fingers go pale yellow and then hurt like a bitch when they get blood back in them. It's no problem when I keep moving; only when I'm at rest. (Maybe it's related to getting them really cold repeatedly, while hunting as a kid?) Is there any conditioning or remedy for this type of problem?

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The US military has a recent solution for preventing heat shunts to the core when you get cold. It involves spending time in a cold room with your hands and feet in warm water, then in a hot room with your hands in cool water. It has been tested and proven that one can build up a resistance to the shunting mechanism, though your body is doing it to protect vital organs. I'll try to get the source documentation.

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If it works, I would be willing to rig pans of water inside and outside, and give it a try. My wife will think that I have completely gone round the bend.

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FYI for those interested in the latest information: the 220-age is indeed a very rough estimate of max heart rate; a better formula might be 207-(.7*age) which in a nutshell means that beyond the age of 40, recommendations for target heart rate will be higher, and below 40, a bit lower -- see http://www.bodyresults.com/E2maxheartrate.asp for a New York Times article from 2001 challenging this "maximum" theory. In a nutshell, using a heart rate monitor can be useful in detecting your own maximum -- do some high intensity intervals and see how high you can get your heart rate, then use that single number to calculate 60-85% or your training zone for most workouts. Remember, "it is not necessarily the maximum that matters: it is how quickly the heart rate falls when exercise is stopped" i.e. your recovery heart rate.

 

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