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Discussion Starter #1
I'm nearing the end of my weight loss but I'm very keen to maintain my level of fitness and continue with my new healthy diet in order to keep this new body I have:)

In the process of all this weight loss and new fitness regime I've become a little obsessed by statistics (PB's distance, heart rate etc.). I'm interested know opinions on resting heart rates, i.e. is it a case of the slower the better?
 

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To a point, yes. You need to start worrying if it gets so slow that it's about to stop though :rolleyes:


Generally, thinking of your heart as a muscle, the fitter it is the less hard it has to work to pump your blood round your body. By the same context the weaker it is the more times it has to pump to get your blood round.

Exercise makes your heart fitter, obviously, so it stands to reason as you run more your heart rate slows and you feel fitter.

However, if you're coming down with something or ill, then your heart rate natually increases, which is why many athletes check their resting heart rate before they get up in the morning and some take a rest day if it's 10 beats or more per minute above what it normally is.

Mine fluctuates because I'm asthmatic so I guage my fitness in other ways and I won't run with a cold, no matter what type of cold, or if I'm generally not feeling 'right' or too tired.
 

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Thanks for that, what got me thinking about this was that I'd heard (on this forum I think) that Seb Coe had a resting heart rate of 27 bpm. When I checked mine it was 38bpm which worried me a little. Although I'm quite fit nowadays, I'm certianly not an athelete. Do you think I should worry about it?
 

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As a gauge of fitness, it's not necessarily how low the pulse-rate is; but rather how quickly the rate falls back to normal (whatever that may be) after exercising.
Incidentally scr8pe, what method do you use for measuring your pulse-rate?... And when do you take the measurements?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
TBH I've only just started measuring my resting heart rate. I do that lieing in bed, hand on heart (honestly!) and watching the clock for a full minute before I drop off at night.

When training I measure via the hand grips on the treadmill, although probably not particularly accurate it gives a fair idea of what is happening. I set the pace at between 11 & 11.5 kph and generally run around 5k (depending on the time available). The treadmill measures my rate between 140 & 150 bpm but I occasionally set a slope to push the bpm up to around 163 before cutting the speed to recover the rate back down to 140.

I'm not concerned about my Heart rate while training, that seems quite normal, it's just the resting heart rate that I'm worried about because I don't consider myself to be anything near an elite athelete who would normally have such a low resting heart rate.
 

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You mean you can actually use those hand grips on the treadmill?? Fair play! I think they're stupid, you're trying to run and measure your heart rate so you have to hold onto two fixed metal bars? Boooo!

HRM everytime for me! By contrast my resting HR is currently 42, i tend to measure either in the morning or at night (whenever I'm in bed and I remember really!)
 

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Thanks for that, if yours is 42 I think I'll consider mine to be OK, ('twas 41 when I checked last night)

So far as those fixed bars go, I find them no different to pushing the younger two in the push chair up our hill when collecting the older one from school. Unfortunately, the younger ones are now walking everywhere and so we don't get the chance to power walk up the hill any more.
 

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Last time I checked my resting heart rate it was 78.

I am just got back to the gym in the last few weeks after about 5 months of absence.

I am running 3 times a week (when possible)

Is this an ok resting heart rate for me?
 

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richardsimkiss said:
HRM everytime for me!
Aren't HRM readings just "snapshots" of heart-rates?
If you take your reading from a HRM, is the figure you arrive at an average taken for the full minute? (I don't Know how the latest gadgets work, as I gave up using a HRM a few years ago when the novelty wore off and I'd figured that I had no real practical use for the information that they gave me... so maybe the figures that you're using are more accurate than I believe them to be? :embarrassed: )
I still believe that the most accurate results are gained by using the "caveman" method of feeling a pulse-point and counting the beats for the full minute, thus allowing for any fluctuations which occur during that time.... If you rig up the HRM and it says, say, 40... that isn't necessarily what it's going to be for the full minute... Or is it ?
... I await the reprimands and corrections... :(
 

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littleminxie said:
Last time I checked my resting heart rate it was 78.

I am just got back to the gym in the last few weeks after about 5 months of absence.

I am running 3 times a week (when possible)

Is this an ok resting heart rate for me?

LM... it depends on a number of factors, age, weight, and general health are the main ones but many things can affect your resting heart rate.
Women tend to have a slightly higher heart rate than men anyway. I wouldn't read too much into it so long as you're keeping fit and active
 

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pedestrian said:
Aren't HRM readings just "snapshots" of heart-rates?
If you take your reading from a HRM, is the figure you arrive at an average taken for the full minute? (I don't Know how the latest gadgets work, as I gave up using a HRM a few years ago when the novelty wore off and I'd figured that I had no real practical use for the information that they gave me... so maybe the figures that you're using are more accurate than I believe them to be? :embarrassed: )
I still believe that the most accurate results are gained by using the "caveman" method of feeling a pulse-point and counting the beats for the full minute, thus allowing for any fluctuations which occur during that time.... If you rig up the HRM and it says, say, 40... that isn't necessarily what it's going to be for the full minute... Or is it ?
... I await the reprimands and corrections... :(
I'm not sure exactly the timescale a HRM measures an average over though my guess would be that it measures it over a small number of beats, I never find my HRM suddenly skips from say 45 to 50 and back down to 45, though it may over a period behave like such... 45,45,45,46,46,49,50,50,50,49,48,47,46,44,45

I think it depends what you're trying to measure really Mr P... Obviously the counting your pulse over the course of a minute gives you a good average for that minute, smoothing out any fluctuations. But in some circumstances where you want a snapshot reading such as measuring max HR, or HR after a minutes recovery from intense exercise, a HRM would be more useful in my opinion.

Of course we can then ask ourselves if we need to know our Max HR! lol. Of course we don't... but curiousity always gets the better of me :rolleyes:
 

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richardsimkiss said:
I'm not sure exactly the timescale a HRM measures an average over though my guess would be that it measures it over a small number of beats, I never find my HRM suddenly skips from say 45 to 50 and back down to 45, though it may over a period behave like such... 45,45,45,46,46,49,50,50,50,49,48,47,46,44,45

OK, so you've got all of those figures there. But what exactly was your heart rate during the time you were measuring... 45? 46? 47? 50?

I think it depends what you're trying to measure really Mr P... Obviously the counting your pulse over the course of a minute gives you a good average for that minute, smoothing out any fluctuations.
But surely, actually counting the number of beats per minute IS your heart-rate.

The HRM readings change with each sampling as you say.
Each sample is based on a consistent rate.
So after the first sample you get a reading of 45.
Thats OK IF your pulse stays the same as that for every sample for a minute... that's what the true heart-rate is.
But if you consider all the different samples, how many actual beats have there been in a minute (the unit of time that the HRM readings are based on)?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
pedestrian said:
But surely, actually counting the number of beats per minute IS your heart-rate.

The HRM readings change with each sampling as you say.
Each sample is based on a consistent rate.
So after the first sample you get a reading of 45.
Thats OK IF your pulse stays the same as that for every sample for a minute... that's what the true heart-rate is.
But if you consider all the different samples, how many actual beats have there been in a minute (the unit of time that the HRM readings are based on)?
This all getting a tad too technical, nothing beats being having your hand held for a full minute by some pretty young nurse while you stare into her eyes innocently:embarrassed:..... mind you it doesn't always do the resting heart rate much good;)
 

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If you wanted to know how many times your heart beats over the course of a minute using a HRM, you'd just set it going for a minute and at the end look your the average heart rate over the course of that minute, just as if you were to manually count the beats in a minute.

The figure a HRM displays on the screen is the number of bpm assuming your heart was to beat at that same rate for 60 seconds. There's nothing wrong with the manual method I simply prefer the 'snapshot' accuracy and flexibility of a HRM!
 

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scr8pe said:
This all getting a tad too technical, nothing beats being having your hand held for a full minute by some pretty young nurse while you stare into her eyes innocently:embarrassed:..... mind you it doesn't always do the resting heart rate much good;)
Well, exactly...
...If I woke up to find some pretty nurse at the side of the bed waiting to take my pulse, I don't think the reading would be much good! :embarrassed:
I'm sure the missus would have something to say about it, too. :eek:
 

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Pedestrian,

when I download my Polar HRM to the computer, I can look at the raw data, and for *any* given minute I can count up how many HR readings it recorded from my heart, so it's just a case of checking my watch for the exact time, lying down, then looking out the raw data feed on the computer that records *every beat*.

You are right though, it displays a sample of the previous 5 heart beats so it's showing you a rolling average, but the raw data is there.

Interestingly, if an endurance athelete goes to the hospital, they will tell you that your are suffering or have recently suffered a heart attack or have a heart blockage; x-rays will reveal an enlarged heart, bloods will show increased muscle enzymes, ECG reveals ventricular hypertrophy and you are showing bradycardia!!
 

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luthor1 said:
Interestingly, if an endurance athelete goes to the hospital, they will tell you that your are suffering or have recently suffered a heart attack or have a heart blockage; x-rays will reveal an enlarged heart, bloods will show increased muscle enzymes, ECG reveals ventricular hypertrophy and you are showing bradycardia!!
We'd best not goto hospital then! :eek: Can you elaborate further? There's a lotta stuff in there that doesn't mean a word to me, lol.

When do they tell you you've got heart problems? Surely if you go in with a broken toe they wouldn't start diagnosing you with having had heart attacks etc? :huh: Maybe I missed something :embarrassed:
 

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If you enter hospital and have these test as part of their diagnosis of what your suffering, whatever that may be, you should tell them you are an endurance athelete that's all! I don't mean that when you break your leg they will go putting an ECG on you!! LOL!

Sorry didn't mean to scare-monger!
 
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