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Safe Hr Range During Exercise


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What range should my HR be in while exercising?

I usually power walk but would now like to up the intensity a bit, and would like an idea as to how high is too high / what is safe etc.

I was going to google this question, but didnt know if the 'normal' ranges would apply?

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What's your HR walking?. I would go by your symptoms. I can do a brisk paced walk for 20 minutes and my HR only gets up to 115. 130 is the fastest I've seen. I'm pretty sure that's due to my beta blocker. 130 though and I'm starting to get a bit light headed and it's time to stop. If you have a healthy heart and no blocked arteries fast heart rates can be tolerated quite well. You kind of need to go by how you feel. Have you had a cardiac stress test and talked to your doctor about increasing your workouts. Hope all goes well!!

Brye

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I actually have the same question. I recently got a garmin forerunner w/a heart rate monitor that I have started to use for running. I am in the heart of training for my second marathon and have noticed that my HR is ridiculously high and I was wondering if this was due to the POTS. The last time I was into my EP he said if I could handle running it would be great for me to build up leg muscle to keep the blood moving from my lower body to my upper body. He did not mention anything about my HR. I am averaging about 178-180 over any given run, that seems really high from everyone I talk to. I can still carry on short conversations and normally don't start "panting" until I hit 190. My resting heart rate (that's sitting... or laying...) is 65. I haven't noticed too much of a difference when I take my midodrine before runs.

Is this dangerous? Is it because of the POTS? Yikes, not gonna lie I'm a little bit paranoid that A. I'm gonna pass out (the better option) or B. Eventually give my self a heart attack or stroke.

I would be interested in any feedback as well...

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This is what Mayo has to say:

Question

Beta blockers: How do they affect exercise?

My doctor recently prescribed a beta blocker to lower my blood pressure. Now, when I exercise, I have trouble getting my heart rate higher than 135. Is this normal?

Answer

from Sheldon G. Sheps, M.D.

Beta blockers slow your heart rate, which can prevent the increase in heart rate that typically occurs with exercise. This means that it might not be possible for you to reach your target heart rate ? the number of heartbeats per minute you should have to ensure you're exercising at the proper intensity level. No matter how hard you exercise when taking a beta blocker, you may never achieve your target heart rate.

There's no precise way to predict the effect of beta blockers on your heart rate. An exercise stress test, which checks blood flow through your heart while you exercise, can measure how hard your heart pumps while you're taking beta blockers. Your doctor can use information to adjust the target heart rate you should work to.

You can also try lowering your target heart rate by the amount that your resting heart rate has been lowered by the beta blocker. For example, if your resting heart rate has decreased from 70 to 50, then try working at a target heart rate 20 beats per minute lower than what you used to do. This way of calculating your adjusted target heart rate isn't precise, and sometimes the peak exercise heart rate is affected much more than is the resting heart rate. An exercise stress test is the best way to establish a new target heart rate on beta blockers.

If you haven't had an exercise stress test, you can use a perceived exertion scale, such as the Borg scale, which relies on your own judgment of how hard you're working based on effort, breathlessness and fatigue. Ask your doctor for help finding and using an exertion scale. For most workouts, your best bet is to aim for moderate intensity.

I can't imagine running, even if I was being chased by a bear! I have NEVER been able to do more than a brisk walk without sending my HR above 180 bpm! I start seeing spots around 160, and it doesn't take much, I'm dry heaving and greyed out by 180. Beta Blockers don't help that much, even on my BB it will easily hit 140 walking. When I was in really good shape, I had made the mistake of thinking that your target HR was 220-your age (I was 23--do the math,) instead of it being the MAX heart rate! I hit it every time! <_< I have been told by my doc that whatever HR makes it hard to carry on a conversation is what I should shoot for (140bpm for me) and to try and keep it there for cardio. Moderation is key to this like everything else, if it hurts or makes you more symptomatic, don't do it!

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I have been a constant exerciser for many years, and I have a problem with my heart rate getting too high while working out. You need to go online to a health calculator that can figure out what your heart rate should be in the 60-80% range of your max HR. You need to plug in your resting HR and your age, and there's a short formula that will tell you exactly what you need to know, but you also need to take into consideration what Firewatcher wrote...if your resting HR is changed, make sure you use that number!

Self.com or many other sites have this formula, and it's easy to use. I could figure it for you if I knew your age and resting HR. Good job on moving forward on exercise!

Cheers,

Jana

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Mayo Target HR Calculator

This will give you a rough estimate, but by our standards it would say stop at standing up! <_< I think that exercise intensity and recovery should have more importance than HR alone. That being said, if you are symptomatic when your HR hits a certain bpm, don't exceed that! I'm not sure that it is actually possible that we can actually have cardiovascular conditioning like normal people, due to our autonomic over-reactions. I have never gotten a clear answer on that specific question, even from the ANS docs. One thing to be aware of is the sudden BP drop after the cessation of exercise. If you stop suddenly, your BP will plummet! I once had a BP of 87/80 doing that...not good! Cool down slowly after any exercise, and don't dare "hop in the car" and drive off immediately after a workout!

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This is one of my biggest problems too. I used to be very competitive athletically, so losing out on that has been really really tough on me. I just want so desperately to go to the gym and go for a run and go mountain biking and climbing... I am desperate. But, alas, my heart rate, too, is way too high. A brisk walk also puts me up around 150 and anything that would cause a "normal" person to start breathing more heavily puts my heart rate around 190. A real workout for me would place be about 230. I have read before that sometimes, numbers like 170, 180 aren't "abnormal" for some people, it all depends on whether or not you are uncomfortable. For me, when I hit 160, I am very uncomfortable. I am quite comfortable at 140 and would be just ecstatic to be able to get some exercise and keep it around there. I take beta blockers, and they don't really help me. Sometimes they make the 180s not feel as symptomatic, but I just dont feel comfortable that high.

I have been really struggling to find appropriate exercise for me. I have zero muscle weakness as one of my symptoms, so I think that my muscles are still very athletically inclined. Hence, I think that getting exercise for my body requires more than what I am able to do. My heart rate totally prevents me from getting adequate exercise. So frustrating!!!!!!!!!

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I would ask your dr, but I think target HR is based upon age and gender. You can give yourself a little wiggle room based upon what your starting HR is. My POTS is not that bad but for some reason, cardio just gets my HR going and it doesn't come down. It can ruin the rest of my day or even go on for a few days after. So for me, other types of exercise works better. I would say, though, that if your HR calms down and you get back to feeling "normal" after the exercise, then you're probably safe. Push yourself gently and see what happens.

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I'm disappointed that the Mayo calculator is just a rough estimate without the inclusion of one's age, gender, and resting HR, although it does give a decent estimate. Firewatcher, you're doing great with the research!

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Here's an easy and more accurate way to figure out your max HR, and your workout goal of 70-80% of your max, if you don't want to look it up online. ALSO, make sure you're conscious of your perceived rate of exertion (PRE, 1-10, don't go above 8 unless you're really in shape), and don't exercise so hard that you get exhausted after your workout. It's always safe to check with your doctor, too.

For women:

1. Take your age times .7

2. 209 - number from #1 = your max heart rate. For example, I'm 47. 47 X .7 = 33. 209-33 = 176 (max heart rate)

3. To be in an aerobic range of 70%, take 176 times .7 = 123

4. To be in an aerobic range of 80%, take 176 times .8 = 141

These numbers are pretty close to using the entire formula that's online in several places, or you could talk to a trainer if you go to a gym.

Hope this helps. I usually try to be in the mid 140's.

Cheers,

Jana

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Yeah, this is confusing for me too. I used to run suicides and not have my heart rate exceed 100 bpm. Now my heart rate is in the 130s just standing, in the 150-160 range walking at a casual pace, and over 200 if I am walking fast. During real exercise, even moderate, I will start gasping for air. However, the doc said it is hyperventilating because my brain is saying it is not getting enough oxygen. However, I don't think I am badly out of shape because I can work out and be gasping for hours, but never have sore muscles or any of the other effects of oxygen deprivation on muscles. I really don't know what is safe, becuase I already probably walk miles a day in the 160-185 range and that really isn't improving my fitness. However, I don't really think it is safe to have your heart beating way up above 200 bpm for an hour everyday.

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Thanks for all the help.

According to the Mayo HR calculator, my MAX HR would be 160. I actually thought it would be quite higher for someone of my age (31).

My resting HR is always in the 55-60 range, and standing is usually 95-105 (unless I take it first thing in the morning, then I can guarantee it will be around 130-140 :blink: ).

Except here is the thing - while power walking, my HR will stay at around 125, which doesnt seem that high, except there is no way I can COMFORTABLY have a conversation...even though it is still pretty low :( . I assume the HR stays pretty low-ish because I'm moving? But why I cant talk...I dont know.

firewatcher - there is NO WAY I can run either! By upping the intensity I meant maybe getting on the stationary bike. I've never been able to run for more than a minute or two without feeling like my heart was going to beat out of my chest or I would suffocate myself. Sometimes when I am out walking by myself I often think that if I had to run away from someone I wouldnt be able to!!

Jana - was going to try to calculate using your method but couldnt find my calculator and there is NO WAY I could work that out with my stupid blood-deficient brain!

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I ran your numbers for you, and I think they make more sense. I'm 47, and my max HR is 176. For a 31-year-old female...

Your max heart rate is: 187

70% of that is: 131

80% is: 150

It sounds like you're working at about 67% of your max. That's great! It sounds like you're where you should be. I just think it's super beneficial for those of us who can work out, do so. Whatever your level or capacity.

Take care, BizBiz!

Jana

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Some folks have luck by avoiding any major spikes over some personal maximum. An approach like "interval training" might allow someone to violate that and get conditioning response from the body... or it might totally backfire... I wouldn't know. I personally have a pretty variable response to different techniques, as though it's more important what state my body is in leading up to exercise than what it experiences during.

It is a good sign that your HR is "modest" within your range despite your powerwalking! That might indicate that a healthy exercise adaptation is working to some extent. In other words, the ideal "athlete heart" doesn't tolerate extremes of HR, instead the body adapts and achieves improved performance within the a prior mellow range. Expected adaptation: a) slide downward of entire HR scale, including into benign bradycardia range; B) widening of pulse pressure (difference between systolic & diastolic BP's) implying greater stroke volume. When due to a healthy response, these describe a "more efficient heart" rather than one that is struggling to keep up by simply beating faster. Both a & b are highly desirable goals for someone with POTS or similar, and you can see how the other extreme (deconditioning) can lead to POTS itself (such as bedridden or immobile folks).

I don't know how to take it to the next step. I think it can just be trial & error. Maybe throwing in brief (minute or two) stretches of pace increase amid your normal powerwalk pace. I do this with uphill sections, which are very intense by nature but can still be taken slowly as needed. If you've got an exercise oriented HR monitor you could try giving brief spurts of an extra 10 or 20 bpm amid your current baseline workout. In normal folks, these intervals can sometimes give benefit on par with extended sprints without the added work/stress of extended high HR activity. I wouldn't know if this works within dysautonomics but it seems like a decent step in lieu of adding an extended extra-intense session.

To be safest in determining a max HR, I suppose a cardiac stress test and/or ambulatory ECG is best. When pushing into tachycardia, one is concerned with: a) inducing a bad arrhythmia; B) getting stuck in a mode where heart futilely increases HR while losing overall efficiency. Quick HR tends to bring narrow pulse pressure and defeats itself or tops out. Ideally, one probably wants a slow strong whoosh with good stroke volume (from good venous return) and just slightly elevated HR. Whether & how we can get to this safely is beyond me! Depending on what you do, it can be wise to recruit cardiologist or at least a solid exercise physiologist with depth to know that you're operating with partly "non-normal" realm. Maybe it is a "cardiac super-rehab" thing and could be approached as an "advanced student" of a cardiac rehab program/facility???

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