Slow heart rate

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adamr
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Slow heart rate

Postby adamr » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:16 pm

I have recently paid attention to my heart rate. My resting heart rate is in the mid-50s. I am surprised it is so low. I have monitored it over the course of a week, and it is pretty consistent.

I am 37 years old and 174cm. Since July last year I have lost 28kg (107-79). I have done that mainly through reducing junk food, and also by reducing other carbs (but not excessively). When I was at my heaviest, I was pretty round, and had a bit of a stomach, but no beer gut. I was just bigger all over.

I didn't check my heart rate regularly, but I vaguely remember checking it a year or two ago and it was in the mid-to-high 70s (which on reflection seems quite low for someone whose BMI classified them as severely obese).

In November, I got a road bike for the first time since high-school. I have not been doing a lot by cyclist standards, but have built up to about 30-40km per weekend with occasional short (10km) rides during the week. I am thinking about getting a heart rate monitor for when I ride, but have not done so yet.

Is it normal for my heart rate to be so slow? Could it be that now that I have lost 25% of my body weight, my heart does not have to work so hard? Have I developed an athlete's heart rate by default?

I have done some searching on slow heart rate. It says that rates between 50 and 60 bpm are fine if there are no other symptoms. I don't think I have any other symptoms. I feel much better physically than when I was fat. The only possible symptom I get is feeling a little light headed after (but not during) relatively intense exercise. Basically, after I finish a ride, and sit down for a rest, I might get a mild head-spin when standing up quickly. Invariably, that lasts only a moment.

I don't expect a doctor's diagnosis, but I am sure many on this forum would have very low heart rates and I know there are others who have lost a lot of weight.

Thanks in advance.

Adam

iMad
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Re: Slow heart rate

Postby iMad » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:32 pm

adamr wrote:I have recently paid attention to my heart rate. My resting heart rate is in the mid-50s. I am surprised it is so low. I have monitored it over the course of a week, and it is pretty consistent.

I am 37 years old and 174cm. Since July last year I have lost 28kg (107-79). I have done that mainly through reducing junk food, and also by reducing other carbs (but not excessively). When I was at my heaviest, I was pretty round, and had a bit of a stomach, but no beer gut. I was just bigger all over.

I didn't check my heart rate regularly, but I vaguely remember checking it a year or two ago and it was in the mid-to-high 70s (which on reflection seems quite low for someone whose BMI classified them as severely obese).

In November, I got a road bike for the first time since high-school. I have not been doing a lot by cyclist standards, but have built up to about 30-40km per weekend with occasional short (10km) rides during the week. I am thinking about getting a heart rate monitor for when I ride, but have not done so yet.

Is it normal for my heart rate to be so slow? Could it be that now that I have lost 25% of my body weight, my heart does not have to work so hard? Have I developed an athlete's heart rate by default?

I have done some searching on slow heart rate. It says that rates between 50 and 60 bpm are fine if there are no other symptoms. I don't think I have any other symptoms. I feel much better physically than when I was fat. The only possible symptom I get is feeling a little light headed after (but not during) relatively intense exercise. Basically, after I finish a ride, and sit down for a rest, I might get a mild head-spin when standing up quickly. Invariably, that lasts only a moment.

I don't expect a doctor's diagnosis, but I am sure many on this forum would have very low heart rates and I know there are others who have lost a lot of weight.

Thanks in advance.

Adam

Hi Adam
I'm not a Dr but it seems a resting heart rate of mid 50's for someone your age isn't all that slow.
There are other threads here about RHR and there is a huge range. See viewtopic.php?f=49&t=14729
I'm 67 y.o. and still 15kg overweight and mine is in the low 50's most often.
Rest easy :wink:

Edit: Some elite athletes have RHR's in the mid to low 30's.
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toolonglegs
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Slow heart rate

Postby toolonglegs » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:48 pm

Some non elite athletes have resting heart rates in the 30's with leaky valves even when they hit middle age ;-) .
Simple... If you are worried about your heart see a doctor.

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London Boy
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Re: Slow heart rate

Postby London Boy » Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:02 pm

toolonglegs wrote:Some non elite athletes have resting heart rates in the 30's with leaky valves even when they hit middle age ;-) .
Simple... If you are worried about your heart see a doctor.

Wasn't it Miguel Indurain had a RHR of 24 or thereabouts? But even he's beat by the cross country skiers.

adamr
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Re: Slow heart rate

Postby adamr » Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:39 pm

I have always associated slow resting heart rate with athletes. I don't consider myself an athlete (yet). I don't fee like there is any medical problem, but I don't know anyone else who has a heart rate below 60 to speak to about it.

lethoso
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Re: Slow heart rate

Postby lethoso » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:39 pm

Mine's dropped from 70ish to mid 50s since I've been cycling more, I'm not really concerned. I haven't gained/lost weight, just gotten fitter.

Have you actually had your blood pressure checked? Last time I got mine checked, mine was a little low (and I lately I have been getting headspins when jumping up quickly, etc.) - doctor recommended I get more sodium (and thinking about it, I have had a pretty low salt diet lately).
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skull
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Re: Slow heart rate

Postby skull » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:35 am

toolonglegs wrote:Some non elite athletes have resting heart rates in the 30's with leaky valves even when they hit middle age ;-) .
Simple... If you are worried about your heart see a doctor.


This concerns me, I have always had a low HR (RHR 35 BPM) even when I wasn't fit.

My old man a few years ago during his medical was found to have a leaky valve.

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Re: Slow heart rate

Postby sogood » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:55 am

Cardiovascular health and normality is more than just HR. Don't fixate on just the single parameter.
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Re: Slow heart rate

Postby JBark » Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:33 pm

London Boy wrote:Wasn't it Miguel Indurain had a RHR of 24 or thereabouts? But even he's beat by the cross country skiers.

I was just in hospital last week to have my appendix removed, and one of my nurses brought up the same fact about cross country skiers and RHRs in the low 20s. Came up because my pulse was constantly setting off the alarm on the pulse-ox machine by dropping to around 40 (BP was also great at 110/60). Apparently all this cycling has really helped out my cardio system, even though I haven't lost a ton of weight and am still carrying a bit of pudge around the middle. A couple years ago I had a RHR in the mid 60s BP of around 125/85.

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Comedian
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Slow heart rate

Postby Comedian » Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:14 pm

I wouldn't worry about it. I have a similar story to you, I'm a little older, and mine goes as low as 42 sometimes. If I finish this sentence it hasn't killed me to date. :)

Well done and welcome to cycling. :)

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ColinOldnCranky
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Re: Slow heart rate

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Wed May 02, 2012 1:35 pm

Our wellness people caught me at my desk on Friday and gave me their free BP and pulse check. A nice 117/70 at 47bpm. Pretty good still.

For the record they do a poor job of BP as they fail to adhere correct protocols - like multiple reads, arm supported above heart, subject in relaxed position, only one cuff size etc). Inattention to those things mean that a BP reading can be anything from correct to stratospherically but unpredictably above actuality.)
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