Friday, September 9, 2011

Recovery Heart Rate Explained

Your heart rate should begin "recovering" immediately after you stop running. A heart rate that is slow to recover within the first minute (and subsequent minutes) after running is a strong predictor of overall mortality!

  • 1 Minute: If your heart rate has not dropped by more than 12 bpm one minute after you stop running, this may indicate an increased risk of heart attack. But while your heart rate one minute after exercise is the most important measurement, later measurements are significant as well, because how quickly your heart rate returns to its resting heart rate is an indication of your fitness.

  • 3 Minutes: Your physical condition is improving when your heart rate three minutes after you stop exercising is closer to your resting heart rate than the 1 minute interval.

  • 5 Minutes: If your heart rate is over 120 heartbeats per minute (under 50 years old) or above 100 heartbeats per minute (over 50 years old), your next exercise should be less intense.

  • 30 Minutes: Your heart rate should equal its resting rate 30 minutes after you're finished exercising.
Training programs often use recovery heart rate as a guide to note progress or to spot problems (e.g. overheating, dehydration, etc), regardless of the time exercising. The recovery process is fairly similar whether you are running for 10 minutes or 1 hour.

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