Heart rate recovery is essential in our daily lives because it can be used to understand how the heart recovers after being stressed. Exercising safely on a regular basis can increase the stress on the body. The stress when doing physical exercises can help you maintain healthy muscles and lungs, as well as cardiovascular health and proper blood circulation. If your heart doesn’t recover well after exercise, it could be a sign of poor or low health care, or even an underlying medical condition. In this article, we’ll be discussing what heart rate recovery is.
What is heart rate recovery?
A heart rate recovery is just the pulse after exercise. Some fitness experts refer to this as the post-workout heart rate. In different setups, the number of pulses is used for a number of reasons. During a fitness class, you can measure your recovery heart rate within 3-5 minutes of exercising to ensure your heart is back on track. For example, many group exercise coaches will recommend keeping your recovery pulse rate below 100 beats per minute or doing stretches on the floor before getting out of the car.
Why is heart rate recovery important?
Exercising intentionally and safely increases the stress on the body. Stress from exercising can assist your body to maintain your muscles and lungs, as well as help with your cardio health(heart and blood vessels). If your heart doesn’t recover well after exercise, it could be a sign of poor health or even an underlying health problem. Knowing your heart rate recovery is important because it is one of the factors professional doctors use to understand how the heart recovers after the stress.
How do you know if your recovery heart rate is normal? In general, the lower your recovery heart rate after strenuous exercise, the better. In a fitness environment (such as a workout class), coaches like to see your heart rate drop below 100 beats per minute in the first 3 minutes after a workout.
Problems you might encounter
A slower drop in heart rate after exercise increases the risk of bigger health problems such as:
- Cardiovascular arrest(because of blood flow blockage)
- Possible arrhythmia
- Stroke(because of an obstruction in blood flow)
- Heart disease/condition
- Chronic inflammation
What does a good heart rate mean?
There are many factors (internal and external) that could affect your heart rate. A normal heart rate of a person is usually within 60 to 100 beats (per minute). If you have a lower heart rate (lower than the normal), this is considered to be better. If your body temperature is higher or lower than the average temperature throughout the day, it may be due to calories, caffeine intake, genetics, mood, body position, or medication. In general, as your fitness level improves and your cardiovascular system becomes more efficient, your daily heart rate will decrease.
What factors could affect your heart rate?
Having a stable and healthy heart is important for avoiding any kind of disease and maintaining good health as you age. Staying active and increasing your frequency of activity throughout the day can help improve post-workout recovery, there are also external factors that could affect your heart rate. Try and avoid having these factors to improve your heart rate.
Caffeinated food and drinks
Caffeine stimulates the nervous system, which can slow down the body’s ability to recover after a workout. There was a study that found caffeine consumption negatively affected heart rate and blood pressure recovery after exercise.
Drinking enough water is essential for our bodies to function better. Some studies have shown that dehydration may cause changes in heart function and increase the heart rate when dehydrated. Lack of water also slows heart rate recovery after exercise.
Lack of sleep or fatigue
Fatigue and lack of sleep can affect different parts of our bodies, sometimes all at once. Research shows that fatigue affects our stable heart rate and recovery after going through physical exercise.
Can we improve our heart rate recovery?
Heart rate recovery measures how quickly (or slowly) your heart rate returns to your resting frequency. You can use the results of your heart rate recovery to get the measurement of your fitness level and overall cardiovascular fitness. You can manually test your heart rate recovery or use a monitor to measure its changes.
For example, your heart rate drops 15 beats per minute, and with a one-minute rest after exercise, your heart rate recovery will be at 15. Knowing your level of fitness is one of the most important elements in heart rate recovery, but it is also affected by factors like caffeine and water intake, sleep, and tiredness.
These factors can alter the accuracy of the numbers when tracking changes in heart rate recovery. The most important factor in increasing your recovery heart rate is physical activity.
- Try to sign up for a group fitness class.
- Hire a personal trainer for better results.
- Park your car further away from the door to get short walks.
- Slowly increase the amount of regular exercise.
- Try outdoor activities like hiking and trekking.
- Test out different types of workouts that can possibly suit you.
- Go for a walk alone, with your pets, or with friends.
- Do garden or yard work.
- Do household chores.
- Walk up and down the stairs.
When it comes to improving our heart rate, it is important to incorporate easy and light exercise or activities into a comprehensive exercise program that eventually also includes moderate and/or vigorous activity. If you measure your heart rate during the process, you’ll always know you’re training at the correct level of intensity.
To make it simple, a heart rate recovery means the pulse after an activity or exercise. Remember that there are different factors whether internal or external, that could possibly influence your heart rate. If your measured body temperature has increased or decreased than the average temperature you should have throughout the day, it may be due to calories, caffeine intake, weather, genetics, mood, body position, or medication, if any. In general, as your fitness level improves and your cardiovascular system becomes more efficient, your daily heart rate will decrease. Heart rate recovery should not be used as a health indicator for people taking medications that could affect their heart rate.