Terminology : Heart Recovery Rate

10 May

What?

Recovery Heart Rate is the heart rate measured at a fixed period after you have finished exercising.

When?

In order to measure your Recovery Heart Rate, you would need to work out for at least 8 to 10 minutes – long enough to raise your pulse to near maximal exhaustion.

Typically, you would expect to see your heart rate rise from around 60/70 to 180/190 during exercise.

To be able to compare results over time to assess fitness, you should ideally keep as many of the variables similar as possible – ie. the time of day that you are exercising, along with the period and intensity of exercise.

Where?

You can test your Recovery Heart Rate anywhere!

Using a stopwatch and either your finger to feel your pulse, or an app or heart rate monitor, take your pulse immediately after exercise and note this down.
Wait a minute, then take your pulse again.

The formula for calculating your Recovery Heart Rate is as follows:

RHR = (exercise heart rate – heart rate after 1 minute) / 10

The higher the number for the recovery rate, the more quickly your heart has recovered from exercise.

The following table can be used as a guide to evaluate your recovery rate:

Recovery Rate Number Condition
Less than 2 = Poor
2 to 2.9 = Fair
3 to 3.9 = Good
4 to 5.9 = Excellent
Above 6 = Outstanding

Why?

Measuring your Recovery Heart Rate can be a good indicator of your level of your fitness.

The fitter you get, the more effective your heart becomes, and so the less work it has to do to keep your blood pumping around your body, and keep you moving.

But on the other end of the scale, the less healthy and fit you are, the longer it takes your heart to recover.

This is what is referred to as Cardiovascular Fitness.

Recovery Heart Rate can also indicate the intensity of the exercise you are taking. The smaller the drop in one minute could indicate you are working yourself too hard, and your body is having trouble recuperating.

There are two decreasing phases related to Heart Rate Recovery; the first minute post-exercise, and the resting plateau over which the heart rate gradually decreases.
The resting plateau can take as long as an hour for the heart rate to return to pre-exercise heart rate.

As a general indicator, five minutes after exercise the heart rate should not exceed 120 beats per minute.
After 10 minutes, the heart rate should be below 100 beats per minute, and the heart rate should return to its pre-exercise rate approximately 30 minutes after the exercise session. Although the initial sharp drop in the heart rate that occurs one minute after the exercise is the most meaningful indicator of fitness.

And finally …

Did you know? …

Miguel Indurain – Spanish, five time Tour de France winner – had a resting heart rate of 28 beats per minute – one of the lowest ever recorded in a human.

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3 Responses to “Terminology : Heart Recovery Rate”

  1. We Are 2Fit2 Quit May 10, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    I am going to have to do this…thanks for the info!

    Many times checking the heart rate happens, but the recovery aspect I never really thought to much of…nice post!

  2. Deena Swarn May 14, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

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