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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Miscellaneous Cardiology Topics

Question: Fast heart beat with minimal workout

 azha - Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:51 pm

My heart beat increases to 150+ very easily after slight effort on an eliptical machine. I will not be "pushing" myself very hard, barely break a sweat, and keep it on a low level of tension. I can easily get it up to 170+ with what most people consider "medium" effort. I am afraid to run and see what it gets to then...

I sit down most of the day, and over the past years most of the night too. I consider myself "out of shape" but I'm only 10 lbs overweight and have never been diagnosed with any kind of heart problem. I do cough several times a day, I assume from my stuffed up sinuses dripping into my lungs (bad allergies), but would not consider my lungs "congested". During my "fitness test" after i joined a gym, when my heart rate hit 170 within a minute or two, the fitness guy thought something was broken on his machine... but it was just me.

Should I be alarmed by this kind of heart rate with such little effort? Could it just be because my lungs have some mucus and therefor not as much oxegen is getting through? Should I see a specialist about this? Stop going to the gym?
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:00 pm

User avatar Hi there -- Using the standard formula for exercising target heart rates (220 minus your age multiplied to 75-90%) you are reaching your maximum desireable rate of exercise with relatively low effort, which, assuming no heart disease is present, is unsrurprising for someone who has been extremely sedentary and is now starting to work on getting in shape. You are hitting right in that 75-90 per cent range (your maximum would be 191, and your range would be between 143 and 171 beats per minute). Again assuming no "drag" other than a formerly sedentary lifestyle, this is perfect for now, and over time you should find it takes longer and longer for you to reach this range. You don't want to push yourself above 171, even though in a medically supervised stress test we do shoot for the maximum. In the gym 90 % of that is quite adequate.

It sounds like you are right on target! Good luck with your program, and please stay in touch with us here.

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