Exercise and Heart risk

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A recent study titled Heart-Rate Recovery Immediately after Exercise as a Predictor of Mortality showed that if your heart rate does not drop by 12 beats per minute within 1 minute after peak exercise you are at a heightened risk of heart attack. If your heart rate (HR) dropped 13 BPM or more your risk decreased along a nearly exponential line. The faster your heart returns to resting HR the better.

How To Perform The Test

This sort of heart test is very easy to perform. For best testing results you will need a HR watch (more accurate than pulse readings) and a couple minutes spare time.

    Put the HR watch on and test your HR to make sure it is working.
    Start sprinting or jumping to get your HR to peak. You will know you have reached peak exertion when you can not talk to anyone around you; all you can do is concentrate on breathing.
    How to get HR to peak: run flat out for as long as you can and at least 35-45 seconds. Or if jumping up and down, make sure you jump really high like you are trying to dunk the basketball every time. Do the jumping for at least 1 minute.
    Measure your HR when you feel fully exerted. It is crucial that you reach exhaustion to ensure you are measuring close to max HR.
    Remember or write down that peak HR.
    Wait 1 minute.
    Measure your HR again and write the value down.
    Your peak HR minus your heart rate after 1 minute is your number (x).
    If x is greater than 12 BPM you are in a lower risk category than people where x is less than 12 BPM.
    If x is greater than 23 BPM you are at a substantially lower risk of dying of heart infractions. Only a few percent of the people in the sample size had x greater than 23.

I did three 40 seconds sprints with minimal rest and after the third did my HR measurements. My number was 41 BPM (from 176 to 135).

How to Improve Your Number

The best method how to lower your heart rate and decrease your risk of heart attack is to make your heart more efficient by training it differently and regularly. That means changing up speeds and times for your fitness training: sprint one day, walk one day and then lift weights another day. Your HR after exercise will drop faster and faster and your inherent risk of heart attack will to.


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