Heart rate recovery is looking at the decrease in heart rate per minute for one minute after exercise. The change in the time between each heartbeat(variability) shows how well your body is responding to your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. So how do we calculate our heart rate recovery? In this article, we’ll be guiding you on how to calculate heart rate recovery properly.
The heart is a muscle that pumps blood throughout the body through arteries. Like all muscles, the stronger it is, the less effort it takes to get the job done. Exercise your mind and make it bigger and stronger. The stronger the heart, the less blood it pushes around the body. The lower the resting heart rate in a healthy individual, the healthier it is. Exercise also increases lung capacity. Heart rate is the number of heartbeats per minute.
Along with other factors, heart rate recovery can help predict cardiovascular health, cardiovascular disease, and risk of heart failure. For those looking to improve cardiovascular fitness, heart rate recovery is an indicator of heart health. Faster heart rate recovery may be a marker of better cardiovascular fitness, while slower heart rate recovery means lower levels of physical fitness.
How do we calculate our heart rate recovery?
To track your health improvement, follow these steps to check your heart rate recovery twice a week during physical activity.
Keep track of your resting heart rate
Before exercising, place two fingers on the pulse of your wrist or neck and record your normal heart rate for a count of 60 seconds. Write down that number.
Record your pulse after exercise
Stop exercising and check your heart rate to find your maximum heart rate. Then, keep a record of that number.
Record your heart rate after one minute
After doing an exercise, wait for one minute and record your heart rate.
Subtract to find your recovery rate
Subtract the third number from the second number. The result is your heart rate recovery time.
Use a heart rate monitor
You can use an app and a wearable smartwatch to easily record and track your heart rate during cardio.
Average heart rates(BPM):
- Normal adults: 60-80 bpm
- Athletes: 40-60 bpm
- Children: 70-100 bpm
What part of the nervous system affects our heart rate?
Your heart rate is not only affected by the way your heart pumps blood throughout your body but also some parts of the nervous system have an influence on your heart rate recovery.
Sympathetic nervous system
This nervous system prepares the body for stressful activities and emergencies. It is also more active during recovery after a workout because it works with the body’s adrenaline.
Parasympathetic nervous system
This system normalizes the body by slowing the heart rate, relaxing the sphincter muscles, and increasing intestinal and glandular activity.
The vagus nerve transmits signals from the digestive system to the brain, extending from the brain stem to the neck and then to the abdomen.
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