What does Heart Rate Recovery mean and should I be testing myself?
The time it takes for the heart rate to return to normal after exercise is called Heart Rate Recovery and studies have found that this number can help determine your risk of heart attack and cardiovascular disease. Simply put: the healthier a person's heart is, the quicker it returns to its normal beat — the less healthy the heart is, the longer it takes it to return to its normal beat. People with an abnormal heart rate recovery, which consists of a score – or decrease – of 12 or less beats per minute, were at a greater risk for death from heart disease than those with normal heart rate recovery, which is a decrease of 15 to 25 beats per minute. A really fit person would experience a decrease of 25 or more.
To get an idea of your own heart rate recovery you simply subtract your heart rate at two minutes after stopping exercise from your heart rate at the very end of exercise. It's always a good idea to have a doctor check you out when exercising, but especially if you think your heart rate recovery is in a dangerous zone.