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DrSugar Answers: High Heart Rate After Running?

DrSugar is in the house and answering your questions.

Dear Doc,
I work out regularly, usually running, and I recently decided to monitor my heart rate. I am 22 years old and after a run my heart rate is in the 190s and sometimes over 200. I don't feel that I am overworking myself but that just seems too high. I was just wondering if this is normal or if there could be something wrong. I have a family history of hyperthyroid and wonder if this could be indicative of that.
Thanks,
Hearty Gal

Thanks for the question and I am sure you are not alone in this. To see what I have to say on the matter,

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When something seems wrong with your body, it’s always a good idea to discuss that problem or concern with your doctor. When talking about heart rate and exercise, there are three important factors: resting heart rate, maximum heart rate, and target heart rate. Estimating your max heart rate is an inexact science but can be estimated, in young people, with a simple formula: 220 minus your age (check out the target heart rate calculator in the FitSugar Health Guide). Your max heart rate would be 220 minus 22, which equals 198 beats per minute. Remember that this is max heart and you should be working between 60 and 90 percent of your maximum heart rate. Occasionally when sprinting and doing interval training, your heart rate will go above 90 percent max, but you always follow this intensity with a recovery period. I am curious how you are monitoring your heart rate. Taking it manually mid- or post-run is generally inaccurate as are the hand sensor heart rate monitors on most cardio machines. I suggest investing in a personal heart rate monitor, if you haven't already. For more information on exercise and heart rate FitSugar has some information that may help you: Figuring Target Heart Rate, Heart Rate Recovery, and What Is a Good Resting Heart Rate.

Measuring your resting heart rate is also an important part of this discussion. A normal resting heart rate for a highly athletic person is usually between 50 and 75 beats per minute. A resting heart rate greater than 100 usually indicates the diagnosis of tachycardia (fast heart rate) and could require further tests. Another important question is do you have any other symptoms? Hyperthyroidism can cause a feeling of skipped heartbeats called palpitations, which can be uncomfortable or unnerving. It can also cause atrial fibrillation, which is associated with a fast and irregular heart rate. If you are at all worried you could have a problem, I recommend talking to your primary doctor about your symptoms.

If you have a question for DrSugar, send me a private message here and I will forward it to the good doctor.

DrSugar's posts are for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. Click here for more details.

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