Posted by: Sunny Jim | 2009-03-29

Heart rate

Hi Doc

When doing cardio at the gym, my heart rate is erratic. I use a heart rate monitor and find that a soon as the rate gets over 120bpm the bike/stepper/treadmill reading shows my rate fluctuating, coming down to 66 then up to 75 and then no reading at all. I have felt my pulse rate with my fingers and find that it is skipping beats.
I am 70 years old and have been gyming for 7 years and regard myself as pretty fit.

Thank for any advice you can give


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Our expert says:
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Technical problem with the equipment. I know that sounds basic, but it's a problem relating to contact between your skin, the transmitter and the machine. There is no physiological way it can jump this much and the fact that the reading disappears suggests it. I'm not sure how the machine works, but those gym machines are hardly ever reliable when it comes to heart rate measurements. SO I would not worry about it too much. The skipped beats are another story, but again, I'd like to have that confirmed before suggesting anything that might be off target. Here again, the way you measure it can make a big difference and if you're doing that manually during training, then it's bound to be inaccurate, so you can't read anything into it either. If you are genuinely concerned, the safe option is to have a stress ECG, though this is expensive. Or it's to get a heart rate monitor that is reliable, because those in the gym are notoriously dodgy.

Good luck

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Our users say:
Posted by: Sunny Jim | 2009-04-01

Thank you for your reply doc, I will check it all out.


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