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Question
Posted by: Lisa | 2011/04/06

Heart Rate

Hi doctor

im 24years old and have sometimes have irregular heartbeats and i have a fast HR. I suffered from anxiety attacks at one stage and was prescibed pur-bloka (half tablet when needed) and for my palpitations.
5 years ago at 19yrs old i went to see a cardiologist when i was in america and he took a sonogram, and he said my heart was normal, but that i did have a fast HR and he wanted to put me on a heartmonitor for a week but i was leaving the next week so i couldnt get it done.
now i have just started gym and everytime i exercise my HR is between 165 and 168. surely this is bad? the trainers at the gym are worried because i am so young. otherwise, im in perfect health.
any ideas/advice?
thank you.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCardiologist

Hi Lisa.

From what you tell me your heart is completely normal and just behaving like young a healthy heart should behave. A heart rate of 165-168 during exercise is a young woman is not abnormal!

In people with heart disease high heart rates may be bad and it may be important to limit heart rate, eg with beta blockers such as Purbloka.

In young healthy women like yourself, who do not have heart disease, it is unnecessary and inappropriate to worry about high heart rates during exercise.

The theoretical maximum heart rate for your age is about 195 per minute, so 165 is well short of maximum! You will not damage a healthy heart by exercising it at high rates. Please reassure the trainers at your gym!

(And by the way heart rate monitors are great devices, and may be very helpful for people training scientifically. But they often create unnecessary anxiety about heart rates. Remember again: heart rate limits are limits that may apply to people with heart disease - not healthy young women!)

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: Cardiologist | 2011/04/11

Hi Lisa.

From what you tell me your heart is completely normal and just behaving like young a healthy heart should behave. A heart rate of 165-168 during exercise is a young woman is not abnormal!

In people with heart disease high heart rates may be bad and it may be important to limit heart rate, eg with beta blockers such as Purbloka.

In young healthy women like yourself, who do not have heart disease, it is unnecessary and inappropriate to worry about high heart rates during exercise.

The theoretical maximum heart rate for your age is about 195 per minute, so 165 is well short of maximum! You will not damage a healthy heart by exercising it at high rates. Please reassure the trainers at your gym!

(And by the way heart rate monitors are great devices, and may be very helpful for people training scientifically. But they often create unnecessary anxiety about heart rates. Remember again: heart rate limits are limits that may apply to people with heart disease - not healthy young women!)

Reply to Cardiologist
Posted by: Lisa | 2011/04/06

ps: i do not smoke or drink

Reply to Lisa

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