Our expert says:
There's nothing wrong with being slightly paranoid about your health (within reason, of course!). I can reassure you that there's no harm in lifting the heart rate above 130. You could even lift it higher than that, up to 190 bpm and you'd be fine. You'd feel very tired, of course, because to get your heart rate that high takes a real effort and you'd be fatigued, for a while, but it's not dangerous.
So you can train with some reassurance that as long as your other symptoms (like chest pain, breathing difficulty etc) are not present. If you can finish your training sessions feeling tired, but not exhausted, then you're more than safe. I guess the idea is that you should complete your training feeling like if you had to, you could do another 20 minutes without too much trouble.
Having said all this, it's never a bad idea to have yourself fully assessed - you could go for a stress ECG where they check the function of the heart and give you the green light. That will, at least, give you some assurance of your safety and might be a good idea. However, I wouldn't be too concerned, rather be cautious, but not over conservative in your exercise.
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