I was told my Resting Heart Rate is very low. I think it's ok

I usually do a hard workout the morning of my blood donation. Partly because I know I will have to have a few days easy afterwards, and partly because my RHR will be high enough to not raise eyebrows.

The Garmin algorithm takes an average over your nights sleep, so will not be showing your actual minimum. you could be at 55 for 2-3 hours but have a period of restlessness as well.

Nothing to worry about if you feel fine and your heart rate does increase when exercising.

My garmin watch calculates my resting heart rate when I’m awake around 45 - it can drop to as low as 34 when i’m asleep (with slightly worrying periods when it stops recording anything at all - hopefully just watch position!)

1 Like

My heart rate was 60-70 roughly 5 years ago when I was dealing with numerous health issues. Health issues fixed and able to be active again. Since then I have been cycling regularly. My heart rate is now typically 45-50. I am 58 years old.

1 Like

Nothing to worry about.
As others have mentioned cardiac output is equal to HR x stroke volume (volume of blood per stroke). Since you have higher SV, you need lower HR to deliver the same cardiac output.
I will add that not only is your SV higher, but you have more plasma volume and higher hemoglobin than the general population. This allows more oxygen bound to red blood cells and more CO2 to be dissolved in your blood to the lungs. Since these are the primary stimuli to the part of the brain that controls your HR. Furthermore, your muscles are much better at extracting that oxygen, your vessels are better at auto regulating, you have more capillary beds, your endocrine system works better, etc. Point being, your whole body changes to maximize oxygen carrying and CO2 dissipation. That’s why your HR is low at rest when nothing is needed.

I had a similar experience with my doctor. He was alarmed that my HR was low and my HgB was 17. He did EKG in the office and it showed an enlarged left ventricle. I was chuckling and just went with it. And my wife complained that I snore. So he was convinced that I had COPD with obstructive apnea and impending heart failure. Ended up doing sleep study and a stress echo and all was good.

2 Likes

Seems on point.

(quote)
There is one nice thing about being a hospitalised cyclist: you’re made to feel like the most perfect physical specimen.

“Ohhh — you’ve got a lovely back,” said the anaesthetist as she stuck a spinal injection into it.

“Great veins,” said a doctor who inserted two cannulas. “Best I’ve ever seen.” She celebrated by sticking needles the size of drinking straws into me.

Best of all, an alarm went off one night, waking up the whole ward. A nurse arrived. “Your pulse is only 39!” she said, paging someone urgently.

“It’s normally 39,” I said. “If I wasn’t so stressed I imagine it would be lower.”

“We’re going to have to do something about it,” she said.

I wiggled my toes beneath the sheets for a few minutes to get it up to the mid 40s. She seemed quite happy with that. I drifted back to sleep happy. Thinking that you’re fit is one thing, having an NHS machine wake a ward full of strangers to tell them about it is quite another.

10 Likes

My resting HR is around 42, and in the last year I’ve caused panic during a routine health check ECG - the nurse actually came out to check on me afterwards in the waiting room, presumably to check I wasn’t about to keel over.
I think I also set off an alarm while drowsy just before having a check-up colonoscopy. I was a bit sleepy at the time, but remember trying to explain to the nurse why it was so low!

It’s reassuring to know I’m not the only one!

1 Like

When I was younger, my RHR was in the 30’s Now its in the mid 40’s.( I’m in my mid 60’s). Still gets above 170 for extreme efforts. Just an effect of endurance training.

1 Like

I recommend this heart rate monitor app to check your blood pressure heart beat checker i personally impressed by this.

I’m also in the “give the doctor something to panic about” club.

The really simple explanation is that being fit, you have more blood and your heart pumps more blood with each beat.

Anesthetist doing pre-op check on me;
Doc: “Your pulse is very low!” panicked look on face
Me: “I know, and this is my blood pressure…”
Doc checking BP “Uh, yes it is”

And then in operating theatre - oh look, nice veins - plunges needle in…

Maybe 7 years ago I had some serious health scares where a seizure landed me in a 4-5 day coma. I was swimming competitively at the time and my HR would get down to 33 bpm and they had to lower the alarm threshold because it would keep going off. It was also a teaching hospital, so when I woke up and had groups of residents coming into the room they would always make comments about the low heart rate. I would have to explain each time that I had spent the last 2 years swimming 9 times a week.

I had wisdom teeth taken out under general anaesthetic taken out a few years ago. The oral surgeon was a fit triathlete and we’d talked about running and cycling in the consultation. They had to give me something to speed up my lying down heart rate (42ish) before they could administer the anaesthetic… Advice from the aneasthetist before I drifted off? ‘If you’d kindly start drinking five pints a day and smoking twenty Benson and Hedges like rest of our patients…’ :rofl:

2 Likes

Mine used to be in the 60s, since i started cycling it’s in the 50s.
I know i’m sick or haven’t recovered well when it creeps up to the high 50s or even 60s.
I’m imagining that it’ll keep decreasing as i get fitter.

You want to really freak the doctors and nurses out - go into the hospital with a collapsed lung and continuously set off the HR alarm for dropping into the low 30’s and the respiration rate alarm for dropping into single digits

Does give a nice ego boost to maintain oxygen levels at 100 with only 1.5 lungs though

1 Like

My wife doesn’t work out much, doesn’t do cardio very often, has a resting HR of 46. I on the other hand am in the best shape of my life and mine is 58-60. Everyone is different, as long as you don’t have bad symptoms I wouldn’t worry about it :+1:

2 Likes

36 years old, been exercising regularly now since 2017 and I have a resting HR of 46-50 and max at 198bpm. I’m not worried or concerned. I do take blood pressure tests every other week or so and there I’m at 100/62 dia/sys so not worried there either. Generally not worried I must say. :smiley:

My heart rate fluctuates depending on excercises. It’s usually the lowest when I wake up. Not sure what it is at sleep, perhaps a little bit lower.


This was just a short time ago while eating lunch.


Waking up heart rate.

When I don’t excercise, esp. cardio, heart rate is in the mid to upper 60’s. Heart is a muscle, it becomes more efficient with exercise. Unless you have some type of heart condition/defect, I would not worry about it.

The experience from doing my own health care exploration this year is that medical professions are trained in dealing with non-healthy people, that range is their norm. Thus, when presented with an actual healthy and/or fit specimen, they most usually over-react simply because you are well outside the non-healthy bell curve.

IMO :rofl: the current medical system is predicated on keeping people from dying, which is a completely different system than keeping people healthy.

5 Likes

Heartrate is a goofy thing. My HR is always naturally high, and I’m in better shape than the average shmo. My brother @gb78 is the same way. Genetics, my friend; however, that seems awfully low

Low RHR sounds unique. Two sounds for average heart rates sounds like “bom-bom”, a trained heart is more like “Boom . . bom-bom”.

1 Like