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Heart Rate Recovery - What is it and Why is it Important to You

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

Most people are familiar with heart rate – how fast your heart is beating per minute (bpm). For a typical adult, a normal resting heart rate is between 60-100 bpm.

Throughout the day, your heart rate is changing for all sort of reasons: exercise, stress, food, drink, and others.

What you might not be familiar with is just how much information about health and performance your heart rate can tell you.

We all know resting heart rate is important – the lower the better potentially – but do you know about heart rate recovery?

Heart Rate Recovery

Heart rate recovery measures how quickly your heart rate reset after an intense exercise session. It usually measured at 1-, 2-, or 3- minutes intervals. To get a good measure of heart rate recovery, you should go through something called the VO2max test, where you exercise as hard as you can until you’re too tired to push any further. The heart rate is then logged throughout, at the end of the test, and after during 1-, 2-, and 3-minutes of resting.

Currently many wearable such as Apple Watch, Garmin, and others will automatically measure your heart rate recovery for you. If you use an old fashion heart rate monitor strap or other popular apps like Strava can also provide measures of your heart rate recovery.

It is important to note that performing a VO2max test to measure your heart rate recovery is not safe for every! If you are concerned about getting started with an exercise program, aren’t showing a heart rate recovery you are happy with, or just want some help getting healthier and stronger – contact us!

How do you know if you have a good heart rate recovery or not? Below are few standards from different research on difference population:

A study from the New England Journal of Medicine found that:

- A heart rate recovery of 15-20 bpm after one minute of rest was considered about average for heart health and anything faster than that was considered to be good heart health.

A study on elite athletes heart rate recovery found that:

- The average one-minute heart rate recovery to be : 23 bpm

- Two-minute heart rate recovery to be: 58 bpm

- Three-minute heart rate recovery to be: 82 bpm

- The average one-minute heart rate recovery to be: 15 bpm

- Three-minute heart rate recovery to be: 64 bpm

In general, it’s a good idea to think the faster the heart rate recovery, the better the fitness.

And just like heart rate can be affected by many things, hour to hour, day to day – so too can heart rate recovery. One measurement can be helpful, but it’s multiple measurements over time that give the best info.

Heart rate recovery is one of the many biometrics we look at when we working with you to ensure you’re on the right track to achieve your recovery and fitness goals!

Do you have an injury that has kept you from being as fit as you’d like?

Are you someone who has dealt with medical issues and want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to be as healthy as you can be?

Or are you just looking to improve your strength and conditioning? We can help!


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