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Bradycardia (low resting HR)

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Bradycardia (low resting HR)

Old 04-14-19, 10:19 AM
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jmess
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Bradycardia (low resting HR)

My resting HR drops to 35-40 sometimes (66 years young) and I have some of the minor symptoms of Bradycardia. I have seen my primary care doc and had an EKG. The EKG was reviewed by a Cardiologist and based upon my history and physical condition it was determined this was something to watch but not be alarmed about. I have been searching for training plans/changes that reduce the risk of my Bradycardia symptoms worsening and havenít found anything. I have no problems with raising and lowering my heart rate during exercise/cycling and donít have any Afib symptoms.

Are there any exercise science based recommendations for training with Bradycardia?
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Old 04-14-19, 10:31 AM
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Sitting on the couch, watching TV, & eating Twinkies?

I think the issue is the more exercise, the lower the resting HR. You might bump into say a weight lifting forum. Build muscle mass without necessarily building endurance.

I know there is a connection between bradycardia and anorexia + excessive exercise.

I don't know how dangerous it is in itself, although there have been reports of cyclists with bradycardia + blood doping, where their HR is already depressed, plus more oxygen carrying capacity in the blood further depressing the HR, plus "thicker blood", all combining to be a lethal combination.
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Old 04-14-19, 07:40 PM
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I found this article on the LiveStrong site:

https://www.livestrong.com/article/4...f-bradycardia/

So, bradycardia in the elderly may well be improved by aerobic exercise.

I suppose it depends on the cause. Age? Hyper-fitness?
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Old 04-14-19, 11:31 PM
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Thanks I had found that article in one of my searches. I doubt increasing my workouts and intensity is going to help me, I wish that was all it would take.

C
Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I found this article on the LiveStrong site:

https://www.livestrong.com/article/4...f-bradycardia/

So, bradycardia in the elderly may well be improved by aerobic exercise.

I suppose it depends on the cause. Age? Hyper-fitness?
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Old 04-15-19, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Sitting on the couch, watching TV, & eating Twinkies?
Make sure that, whether your preference is Fox or MSNBC, that TV stays tuned to the other one.

None of the medical professionals I've asked have any solid suggestions on avoiding or treating brachycardia. So my own way of treating it is to tell them, I've got a low resting heart rate. When they ask me, is it below 45 (or some other number)? I always answer "No." IOW, lie like a dog.
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Old 04-15-19, 10:01 AM
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I think the only useful thing you can do is to get a Road ID that says "Normal resting HR is 35" or some such. It's just the result of genetics and a lot of riding. I can't imagine why one would worry about it. Not uncommon.
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Old 04-18-19, 06:57 PM
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This is not something where you should be looking for advice from an internet forum. The term "bradycardia" means nothing more than a heart rate below the accepted "normal" range of 60-100 bpm. Many people through genetics and/or training have resting heart rates that are not "normal". One of my early mentors in the ER told me "Slow is good until it causes problems". You mention that you have minor symptoms of bradycardia. Only a qualified physician can tell you if those symptoms are anything to worry about or if your training is likely to make those symptoms worse.
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Old 04-18-19, 08:25 PM
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At almost 65yo prior to my bilateral Orchiectomy for Prostate Cancer 4 years ago this month I had the mandatory pre-OP EKG and the reading was 32bpm. Nurse questioned it and I mentioned about just missing my 2015 IM70.3FL race due to the TRUS biopsy and my training for it and other events resulted in the lowered HR. I am often questioned about the low resting rate at first time doctor visits and prior to surgeries and simply reply "endurance athlete effect." While in ER following my 4/16/2011 bicycle crash at mile 72.5 of a 100 miler that resulted in a minor broken neck the HR monitor kept on going off also due to low HR. They re-adjusted and things were fine. My multiple ECHO results have shown a large athletic heart with some minor leaky valves but nothing really wrong.
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Old 04-19-19, 04:24 PM
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Sort of what I have come to believe. It seems strange though that there appears to be zero info on the interweb about managing it for endurance athletes. My symptoms are mainly feeling light headed when I stand up after sitting/relaxing for 5 or so minutes. The more my fitness improves the more frequent the incidents of this. It seems that when you reach the point of slow causing problems you are a candidate for a pace maker. I could try a major reduction in training along with eating lots of junk food so I gain weight and lose aerobic fitness. This should increase my resting heart rate.

Originally Posted by Myosmith View Post
This is not something where you should be looking for advice from an internet forum. The term "bradycardia" means nothing more than a heart rate below the accepted "normal" range of 60-100 bpm. Many people through genetics and/or training have resting heart rates that are not "normal". One of my early mentors in the ER told me "Slow is good until it causes problems". You mention that you have minor symptoms of bradycardia. Only a qualified physician can tell you if those symptoms are anything to worry about or if your training is likely to make those symptoms worse.
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Old 04-19-19, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by jmess View Post
Sort of what I have come to believe. It seems strange though that there appears to be zero info on the interweb about managing it for endurance athletes. My symptoms are mainly feeling light headed when I stand up after sitting/relaxing for 5 or so minutes. The more my fitness improves the more frequent the incidents of this. It seems that when you reach the point of slow causing problems you are a candidate for a pace maker. I could try a major reduction in training along with eating lots of junk food so I gain weight and lose aerobic fitness. This should increase my resting heart rate.
Hmmm... so, healthy, fit, and low HR.

As far as dizziness, you might look at orthostatic hypotension.

What is your blood pressure?

Make sure you discuss overall fitness with your doc before doing any invasive surgery.

Get standard blood panels to rule out other issues.
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Old 04-19-19, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by jmess View Post
Sort of what I have come to believe. It seems strange though that there appears to be zero info on the interweb about managing it for endurance athletes. My symptoms are mainly feeling light headed when I stand up after sitting/relaxing for 5 or so minutes. The more my fitness improves the more frequent the incidents of this. It seems that when you reach the point of slow causing problems you are a candidate for a pace maker. I could try a major reduction in training along with eating lots of junk food so I gain weight and lose aerobic fitness. This should increase my resting heart rate.
The dizziness has nothing to do with slow HR. Google postural hypotension. If the dizziness persists longer than 3 minutes, you have an issue. Otherwise, not. Don't complain about being in such good condition.
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Old 04-21-19, 07:18 AM
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Bradycardia is usually caused by an electrical problem and I don't believe that there is much training/diet wise that you can do for it. My wife had always had a low heart rate but being an endurance cyclist it was something that never caused concern, until the day it got down to the low 20s. She still had a low normal BP and her oxygen levels were fine at that rate, but when the cardiologist saw her ECHO she was moved to the front of the pacemaker schedule as she was in complete heart block. If you are having symptoms you should discuss it with your Dr- it's better to get a test that tells you that you just have a normal athletes heart than to not get one and discover that your resting pulse wasn't just your great fitness. It's possible to be in great shape but still have an issue.
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Old 04-22-19, 03:58 PM
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good advice

Thanks, I will talk to my Doc about an Electrocardiogram test.

Originally Posted by kydeadhead View Post
Bradycardia is usually caused by an electrical problem and I don't believe that there is much training/diet wise that you can do for it. My wife had always had a low heart rate but being an endurance cyclist it was something that never caused concern, until the day it got down to the low 20s. She still had a low normal BP and her oxygen levels were fine at that rate, but when the cardiologist saw her ECHO she was moved to the front of the pacemaker schedule as she was in complete heart block. If you are having symptoms you should discuss it with your Dr- it's better to get a test that tells you that you just have a normal athletes heart than to not get one and discover that your resting pulse wasn't just your great fitness. It's possible to be in great shape but still have an issue.
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Old 04-29-19, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by jmess View Post
Sort of what I have come to believe. It seems strange though that there appears to be zero info on the interweb about managing it for endurance athletes. My symptoms are mainly feeling light headed when I stand up after sitting/relaxing for 5 or so minutes. The more my fitness improves the more frequent the incidents of this. It seems that when you reach the point of slow causing problems you are a candidate for a pace maker. I could try a major reduction in training along with eating lots of junk food so I gain weight and lose aerobic fitness. This should increase my resting heart rate.

Ummm . . . No.


Again, it is never a bad idea to get a checkup when you have changes in your health. Most clinics can do a 12-lead EKG and orthostatic vital signs (pulse and blood pressure taken lying down and then again standing up) right there in the office to help rule out heart issues. Call your physician's office for advice and an appointment. Postural hypotension (a transient drop in blood pressure when you stand up quickly) can happen for several reasons. A heart rate in the 30s or low 40s is quite slow, even for an endurance athlete, but only a physician is qualified to determine how much of a problem it is.


Try taking a couple of days off training and stay well hydrated.


If the light-headedness doesn't pass quickly, you feel like you are actually going to pass out, you do pass out, develop chest pain or strange feeling in your chest, shortness of breath or nausea, or just plain have a bad feeling about it, get immediate medical attention.


Please don't try to substitute a consult from Dr. Google for seeing an actual licensed physician.
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Old 05-07-19, 11:04 AM
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I think the trouble with Bradycardia is that the term is applied to any HR lower than the "normal" range whether or not it has any clinical significance. My resting HR has always been slow. In periods of my life when I've been unfit - busy, sedentary job, not much exercise - it was around 54. When training for racing it was around 43, and it still gets down there sometimes when I go on extended tours and am knocking out 500km per week. When just riding a fair amount - say 8 hours a week - it's usually about 48.

My view is that as long as this continues, and especially as long as it responds to varying training volumes in this way, it's no problem. If it dropped into the 30s and stayed there, I'd be taking some advice.
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Old 05-08-19, 06:25 AM
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My resting HR drops to 35-40 sometimes (66 years young) and I have some of the minor symptoms of Bradycardia. I have seen my primary care doc and had an EKG. The EKG was reviewed by a Cardiologist and based upon my history and physical condition it was determined this was something to watch but not be alarmed about. I have been searching for training plans/changes that reduce the risk of my Bradycardia symptoms worsening and havenít found anything. I have no problems with raising and lowering my heart rate during exercise/cycling and donít have any Afib symptoms.
What's the deal here?

You say you want to "reduce the risk of my Bradycardia" - and in the next phrase you say you have no problems. (nor Afib) -- OK - I'll bite - what's the meaning of your post?

At 66 years of age - you should have already had a full four-chamber / Doppler echo cardiogram by now. What did that result show? And if your doctor says he is "not alarmed" - then - why are you?

If you are really concerned about your health - and you want to know about bradycardia - then study it - without coming to conclusions about (exercise regimens) pulled out of thin air before you know what any your test readings mean.

Heart knowledge

Pacemaker specific


And finally - thousands of athletes have low resting HRs - most of the time their slow heart rate is due left-side heart enlargement as well as efficient left-ventricle and aortic-valve health. Hopefully that is your case.

If you want more info you can message me. All the info is out there....


.
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Old 05-08-19, 06:41 AM
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GCN had a very informative segment regarding cycling and heart health.

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Old 05-08-19, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
GCN had a very informative segment regarding cycling and heart health.

https://youtu.be/L-ODB9zIywM
Good presentation. I have left bundle branch blockage found during a recent EKG and high calcium as discussed in the video, but a healthy heart. I have several older cycling buddies who've had Afib and either retired from hard cycling or just backed it off a bit or had it fixed and kept riding hard.

The 57 "low heart rate" quoted in the video isn't really low. Fully rested, mine's 44 and even when tired it's under 57. Some friends are as low as 35-40 and otherwise completely normal except for their exercise fetish. The important thing is does your heart respond normally to training: does HR go up when pushed, and does it go down when easing off? Do you feel OK when it goes up or down? Is your resting HR higher after a couple hard training days and conversely is it lower after a couple resting days?

The video is of course from the UK, so issues discussed there are covered by the National Health Service, which may be a little more liberal than here, I don't know. In the US, a complete heart exam isn't covered by insurance except in the case of a bad diagnosis from a simple exam. An EKG is inexpensive and might be covered if the rider reports weird sensations which might be caused by heart issues. EKG abnormalities will generate a referral to a cardiologist, normally covered. Otherwise we just wait for something to go wrong and then get covered . . .too late.
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Old 05-08-19, 04:36 PM
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Thanks to everyone for the advice.

I am going to talk to my Doc about an Echo Cardiogram, he never mentioned it and I wouldn't have known about it without doing some research like this.


Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
What's the deal here?


You say you want to "reduce the risk of my Bradycardia" - and in the next phrase you say you have no problems. (nor Afib) -- OK - I'll bite - what's the meaning of your post?


At 66 years of age - you should have already had a full four-chamber / Doppler echo cardiogram by now. What did that result show? And if your doctor says he is "not alarmed" - then - why are you?


If you are really concerned about your health - and you want to know about bradycardia - then study it - without coming to conclusions about (exercise regimens) pulled out of thin air before you know what any your test readings mean.


Heart knowledge


Pacemaker specific



And finally - thousands of athletes have low resting HRs - most of the time their slow heart rate is due left-side heart enlargement as well as efficient left-ventricle and aortic-valve health. Hopefully that is your case.


If you want more info you can message me. All the info is out there....



.
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