Mended Hearts Open Forum

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  • 1.  Maximum Heart Rate

    Posted 05-21-2021 12:22
    Post Op some 24 years .... I had triple bypass at 40 and am now 64.  I remain active, take my meds, and work towards eating correctly, although slightly overweight.  Playing Pickleball, my heart rate sometimes reaches the high 140's, however, today's play on a warm sunny court it hit 171 and remained above 155 for an extended period of time.  This greatly exceeds 100% of recommended maximum HR (145) for vigorous activity for my age.   I've not minded getting it in the 150 area but today's high near 170 got my attention.

    Does anyone have recommendations for greatly exceeding max HR?  Is it dangerous?  Or better yet, at what point should exceeding one's max HR be considered dangerous?

    Thank in advance from Mississippi!


    Grayson Robbins
    Tupelo MS

  • 2.  RE: Maximum Heart Rate

    Posted 05-22-2021 08:36
    Hello Grayson
    I am concerned for you. It is Saturday. Call your doctor's after hours number. If no immediate response go to the ER or or  to an urgent care center and tell your story. Get someone to drive you. An EKG will be helpul as well as blood tests to better assess your heart.

    Do NOT exercise until you are checked. Do NOT exercise  in the sun again. It strains the heart too much for someone with your history. It's like snow shoveling.

    I don't  mean to be an alarmist and you probably have more to your story than what you just wrote. But it would reassure me if you are checked.

    Let us know...we all learn from each other.
    Wishing you well.

    Doris Edwards
    Retired RN
    Dublin, Ohio

  • 3.  RE: Maximum Heart Rate

    Posted 05-22-2021 08:44
    Hello Grayson 
               Maybe you should ask your doctor if you have afib or Afibrillation of the heart that's when your heart is out of sinus rhythm and can elevate to high numbers because I've been diagnosed with afib and I've had my heart rate jumped to 186 one time just laying in the hospital bed so you may wanna ask your doctor that, hopefully that helps good luck

    The Woodlands,TX
    Sent from my iPhone

  • 4.  RE: Maximum Heart Rate

    Posted 05-22-2021 23:28
    Hi Grayson. I hope that you contact your physician for an appointment first thing Monday morning if you haven't already. You didn't say if you experienced any chest pain or shortness of breath with the high heart rate. Was it regular or irregular? You may need your medications adjusted, and at the very least you should see your doctor for an EKG and possibly lab work and further workup. Heart rate of 170's is not a good thing, exercise related or not. I have played Pickle Ball as well, and unless you're really going for blood, it shouldn't get that high.  ;)

    Good luck and please keep us posted!
    Dennis Danner
    Punta Gorda, FL

    Dennis Danner
    Retired RN
    [Punta Gorda, FL

  • 5.  RE: Maximum Heart Rate

    Posted 05-23-2021 00:45
    Thanks for all the replies.  More info:  I did have a nuclear stress test a week prior to this episode of high heart rate.  HR reached 153 max for the test.   All results came back within the normal range.   I also get regular exercise 3 to 5 times per week and consider myself more an athlete than a couch potato.  My usual high rate when exercising is 145 to 150.   This day of 171 HR was sunny and warm.   I had no chest pain and no distress from shortness of breath other than what was to be expected when exercising.  The rate was measured via a Garmin smart watch where accuracy has not been verified.  
    All in all, I am keeping a close watch of it when exercising.

    Grayson Robbins
    Tupelo MS

  • 6.  RE: Maximum Heart Rate

    Posted 05-23-2021 06:52
    Good morning, Grayson

    Many thanks for the additional information about your health which
    reassures me.?? I read red flags in what you first wrote so gave the only
    advice I could, given it was a Saturday.?? It would be the same advice
    for anyone reading the Forum writing something similar.?? And I'll say to
    everyone with underlying heart disease that hot weather poses the same
    risk as very cold weather.?? Get your outside activities done early while
    it's cooler.

    The normal nuclear stress test results are wonderful, Grayson. You've
    taken good care of yourself and your bypasses have been very successful.
    I imagine you've been developing helpful collateral circulation these
    many years too.?? If you're going to have atrial fibrillation which
    presents with a high heart rate, your smart device will give you warning
    and you can get help.

    Wishing you well


  • 7.  RE: Maximum Heart Rate

    Posted 05-24-2021 15:42

    Greetings, as a survivor of a heart attack and six-bypass open heart surgery, I personally am health cautious about being in temperatures below 70 degrees and above 80 degrees F. I also mind my physical activities when the humidity is not favorable.

    Advice given in an article excerpt “Extreme Weather and Your Heart: What You Need to Know When It Gets Really HOT!” by SCAI SecondsCount.

    “When the temperature reaches 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) and the humidity is 70 percent or higher, your heart has to begin to work harder just to cool your body.  When the outdoor temperature climbs into the 80s (Fahrenheit) or high 20s (Celsius) or beyond and there is high humidity, the risk to your health also rises. If you have heart disease, it is especially critical that you avoid exercising when the temperature and the humidity are both high.  Consider delaying any intense exercise until the temperature has dropped and the humidity has reduced, or consider doing your doctor-approved exercise where the weather won’t be a problem, such as in air conditioning or in a swimming pool. “

    Johnny Hunter, Fayetteville, NC

  • 8.  RE: Maximum Heart Rate

    Posted 10-07-2022 08:22

    I know this post is a little old, but I'm having the same issue while playing Pickleball.  I'm 59 and had a CABG eight years ago and am doing great. My resting heart rate is high 50s.  My blood pressure is 105/65.  I work out twice a week with a trainer, I hike (usually 8 miles with 1,000' of climbing involved), I run, ski in the East and in the mountains out West, and…I love to play Pickleball! 😃.  While running, I will walk if I hit the low 160s, but it seems like my heart rate likes to stay a little high while I run. I also just had a stress test two months ago where I hit 12.9 mets. Having said all that…

    I just started playing Pickleball this summer, and, when I play, I wear a fairly new Garmin sports watch. Initially, I didn't look at my watch because I was having fun and felt great. It just didn't seem necessary to pay attention to it. Then one hot humid morning, I felt a pretty tired after a fairly aggressive game, and sat down to rest after the game.  When I got home, I downloaded my stats into my phone, and, holy cow(!), I was playing in the 170s (with a spike to 182!). I had no idea. Btw, my watch is programmed to pick up AFIB, and I received no alerts. I then looked back at all the times I played this summer, and, yep, 170s.  Note that the high heart rate wasn't immediate, it took a few games to get there and would settle down quickly between games. During my annual checkup two weeks ago, I talked to my Dr about it and he wasn't too phased due to my overall good health and activity level, but he said to rest and cool down when it got high like that.

    Part of me thinks there is a quirk in the watch that causes it to read high during this fast twitch muscle stuff. So I'm going to try wearing a chest strap to see if the readings are consistent.

    Otherwise, I can't explain it. It gets really high, but I'm not that out of breath (not like when I'm running and it gets in the low 160s). It now weirds me out a bit, and so, as my Dr instructed, when my heart rate climbs up I'll finish a game and just sit a bit till my heart rate comes down (which it does pretty quickly), and then play again.

    Does anyone else have this happen to them?

    Nick Bentley
    Fleetwood PA