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High Heart rate when exercising (running/Biking)

  • 1.  High Heart rate when exercising (running/Biking)

    Posted 06-07-2021 17:50

    Hi everyone-
         My husband is 50 years old.  He run/bike 3-4 times a week.  He's in pretty good shape running half and full marathon once a year for the past 5 years.  His heart rate gets as high as 184, avg of 159 and his effort level is a 7/10.  He said he's not out of breath, not dizzy or feeling uncomfortable..  He was a little concern and actually saw his internal medicine doctor and brought this to her attention.  She told him that if he's not having any symptom, that a high heart rate may be his norm.  They did an EKG and everything was normal.  I'm just curious what everyone think of this.  Should I be concerned?


    Mark Austin

  • 2.  RE: High Heart rate when exercising (running/Biking)

    Posted 06-08-2021 06:05
    Hi Mark,

    Everyone is different and this heart rate may well be normal for your husband.  I nevertheless recommend that he see a cardiologist and take a stress test or whatever other tests the cardiologist prescribes, just for peace of mind and to rule out any underlying conditions.

    I say this as a lifelong athlete, including a runner, who ended up having a mild heart attack and open heart surgery 3 plus years ago at the age of 67.  At the time, it shocked everyone who knew me, as in "but you're so healthy, exercise all the time and have such a healthy diet." What they really were saying is that if this can happen to you, then it can happen to anyone, including me.

    I definitely recommend being proactive now and possibly circumventing a future problem if one is lurking.

    Best of luck and please keep us posted.


    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ

  • 3.  RE: High Heart rate when exercising (running/Biking)

    Posted 06-12-2021 14:44
    Hi Mark. While it may be his "norm", I would still seek a cardiology consult. Especially for a runner and someone who exercises regularly, the heart rate should be much lower than 184. I have known people who run daily and do marathons whose normal heart rate at rest is in the 50's, because the heart muscle is so strong from the running. What is his resting heart rate? I would think at the very least he should have a stress test to make sure there isn't a problem that is not showing up at rest.

    Please keep us posted. And don't feel because his PMD didn't feel anything else was needed that you can't ask for a cardiology consult. If she refuses, get another doctor.

    Dennis Danner
    Retired RN
    [Punta Gorda, FL

  • 4.  RE: High Heart rate when exercising (running/Biking)

    Posted 06-13-2021 00:53
    Thank You all!  His resting heart rate is 70.  He has a physical coming up in Sept and will try to get a referral for a cardiologist.

    Mark Austin

  • 5.  RE: High Heart rate when exercising (running/Biking)

    Posted 06-13-2021 08:39
    Agree with the advice from Dennis. Stress test will either give you some peace of.mind or point your toward a remedy. It may be that medication is indicated
    Good luck and good to be proactive

    Doris Edwards
    Retired RN
    Dublin, Ohio

  • 6.  RE: High Heart rate when exercising (running/Biking)

    Posted 06-13-2021 00:42
    The American Heart Association (AHA) advise that people aim to reach between 50% and 85% of their maximum heart rate during exercise. According to their calculations, maximum heart rate is around 220 beats per minute (bpm) minus the person's age.Sep 17, 2019

    Michael J Hinderlie