Hello all -
I am a 49 yr old male who up until recently hadn't seen a doctor for regular medical care and hadn't worked out much at all in the last 15 yrs - I used to work out 6 days a week but the pressures of having a family and being self employed pushed my workouts to the side. This year I saw a doctor and had full checkup. Good health overall but found very high chiolestrerol and low thyriod.Taking meds for both conditons. Because I had not had any medical checkups for such a long time and because of my high cholesterol and occasional chest pains ( have had them my entire life - was told as a young man it was due to intercostal muscle issues), I had a cardiac stress test done. The cardiologust told me , and I quote " you did very well, - actually exceptionally well". So for the last 4 weeks I have been working out on a vison fitness exercise bike for 30 minutes a day trying to keep my heart rate around 112 bpm. Last week something strange happened and it happened again this morning. About 20 minutes into the workout, the heart rate monitor suddenly showed my heart rate jumping from 112 to 129 to 141 to 178 in a matter of about 5 seconds - the odd thing is that I felt no shortness of breath or chest pain. I did notice that when I tried to feel my pulse in my wrist at the time it was harder to find but was found easily in my neck and seemed very regular and strong. If I slowed my pedaling way down the monitor showed my heart rating dropping back down tot he 112 range pretty quickly, but not as quickly as it showed it jumping up. I am going to try a differnt heart rate monitor tomorrow to see if there is anything wrong with the monitor. Anyone here have any idea what is going on? I will bring it up with my doctor on my next visit but since I feel no shortness breath or chest pain whatsoever, is there anything to be worred about?
I'm not a doctor, but I'm 47 and I've been working out at high intensities several times a week since high school and I have a relatively high heart rate while exercising. One thing that I've noticed is that most health club heart rate monitors are notoriously touchy. Many of them won't even pickup your heart rate until your palms begin to sweat. Sometimes they will only pick up every other beat and display half of your actual rate. If this is something you're concerned about you should consider buying one with a chest strap. In my experience heart rate is a much quicker indicator of dehydration or on-coming heat exhaustion than trusting your own pain threshold. I cycle outside and when the temperature heads into the upper 80's I can see my heart working 10 bpm higher at the same level of effort and I don't even feel it, but it will catch up with me later.
I have an electrical problem with my heart that causes that (PSVT), however, I can "feel" it happening when it occurs. When my heart jumps up that fast, I can feel it beating in my chest and it's not pleasant. My guess is that if you're feeling fine it's probably the monitor. If it ends up not being the monitor I would look in to an electrical problem (there are several types if I remember correctly) with your doctor. I know some can be fixed with a minor surgery called an ablation. I've never been offered that option but a couple people I know have had it done. Fingers crossed its the monitor. =)
I did some reading on the SVTs and it sounds like I may have the benign atrial SVTs casued by naturally occuring bypass tracts - it says they present no real danger to me, which makes a lot of sense as when the monitor shows my heart rate jumpoing off the chart I can still feel a strong steady pulse in my neck and I have absolutley no chest pain or shortness of breath whatsoever. I will bring it up with my doctor.
thanks for the input -
Hi there, the same thing happened to me recently... it really had me worried, until someone suggested I wash my HR strap :-) Washed it in soap & water, and the next time I ran... ta da! No more HR fluctuations. I'd bet $100 it's your monitor. If your HR really did increase that much you'd feel it. Not sure what monitor you have, but the Garmin soft straps are notorious for this.
@jnnrr415 You are not kidding!! I have a Garmin forerunner 410 with HR monitor, ERRATIC doesn't come close to the heart rate readings I get. So I use my Polar F11 to keep track of Hr & Garmin for distance, pace, speed etc...
By the way, what kind of soap did you wash your strap in?