2

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Heart rate was 42 BPM; good or bad thing?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created April 27, 2012 at 11:34 PM

I woke up this morning with good intentions of working up a sweat at the gym, threw on my gym clothes- heart rate monitor strapped on-, ready to go and then proceeded to lay down on my couch to "meditate", I woke up two hours later, looked at my heart rate monitor and it reads "42 BPM".

Kind of just laid there and freaked out for a second and then got my heart rate to it's normal range. I'm thinking it's just a sign of low blood pressure, due to to some adrenal gland fatigue from a crazy training schedule.

1b53e286f2dc476ac74dc3302ace56b5

(0)

on March 11, 2013
at 05:46 AM

In other people, bradycardia is a sign of a problem with the heart?s electrical system. It means that the heart's natural pacemaker is not working right or that the electrical pathways of the heart are disrupted. In severe forms of bradycardia, the heart beats so slowly that it does not pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. This can cause symptoms and can be life-threatening.

1b53e286f2dc476ac74dc3302ace56b5

(0)

on March 11, 2013
at 05:46 AM

What is bradycardia? Having bradycardia (say "bray-dee-KAR-dee-uh") means that your heart beats very slowly. For most people, a heart rate of 60 to 100 beats a minute while at rest is considered normal. If your heart beats less than 60 times a minute, it is slower than normal. A slow heart rate can be normal and healthy. Or it could be a sign of a problem with the heart?s electrical system . For some people, a slow heart rate does not cause any problems. It can be a sign of being very fit. Healthy young adults and athletes often have heart rates of less than 60 beats a minute.

8496289baf18c2d3e210740614dc9082

(1867)

on May 08, 2012
at 11:26 PM

Nope. Exactly the opposite. Foreveryoung and daz described it perfectly.

93eea7754e6e94b6085dbabbb48c0bb7

on April 28, 2012
at 07:35 PM

In addition having a calm and relaxed composure (from or during meditating because of the breath) significantly lowers it.

6d06945c5244687be2f6a9ca731b9cc6

(405)

on April 28, 2012
at 05:37 AM

All this, yes.. plus the fact that you were lying down and had just woken up. No need to fret, in my opinion (:

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 27, 2012
at 11:51 PM

If you were underweight, had an eating disorder, or something else of that nature I'd be worried. But it seems like you try to take pretty good care of yourself.

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8 Answers

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8
543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on April 28, 2012
at 12:14 AM

As foreveryoung says, if you are fit, all should be fine. You may have something described as Athletic heart syndrome (AHS). Syndrome sounds a bit iffy right?...but there's no need to worry.

Athletes tend to have lower resting pulses because they have bigger hearts which pump a greater volume of blood per stroke (stroke volume) . The heart will generally get bigger (& stronger) with exercise. This change will reverse on returning to a more sedentary lifestyle. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athletic_heart_syndrome

With your low blood pressure query; are you feeling dizzy when you stand up (from seated position) or like you may black out? That's a sign of low blood pressure, a lack of blood (oxygen) getting to the brain quick enough. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthostatic_hypotension. If not then your blood pressure is most likely fine.

2nd Edit (09May2012): from what i can tell the following pov for a slow heart beat relates more to endurance runners, but interesting anyway:

Source: An Interview With Dr. Raymond Peat
Mary Shomon: You feel that excessive aerobic exercise can be a cause of hypothyroidism. Can you explain this further? How much is too much?

Dr. Ray Peat: I'm not sure who introduced the term "aerobic" to describe the state of anaerobic metabolism that develops during stressful exercise, but it has had many harmful repercussions. In experiments, T3 production is stopped very quickly by even "sub-aerobic" exercise, probably becaue of the combination of a decrease of blood glucose and an increase in free fatty acids. In a healthy person, rest will tend to restore the normal level of T3, but there is evidence that even very good athletes remain in a hypothyroid state even at rest. A chronic increase of lactic acid and cortisol indicates that something is wrong. The "slender muscles" of endurance runners are signs of a catabolic state, that has been demonstrated even in the heart muscle. A slow heart beat very strongly suggests hypothyroidism. Hypothyroid people, who are likely to produce lactic acid even at rest, are especially susceptible to the harmful effects of "aerobic" exercise. The good effect some people feel from exercise is probably the result of raising the body temperature; a warm bath will do the same for people with low body temperature.

& http://www.equilibrio.com.au/promomail/articles/200706/Hypothyrodism.htm
According to Peat, exercise accelerates the breakdown of thyroid hormones, resulting in a protective slowing of metabolism. ???The slow heart beat of runners is largely the result of this adaptive hypothyroidism.???

1st Edit: this may be of interest as well (although not directly related to your question).
It's another athletic "syndrome" referred to as terms such as 'athlete's anemia', 'athlete's hemolysis', 'sports anemia' etc.
Here's a good article by Dr. Randy Eichner that covers it http://www.gssiweb.com/Article_Detail.aspx?articleid=276 Here's some of the text;

E. Randy Eichner, M.D.
Department of Medicine
University of Oklahoma Health

Sports Anemia
Athletes, especially endurance athletes, tend to have slightly low hemoglobin levels as judged by general population norms. Because a low blood hemoglobin concentration defines anemia, this has been called sports anemia.

But sports anemia is a misnomer because in most such athletes???especially men???the low hemoglobin level is a false anemia. The total volume of red cells in the body is normal, not low. Hemoglobin level is decreased because aerobic exercise expands the baseline plasma volume; this reduces the concentration of red cells, which contain the hemoglobin. In other words, the naturally lower hemoglobin level of an endurance athlete is a dilutional pseudoanemia.

Pseudoanemia is an adaptation to hemoconcentration that occurs during workouts. Vigorous exercise acutely reduces plasma volume by 10-20% in three ways. One, a rise in blood pressure and muscular compression of venules boost the fluid pressure inside the capillaries of the active muscles. Two, generation of lactic acid and other metabolites in muscle increases tissue osmotic pressure. These forces drive plasma fluid, but not red cells, from blood to tissues. Three, some plasma water is lost in sweat.

In response comes the release of renin, aldosterone, and vasopressin to conserve water and salt. Also, albumin is added to the blood (Nagashima et al., 2000). As a result, baseline plasma volume expands. Even a single bout of intense exercise can expand the plasma volume by 10% within 24 h (Gillen et al., 1991).

So it is common for an endurance athlete to have a hemoglobin concentration 1 g/dL or even 1.5 g/dL below "normal". Recognizing this as pseudoanemia depends on knowing the setting (aerobic training at sea level) and excluding other anemias. Plasma volume waxes and wanes quickly in concert with level of exercise, so athletes who train the most have the lowest hemoglobin levels and when daily workouts are stopped, hemoglobin level soon rises.

Pseudoanemia is key to aerobic fitness. The rise in plasma volume???plus the adaptations of "athlete's heart"???increases cardiac stroke volume. This more than compensates for the fall in hemoglobin concentration per unit of blood, so more oxygen is delivered to muscles. Result: A better athlete.

7
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on April 27, 2012
at 11:49 PM

dude you're fine. If you're fit, it's just a sign of a wicked efficient cardiovascular system. When I rowed a lot of lightweight crew my resting heart rate was 41BPM. Now it's between 48-52. If I increase cardio significantly though, it'll drop back down again. Well, let me clarify. Your pulse should be very strong, not weak. Strong and slow is better than fast and weak.

If it were adrenal fatigue your pulse would be high because you would have high sympathetic tone.

6d06945c5244687be2f6a9ca731b9cc6

(405)

on April 28, 2012
at 05:37 AM

All this, yes.. plus the fact that you were lying down and had just woken up. No need to fret, in my opinion (:

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 27, 2012
at 11:51 PM

If you were underweight, had an eating disorder, or something else of that nature I'd be worried. But it seems like you try to take pretty good care of yourself.

1
78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

on April 28, 2012
at 05:26 AM

Your HR is always lower after rest and if you've been laying down for a while. If you usually take yours during sitting or standing after being awake or active, don't be alarmed.

Back in the day when I was healthier, mine was taken in a physiology course. I was laying down, and it was 52. I wasn't a super athlete or anything, so if you're working out fairly intensely, I wouldn't find it surprising it was that low. I think it's perfectly healthy if you fine otherwise if you haven't had any other worrisome symptoms.

1b53e286f2dc476ac74dc3302ace56b5

(0)

on March 11, 2013
at 05:46 AM

In other people, bradycardia is a sign of a problem with the heart?s electrical system. It means that the heart's natural pacemaker is not working right or that the electrical pathways of the heart are disrupted. In severe forms of bradycardia, the heart beats so slowly that it does not pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. This can cause symptoms and can be life-threatening.

1b53e286f2dc476ac74dc3302ace56b5

(0)

on March 11, 2013
at 05:46 AM

What is bradycardia? Having bradycardia (say "bray-dee-KAR-dee-uh") means that your heart beats very slowly. For most people, a heart rate of 60 to 100 beats a minute while at rest is considered normal. If your heart beats less than 60 times a minute, it is slower than normal. A slow heart rate can be normal and healthy. Or it could be a sign of a problem with the heart?s electrical system . For some people, a slow heart rate does not cause any problems. It can be a sign of being very fit. Healthy young adults and athletes often have heart rates of less than 60 beats a minute.

0
104da0226bceb6616be19250aa364579

on November 26, 2012
at 11:27 PM

Low blood pressure and lower than regular heart rate are also symptoms of adrenal fatigue and overtraining. I used to have a 48 resting rate and while suffering with extreme adrenal fatigue it went down to 42. I also and lower blood pressure, would get dizzy when getting up suddenly, had cold hands and feet, and was unable to sleep well, to name a few things. So if you have a resting rate to compare it to, that would help. By itself 42 bpm isn't really an issue. However, If your resting heart rate is normally 50 or something greater and it suddenly dropped, that's a good warning sign. Low doesn't always necessarily mean crazy awesome shape.

0
93eea7754e6e94b6085dbabbb48c0bb7

on April 28, 2012
at 07:34 PM

That actually shows you are really healthy! Within a few months of starting paleo and working out more, whenever I put on my heart rate monitor in bed or while meditating it is also very low. Lance Armstrong's resting is in the high 30s. Your heart is a muscle, the larger it is the less beats needed to pump blood!

93eea7754e6e94b6085dbabbb48c0bb7

on April 28, 2012
at 07:35 PM

In addition having a calm and relaxed composure (from or during meditating because of the breath) significantly lowers it.

0
349c3e99b017b6402b1f76e7065864e8

on April 28, 2012
at 05:03 AM

Fitter you are lower the HR usually, i'm 42 years old & its usually between 33-36 first thing in the morning.

Do a lot of cycling so got a good endurance level but also got a low MAX HR of only just over 160 bpm.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 28, 2012
at 01:01 AM

Isn't overtraining usually accompanied by an elevated resting heart rate? Unless you are in full-blown adrenal exhaustion and I think you'd know that if you were....

8496289baf18c2d3e210740614dc9082

(1867)

on May 08, 2012
at 11:26 PM

Nope. Exactly the opposite. Foreveryoung and daz described it perfectly.

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