HRR: Low Score Predicts Death, High Score Feels Great

There are lots of measurements thrown around these days that the health world says you need to monitor. Some of these are HRV (Heart Rate Variability), resting heart rate, max heart rate, blood pressure, and sleeping heart rate dip. But one the easiest and most reliable markers for your health is Heart Rate Recovery.

How to Take It

The method for taking your Heart Rate Recovery is pretty simple. As soon as you finish exercising take your pulse (count for :15sec and multiply by 4). Then wait one minute and take another measurement. If you want to track it further take one more measurement at the end of two minutes.

A Predictor of All Cause Mortality.

Two studies completed in 1999 and 2000 measured participants HRR and followed them for six years. The studies showed that the inability to recover more than 12 bpm in the first minute after exercise was a strong predictor of death within these years. This held true even after adjusting for other risk factors.

The primary reason scientists believe this measurement is important is its illustration of one’s ability to switch back into a relaxed state. If you are able to “turn it on” and exercise while also being able to immediately down shift afterwards you are going to be healthier.

It is also a great number to chase simply because it means you will feel better after working out. If you have ever worked out and been groggy or lethargic the rest of the day it is likely because you were not able to recover quickly.

How to increase this number?

The easiest way is simply through nasal breathing during workouts. Doing so will help you keep more relaxed during your workouts and help you recover even quicker. This hits home for me as my dad’s HRR was at one point 14bpm. He switched to nasal breathing during his workouts and now regularly hits 25bpm recovered within the minute. Other heart issues were resolved because of this adjustment as well.

It is an easy measurement to take. Try it today and increase it tomorrow. Not only will you be working on your health, but you will feel better too!

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