Athletic Heart Syndrome

runningheartI went to the doctor tonight for a re-check after being off my beta blocker for two weeks. I had been on the medicine for almost two years for an arrhythmia (my heart would beat irregularly and feel like it was trying to escape from my chest).

Several weeks ago, however, I started having some dizzy spells after exercising or when getting up too quickly. At the doctor, I found out that now my heart rate is unusually slow.  He took me off the medication and told me to continue what I’ve been doing (running, biking, swimming). The palpitations have not come back really (I have bouts of them but they are more moderate and don’t last very long) and the dizziness has abated somewhat unless I get up too fast.

However,  tonight, I still have a slow heart rate (it hovers around 45-50 resting; normal is above 60). Not as slow as a couple of weeks ago, but still slower than what’s considered normal.

His diagnosis? Most likely it is just a slow athletic heart. Meaning that by dieting and getting lots of cardio exercise, I’ve strengthened my heart to where it doesn’t have to work as hard.

I don’t know that I exercise enough to warrant a “slow athletic heart,” according to what I’ve read about this,  but I prefer that to any of the alternatives. Maybe because I was on the beta-blocker for most of the time, my heart just got used to beating slow? It’s not a dangerous condition, so that’s good.

At any rate, the next stop is the cardiologist to make sure that’s all that’s going on. And maybe it’s time for that heart rate monitor after all.

I have to admit, it was kind of cool to be told that some part of me is athletic! That’s not something I’ve ever actually heard before. 🙂


2 responses to this post.

  1. But you are athletic! You’ve accomplished so much the last years!

    I do have a heart rate monitor and I recommend it. My heart rate during running is usually around my maximum heartbeat. I know it has to be lower but my priority now is to run 10K. After that I have the whole winter to improve my 10K and my heartbeat. One step at a time 🙂


  2. You’ve just completed a triathlon! That makes you an athlete in ANYONE’S book!


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