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DrRussMD
DrRussMD, Board Certified MD
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Experience:  Board certified Internal medicine and Integrative medicine. Many years of experience all areas.
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I am a 68 year old female and exercise every day including

Resolved Question:

I am a 68 year old female and exercise every day including water aerobics, cycling, walking and gardening. I have a Fitbit with a heart monitor. Using the equation 220 (or 226 for females?) minus one's age to estimate one's maximum heart rate, my maximum heart rate should be between 152 and 158 bpm. I go out on my bike and do between 30 - 40 miles twice a week and during these rides my heart rate has gone up to 188 bpm. Does this mean that I have a very healthy and strong heart like that of a 32- 38 year old or am I putting extreme stress on my heart and risking a heart attack or stroke? I am at least 2 stone over weight ( I'd like to think that this is all muscle but I can assure you it is not!!) but I have no illness (diabetes or thyroid problems) I take no medication and I experience no pain except some normal muscle ache in my legs. Should I continue with this exercise?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Gupta replied 7 months ago.

Hi,

For the level of exercise that you are doing, I believe that you have a normal heart rate on exertion.

I do not think that you need to worry about this,

This is putting stress on your heart, but it is not likely to increase your risk of heart attack or stroke, if you are otherwise fit and healthy !

You should certainly discuss this with your doctor during your next visit, but no need to be worried about it,

I have a couple of stones of 'muscles' that I would like to lose as well :)

Warm regards

Expert:  DrRussMD replied 7 months ago.

Hello

You are over the average maximal heart rate for your age.

Do not keep doing this until your doctor has cleared you.

I am a double board certified clinical doctor.

At your age you need:

exam

BP check

ECG

At minimum.

Keep your heart rate lower in the meantime.

Being overweight, female, and age 68 puts you in a group that is underdiagnosed in terms of heart problems.

Get cleared by your doc. You can't get cleared on the internet.

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DrRussMD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 63990
Experience: Board certified Internal medicine and Integrative medicine. Many years of experience all areas.
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Expert:  DrRussMD replied 7 months ago.

Thanks.

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