You don't know your resting heart rate?!!!

You may have heard the terms Resting Heart Rate (RHR), VO2 Max, Body Mass Index (BMI) or Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), but your not an athlete so what do they really mean to you?

While metric and measurements like resting HR seem foreign and unimportant, knowing and understanding these terms can help you achieve better health and reach your fitness goals - regardless of being an athlete or what your current abilities may be.

Recently, I had the opportunity to do a deep dive into my own health and fitness while being tested at XFit Lab with Dr. Isaiah Robinson aka @kirozeek. My experience was documented on Instagram @drbrianyodice but I would like to share the details of what that experience gave me in terms of my own level of health and fitness and how I approach the specific needs and treatment of my patients. Now, metabolic testing was not new to me, I have been tested before and been working with triathletes and endurance athletes for many years; they are all about the numbers! The more data they have to determine fitness thresholds, training zones and race pace the happier they are. But, what does this all mean if you are not an athlete. My conversation with Dr. Robinson opened my eyes to how he uses this data to direct care for his chiropractic patients. All this data can help identify potential musculoskeletal health problems as well as gauge your current cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic health...get a better gauge of your internal engine and functional capacity.

Resting Heart Rate when used in the context of other more commonly known biomarkers such as blood pressure and cholesterol we can determine your level of physical fitness. Lower RHR is associated with higher degrees of fitness and reduced rates of cardiac events like heart attacks. It is recommended checking your resting heart rate a few times per week and at different times of the day. Keep in mind that the number can be influenced by many factors, including stress and anxiety, circulating hormones, and medications such as certain antidepressants and some blood pressure drugs. 

Tips for measuring your resting heart rate

 ·  Do not take your RHR within one to two hours after exercise or a stressful event.
Your heart rate can stay elevated after strenuous activities.

 ·  Wait at least an hour after consuming caffeine, which can cause heart palpitations and make your heart rate rise.

· The American Heart Association recommends checking your resting heart rate first thing in the morning (but before you get out of bed).

Recovery rate is also a gold standard in medicine. Its not only important to see how high you can get during exercise or how low it can be at rest but what your capabilities are to calm down and recover. Take your HR after your done exercising and see how far it drops over the next 2 minutes.

Body Mass Index is determined through impedance testing which can determine how much muscle you have compared to fat, where you carry the majority of fat and muscle, how well hydrated you are inside the cell and outside the cell. These ratios and the location of muscle and fat give a picture of your body composition which determines risk factors for the onset of diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome which can lead to further weight gain and other life threatening conditions. This can also be a tool in making appropriate dietary changes and hydration recommendations.

Resting Metabolic Rate is the rate at which your body burns energy when it is at complete rest and demonstrates where you are from a medical performance stand point. How well your body functions on a cellular level and what your basic caloric needs are. This is an important point when we look a weight management, optimizing body composition for performance and fueling for life's daily activities and exercise. RMR supports breathing, circulating blood, organ functions, and basic neurological functions. 

VO2 Max is the maximal oxygen capacity of your body during exercise. This is the measure of your cardiovascular fitness and capabilities. How well does your body use Oxygen (O2) and filter out Carbon Dioxide (CO2)? It's commonly used to test the aerobic endurance or cardiovascular fitness of athletes before and at the end of a training cycle. The value of VO2max to non athletes is as a reflection of total body health and understanding whether your activity and lifestyle profile translates into real health benefits. VO2max can be considered as a vital sign, along with traditional measures like body temperature, blood pressure, and heart and respiration rates. It reveals the heart, lungs, blood vessels, muscles, and nervous system all working together. 

Reasons to boost your VO2 Max:

1- Feel better and less stressed; Exercise is a well-known method of unwinding from a stressful day, but a higher fitness level can even prevent physiological stress from accumulating in the first place. Physically active people experience less physiological stress and are more resilient to the impacts of stress. 

 2. Breeze through daily challenges; When you improve your fitness level, daily life gets easier. This percentage of your maximum capacity plays a big role in how easy or hard activities feel and how effortlessly you can perform them. 

 3. Faster, higher, stronger; VO2max plays a role in how well you perform in a variety of sports. While especially important for endurance activities like running and cycling, aerobic fitness also plays a role in sports like soccer, basketball, and any other sport that will leave you panting for air. 

 4. Level up your health; Your fitness level has a significant impact on your susceptibility to non-communicable diseases and overall health. 

 5. Turn back the clock; Getting older is a fact of life, but regular exercise and an active lifestyle can immunize you from many of the effects of aging. It’s no accident that the same types of activities that boost your fitness level also minimize muscle loss, keep your bones strong, and even keep your brain healthy.

Effective testing can also determine how your body utilizes the calories it burns for energy. What is the ratio of fat to carbohydrates or sugar? I was able to see how effective I am at burning fat versus carbohydrates, when I am using those calories during activity and exercise. This becomes important when making nutrition recommendations and determining dietary needs for protein vs fats vs carbohydrates especially in weight-loss or fueling athletes for their specific sports.

As doctors of Chiropractic, we specialize in the treatment of spinal and neuromusculoskeletal injuries and conditions. The information gained through general awareness and metabolic testing can not only help determine the level of health and performance of our patients but help direct care that helps improve respiratory and cardiovascular efficiency, neurologic function and the over all health of our patients while decreasing pain and improving functional capacity for everyday tasks and the higher level athletic events.

 Want to know your numbers???

At Collaborative Chiropractic, we know how to properly evaluate your health and fitness level. Call today for an appointment: 914-600-3222 or send us a message below to discuss how you can find your numbers today. 

Author
Dr. Brian Yodice-Chiropractor Dr. Brian Yodice Dr. Brian Yodice is the owner of Collaborative Chiropractic, a healthcare practice focused on influencing healthy lifestyles. Dr. Yodice, a chiropractor, lifelong athlete and coach brings his extensive knowledge and experience to the care he provides. Educating his patients on the implementation of exercise and lifestyle changes, he guides them through a transformation to performing as better athlete or individual living a healthy active lifestyle.

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