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I've been doing the stair stepper at  the gym lately and averaging 105 flights of stairs in 30 mins.  My heart rate is around 173-175  during this workout.  My brother says that is not good for me and dangerous??  I'm bored if I keep my heart rate in the range suggested for my age (will be 48 this month). Don't know if this matters either, but I'm 5'2 and 128 lbs.



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How do you feel at that heart rate?


If my heart rate goes that high I am out of breath, slightly dizzy, and ready to puke. It is very obviously too much for me.


But I am fine at 155-160. There my heart is beating hard and I feel like I am working really hard but none of the bad effects. My recovery time to the mid 130s is thirty seconds or so and that is good too.


I would say that as long as you are feeling alright, that it is probably alright.


(Not a doctor, don't play one on tv. Just like going to the gym and getting sweaty.)

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What's your resting heart rate like? If it's close to 100 beats per min (bpm),173 might not seem too high.

My resting heart rate is 50-60 bpm; I aim for 150 bpm.

Do you have a heart rate monitor (wrist) or are you using the one on the stepper? Fwiw, steppers/treadmills are often inaccurate.


eta: fixed typo.

Edited by ebunny
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The rule of thumb for max heart rate (not the target to aim for, just what you shouldn't go over) is 220 minus your age, or 172 in your case.  But not every 48yo or 20yo has the same heart rate to begin with so, while I wouldn't consider that number to be the definitive one for all 48yos, I would suggest looking for some more information. Most methods of calculating target heart rate from resting heart rate would suggest a 48yo with a high RHR of 100 should stay within 145-150 during exercise.


I'm 9 years younger with a high-ish RHR, and I have trouble staying within my THR once I really get going.  I don't worry too much about going above for a minute or two at a time, but I'm careful not to stay up there for longer.


If you're feeling physically comfortable at that heart rate, I (as a layperson, not a doctor!) would still recommend you only use that intensity for a minute or two at a time and give a few minutes in between to come back down.  And, if you don't feel comfortable at that heart rate (any signs of dizziness, breathlessness, etc.) DON'T DO THAT!


I get the boredom thing, really. My device of choice is the elliptical, and it is dull when it isn't intense.  But safety can be boring.  ;)   The good news is that, with regular cardio training, your heart should continue to become more efficient, and you'll be able to sustain greater intensity with a lower heart rate.


If I were your personal trainer, I would make sure your numbers were accurate (taking your HR manually, not going by machine) and I wouldn't let you sustain that HR under my watch.


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