Am I going to die?

A bit frustrated with what I was messing with here at work, I decided to take a short break. I headed out to the cafeteria and decided to use the blood pressure thing they have sitting out there. I usually check every few weeks and have been pretty happy that my pressure has been steadily decreasing and is now firmly in the ‘healthy’ range.

Well, in addition to your blood pressure, the unit gives you your pulse as well. Mine today? 37 beats per minute…

Surely that couldn’t be right – I have had a fairly low resting rate when checking previously, but typically in the upper 40’s to lower 50’s.

But sure enough, it said 37. I noticed there was a new gadget sitting next to the blood pressure monitor, an oximeter, which also gives you your pulse. I figure, what the heck, and try it out. My pulse is varying between 35 and 38 BPM according to that thing!

Just to make sure I’m not crazy, I take my pulse manually – it seems to agree with these other devices.

Now granted, I’ve been doing high-intensity interval training for an hour three times a week, playing four games of hockey each week, skiing every weekend, and running 10 miles every Sunday, but doesn’t 38 still seem abnormally low? Everything I’ve seen on the web seems to indicate the normal range is 60-100. Can my heart be ‘too healthy’?

Guess I need to have a discussion with my doctor sometime soon! :eek:

Hey listen sweetie, were all gonna die.

Good grief! I’d strongly advise seeing a doc ASAP. Most people doing strenuous exercise have a low resting heart rate (mine runs around 45 at night in bed), but this sounds way too low, especially being up and about.

While waiting for an appointment, take it at various times, and especially after laying down for a while to see if it gets any lower.

Do you ever get dizzy or faint when getting up suddenly?

You may just need a pacemaker,but let’s hope not. Good luck!

That’s in the Bjorn Borg range. Hie thee to a doctor.


In short, no. IANAD, but it appears that your relatively abnormally low heart rate can be attributed to excellent conditioning.

Maybe you’re hibernating. Do you find yourself breathing once every four minutes, and your body temperature dropping into the mid 30’s?

Oh, please. I’m down to thirty beats an hour. It just takes discipline. Keep telling yourself “Bloodflow is for the weak!”

Do you work out? Especially cardio work? Athletic hearts often have beats at that low an interval. If you feel fine otherwise, I’d say you just have a good strong heart.

And water is for quitters!

I’m sorry, EnginNerd, but yes, yes you are. One day we all will. However, I don’t think it’ll be today.

Haha, that’s great. Imagine how much better life could be if we didn’t have to deal with the inconvenience of making our hearts beat! I mean, think of all the energy that must waste every single day!

Yes and yes… Especially at high altitudes (12,000 feet and up) maybe that’s my problem! (I’m currenlty training for a marathon and playing a TON of hockey as well as skiing pretty hard)

Maybe you’re onto something here. At least sometimes I feel like my temperature is dropping that far since I’ve been too cheap to turn up the heat beyond 62 degrees in my house and it’s been mighty cold out lately! :smiley:

Was your blood pressure in the “healthy” range?

You (IMO) need an EKG and a check by a doc, just to be sure. You sound very athletic and in excellent condition–but still. The EKG can detect possible abnormal heart rhythyms called blocks–you may have one. Or not. There are different kinds of heart blocks, some are fairly innocuous and some not. No way to really tell without the EKG.

Also, sometimes those machines can be a little whacko. Do you know how to take your own pulse? Find your radial pulse on the inner aspect of your wrist, on the thumb side. Don’t use your thumb to count the pulsations–your thumb also has a pulse. Find a watch with a second hand and count the beats for 15 seconds, then multiply that result x 4. You can also count for 10 seconds and x 6 or count for the whole minute.

What reading did you get for Blood Pressure? What reading did you get for on the Pulse Oximeter?

This additional information is necessary to make any informed pronouncements of your heart rate being dangerously low. It’s abnormally low, but probably not dangerously so, provided you really are that well conditioned.

If, for example, your Pulse Oximeter reading was below 90%, and your blood pressure was either very low or very high, then you might have a serious problem.

In any case, it’s worth discussing with your physician, but I wouldn’t run to the ER just yet.

The blood pressure reading was 127/72 and the oximeter said 97%. So nothing out of the ordinary there, at least.

When I was a teenager, my dad bought one of those little blood pressure cuffs so he could monitor his high blood pressure.

I used to get in the recliner and relax and test myself and the pulse rate was usually lower than 40. Even right now, my pulse rate is 72 and I’m not really relaxed and not nearly as active as I was when I was 15…I do a lot of walking but no real exercise.

When I went to a cardiologist a couple years ago and they put me on the treadmill, it took over 10 minutes to hit whatever the target heartrate was…I think it is 120. I was at a jog before I hit 80. About two minutes of a fast run at a steep incline got me to 120, but I think it was only because my legs were burning and I couldn’t catch my breath.

The cardiologist told me there was absolutely nothing wrong with my heart.