Checking your heart rate can tell you a lot about your level of healing and cardiovascular efficiency. However, measuring your heart rate as you exercise can help you determine how hard you’re working.

Read on to learn about HRR, what it means, and what a healthy HRR range looks like.

Understanding Heart Rate Recovery (HRR)

To understand HRR, let’s first heart rate and what happens when your exercise:

The number of times your heart contracts and relaxes in a specific period is known as your heart rate.

The heart, a muscle organ, pumps blood throughout the body. When it contracts, the heart forces blood with oxygen and nutrients to travel throughout your body and waste back out.

A healthy heart pumps out the appropriate volume and rate of blood to support the body’s current activities. However, when you exercise, your heart rate increases. The heart rate must rise during exercise to supply the rest of the body with more oxygen and energy. However, it’s essential to keep the heart healthy during fitness exercises.

Therefore, HRR assesses how quickly your heart rate returns to its resting rate following an exercise session. It takes time for the heart rate to return to its resting level when you stop exercising or after reaching its maximum during exercise. Some fitness professionals call it post-exercise heart rate or pulse rate after exercising.

What Does Your Post-Exercise Heart Rate Indicates?

While you work out, your heart rate increases to provide oxygen and nutrients to working muscles and to remove waste products of metabolism or metabolites.

When you stop exercising, your body will return to its pre-workout state at an accelerated rate proportional to your fitness level. Therefore, your HRR also serves as an indicator of your overall fitness level.

What Does an Effective Heart Rate Recovery Look Like?

If you’re trying to be in better shape, one statistic you may keep tabs on is your recovery heart rate. In addition to monitoring their resting heart rate, some individuals track their heart rate while exercising. However, how do you determine if your heart indicators are sound? What is a healthy pulse rate?

The ideal post-workout heart rate return is a relatively rapid return to resting levels. In this case, the quicker it falls, the better. If your heart rate slows down after exertion, it may indicate a health condition. After resting for a minute, a healthy heart rate is 18 beats per minute.

However, this figure is highly conditional and dependent on things like your general fitness, age, the workout you just completed, and many more.

Image alt text: heart rate recovery rate. A heart rate monitor watch for stabilization of the heart.

Author credit: By Vi..Cult… – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Unfortunately, this issue has been the focus of academic inquiry. Many heart rate tracking methods have been developed after a strenuous workout. For instance:

  • With heart disease, your doctor may recommend that you remain moving even after your workout. Active rests involve maintaining motion at a much-reduced rate, such as when riding a bicycle.
  • Your doctor may recommend lying flat for passive rest if you have no history of cardiac problems.

You should be aware that there are various methods doctors might use to determine your resting heart rate. If you do the math independently, it’s best to let your service provider know the result. They’ll break it down for you and give you pointers on taking the most precise measurement possible.

Furthermore, remember that this value is only a small part of the overall diagnostic puzzle doctors use. They can gauge your general health and potential for future heart issues based on your HRR results.

How Do You Calculate Your Heart Recovery Rate?

One of the finest ways to keep track of your fitness progress is by using a heart rate monitor and tracker. These everyday gadgets monitor your HR while exercising and make it simpler to calculate HRR afterward.

With these devices, you need only remember two totals:

Your maximum heart rate while you were working out. Typically, this refers to your heart rate while finishing a very strenuous workout. Instead of waiting until after your cool down to check it, do it once the most challenging part of your activity is through.

Heart rate readings a minute following the end of your exercises: Take your heart rate one minute after you finish your workout. Take a one-minute break after completing your training. After a minute, you should retake your pulse.

Once you have taken the two readings, go ahead and do the subtractions.

Recovering Heart Rate: Why Is It Important?

Analyzing post exercise heart rate is helpful because it provides insight into how the heart heals. Purposefully and healthily increasing one’s level of physical exertion is how exercise works. Putting your body through the rigors of training is good for your heart, blood flow, lungs, and muscles.

Inadequate cardiac recovery after exercise may indicate a lack of fitness or potentially severe health issues. In addition, a 2017 study revealed that health issues like diabetes, chronic inflammation, heart disease, stroke, heart attack, and irregular heartbeat were linked to a slower reduction in heart rate after exercise.

Many medical experts use heart recovery rate to predict cardiovascular illness and mortality because of its significance in determining overall fitness performance and heart health.

Variables Influencing Your HHR

How quickly your heart rate returns to normal depends on more than simply your general fitness level. It is also crucial to understand how and what elements affect your post exercise heart rate if you wish to monitor its evolution over time.

Here are a few things to keep in mind that can impact your heart recovery rate:


Consistent water intake is crucial for optimal bodily function. Evidence shows dehydration can alter the cardiac function and raise the heart rate. Dehydration can also impair post-exercise heart rate recovery.


The heart is just one of many physiological systems that suffer when you’re tired and haven’t slept. According to studies, peak heart rate and post-exercise heart rate recovery may be affected by weariness.

Excessive Heat

Suppose you’ve worked out vigorously on a day when the temperature was extremely high. In that case, you know that the heart rate remains higher afterward.

Even though your body temperature and perspiration rate will increase, your heart rate will remain elevated to pump blood to your skin’s surface, which can evaporate and cool you down. Your heart rate is higher when it’s hot, so your HRR may drop.


The nervous system stimulation caused by caffeine may impair post-workout recovery. Caffeine consumption slows down the heart and lowers blood pressure recovery during physical activity.

Recovery Strategies for a Healthy Heart

Such variables may affect the reliability of the heart recovery rate tracking. The best way to speed up your heart recovery rate is to engage in regular physical activity.

If the idea of working out and becoming more active seems daunting, take heart that you may start with little changes. Modifying your exercise routine even a little will positively affect your health and fitness. Instead of expecting impossible results immediately, focus on progressing from where you are.

Therefore, start with one or two 10-minute walks each day for a healthy heart, especially if you’re currently inactive. The next step is to gradually increase your activity level. Get in touch with a doctor if you’re worried about your heart rate while exercising or after your workout.


The rate at which your heart rate recovers to an average level after an activity is a proxy for how quickly you recover. You can understand your cardiovascular fitness and health by monitoring your resting heart rate.

You may see how your heart rate recovers manually or by using a monitor. Your fitness level primarily influences how your heart rate returns to normal. Still, it is also influenced by exhaustion, caffeine consumption, temperature, and water intake.

Preventing illness and keeping yourself healthy as you age depend on a strong heart. One way to speed up the healing process after a workout is to increase activity and movement throughout the day.