Heart Rate Recovery Calculator

Created by Mariamy Chrdileli
Reviewed by Anna Szczepanek, PhD and Steven Wooding
Last updated: Oct 31, 2022

Welcome to the Omni heart rate recovery calculator, a simple and convenient tool you can use to calculate heart rate recovery.

Heart rate recovery indicates how well the heart recovers after stress (physical exercise). 🏃🏻‍♂️ If you're interested in exploring various indicators of your fitness level, determining your heart rate recovery can come in handy. Whether you're an athlete, interested in fitness, or just a curious mind, come along to get clear answers to some of the critical questions such as:

  • What is heart rate recovery?
  • How fast should heart rate recover?
  • How is heart rate recovery calculated?
  • How does the heart rate recovery calculator work? And more!

What is heart rate recovery?

Let's start from the beginning – what is heart rate? The heart rate (or pulse rate) measures how often your heart beats (contracts) per minute. For most adults, a healthy resting heart rate ranges between 60 to 100 beats per minute (bpm). Studies indicate that a lower resting heart rate is associated with reduced chances of heart attack, and a higher resting heart rate correlates with higher blood pressure and worse physical fitness.

Physicians have known for decades that heart rate is a significant indicator of health and physical fitness. But what about heart rate recovery? Heart rate recovery measures the rate of decline in your heartbeat after one minute of stopping exercise. It is an important measure since, on the one hand, accelerated heart rate recovery is associated with better cardiovascular fitness. On the other hand, delayed heart rate recovery is a significant predictor of overall mortality, a lower physical fitness level.

If you're also interested in your average heart rate during a training session or your target heart rate zones, check Omni's max heart rate calculator and target heart rate zone calculator, respectively. You can also keep reading to learn more about the heart rate recovery formula and how fast heart rate should recover!

How is heart rate recovery calculated?

The formula for heart rate recovery is quite simple:

HR recovery = HR max − HR after one minute,

where:

  • HR recovery − Heart rate recovery;
  • HR max − Maximum heart rate at the very end of your physical activity in beats per minute (bpm); and
  • HR after one minute − Heart rate after resting for one minute in bpm.

For instance, if your maximum heart rate at the end of your exercise is 175 bpm, and after one minute, it goes down to 156 bpm, your heart rate recovery index is 175 − 156 = 19.

What is a good heart rate recovery?

You're now probably wondering what a good heart rate recovery is. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. A median value for heart rate recovery in bpm can range from 14 to 22 depending on the study and population.

As a rule of thumb, the quicker heart rate recovery indicates that you are in good cardiovascular shape. Although note that after age 59, the 1-minute heart rate recovery index decreases more rapidly as the age increases.

It is also noteworthy that heart rate recovery under 12 bpm post-exercise, especially in younger individuals, may indicate cardiovascular disease and requires medical attention.

How does heart rate recovery calculator work?

Using the heart rate recovery calculator is relatively easy. All you have to do is:

  1. Measure your heart rate right after the exercise. To do so, find your pulse and set a timer to count the number of times your heart beats within 15 seconds. Then, multiply this number by four to determine your maximum heart rate after exercise. Enter the amount in the calculator.

  2. Measure your rate after one minute of rest and enter the amount in the calculator.

  3. Using the heart rate recovery formula above, our magic tool will compute your 1-minute heart rate recovery! 💓

Want to learn more about heart rate, physical activity, and calories? Check out our calories burned by heart rate calculator.

FAQ

Why does heart rate recovery matter?

Heart rate recovery is a prominent indicator since attenuated heart rate recovery is associated with the risk of cardiovascular events, the decline in insulin secretion, and raised glucose levels. On the other hand, a fast heart rate recovery may be an indicator of great physical fitness and cardiovascular health.

How do I go about calculating my heart rate recovery?

To calculate your heart rate recovery:

  1. Measure your maximum heart rate after the exercise; let's say your maximum heart rate is 180.
  2. Measure your heart rate again after one minute of rest; let's say it is 160.
  3. Subtract your heart rate after one minute of rest from your maximum heart rate; in other words, subtract 160 from 180.
  4. That's all! Your heart rate recovery in bpm is 20.

What is a good 1-minute heart rate recovery?

What is an excellent 1-minute heart rate recovery indicator for you will depend on your age, fitness level, and overall physical health. The heart rate recovery indicator usually decreases with age and is higher in elite athletes. If your heart rate recovery is lower than 12 bpm, you should seek help from a medical professional.

How do I accurately measure my heart rate?

To accurately measure your heart rate, you should:

  1. Find your pulse near your wrist, just below the base of the thumb.
  2. Use a timer and count how many times your heart beats within 15 seconds.
  3. Multiply the number by four to get your heart rate in beats per minute.
  4. Voilà! You have now calculated your heart rate in bpm.
Mariamy Chrdileli
Maximum heart rate after the exercise
bpm
Heart rate after 1 minute of rest
bpm
Heart rate recovery
bpm
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