What Your Resting Heart Rate Is Telling You

Tracking your heart rate is an easy way to monitor your cardiovascular health. Tracking your heart rate over time can give you valuable insight into whether your heart health is improving or declining and if you need to adjust your activity levels.

What Is A Resting Heart Rate?

Your resting heart rate (RHR) is measured by how many beats your heart takes per minute while in a resting state, such as sitting or laying down. The higher the number of beats per minute, the harder your heart has to work to supply blood to the organs and muscles in your body.

Why Is My Resting Heart Rate Important?

If your resting RHR is too high, you are at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and strokes. In addition, completing daily tasks can be more difficult than it needs to be and you may find yourself with a “racing” heart beat or “out of breath” with tasks such as walking briskly or climbing stairs.

What Is A Normal Resting Heart Rate?

An average RHR for an adult is between 60 and 100 beats per minute.

How Do I Calculate My Resting Heart Rate?

If your have a smart watch, check to see if it has a heart rate setting. Many smartwatches have the ability to keep track of your heart rate and will track and display your RHR.

If you do not have a smart watch, find you can find your pulse by placing 2 fingers on your wrist, in line with your thumb or by placing 2 fingers on your neck, just below your ear. Watch a clock for 15 seconds while counting how many times you feel your pulse beat. Take this number and multiply it by 4.

Measuring Heart Rate On Neck and Wrist

Factors That Affect Resting Heart Rate

There are some factors that can affect your heart rate including:
• Diet: Diet plays a large role in how hard our heart has to work to pump blood. Some food and drinks such as coffee and foods high in sugar can cause a spike in your resting heart rate.
• Exercise: Athletes and those who work out regularly will typically have a lower resting heart rate.
• Hydration: Being dehydrated can cause your heart to have to work harder in order to pump blood to the rest of your body.
• Mood: Your mood can also affect your heart rate, feeling anxious or extremely happy can also raise your resting heart rate.

How Do I Improve My Resting Heart Rate?

If your heart rate is above 100 beats per minute, your heart is having to work too hard to pump blood to your body when you are at rest. You can remedy this by improving your cardiovascular health through exercise such as: walking, jogging, running, swimming, or biking and lifestyle changes (such as stopping smoking).

If you do not exercise regularly, you should check with your physician to ensure it is safe for you to exercise prior to starting a new exercise routine.

How Can A Physical Therapist Help?

Physical therapists are trained to monitor your heart’s response to exercise, design exercise routines, and adjust exercises to meet your current fitness level or mobility restrictions. Physical therapists can also teach you how to optimize your work-outs to improve your cardiovascular health.

If you have a high resting heart rate accompanied by difficulty with breathing during walking or stair climbing, or if you have restrictions to mobility that limit your ability to exercise consider making an appointment with one of our skilled physical therapists to design a customized wellness program. Therapydia Kona offers a wellness assessment that can give us further insight into your mobility, body composition and strength and how we can incorporate that into a program that will keep you active and injury free.

The Importance Of Active Recovery Days

The Importance Of Active Recovery

By Rebecca Roberts, PT, DPT

Have you ever felt sore and fatigued the day after a hard work-out, 5K, bike race, soccer match, or other activity? Similarly, you may have experienced increased muscle soreness, stiffness, or fatigue when you start a new workout routine or when you return to your normal workout routine after a lapse in activity. If so, then an active recovery program is for you. 

What Is Active Recovery?

Training, competing, or working-out can leave your muscles feeling stiff, sore, or fatigued due to micro-trauma in the muscles as well as a buildup of lactic acid and other waste products. Active recovery is any low-intensity movement that you perform to increase blood flow to your muscles, which helps to repair damaged cells and remove waste products from the cells which can leave you less sore and fatigued. Studies suggest that performing an active recovery can reduce muscle fatigue, (1) decrease inflammation, (2) improve performance, and decrease the length of your recovery. (3) Performing an active recovery may also reduce your risk of injury from over-training. 

What Does This Mean?

How you recover from a hard workout is just as important as the activity you do. It is important to plan 1-2 active recovery days into your week, but that does not mean you should just sit on your couch. Change your mindset to think of your “rest days” as “active recovery days,” performing intentional low load movements versus no exercise or exercises at your normal training level. 

Some Of Our Therapist’s Favorite Active Recoveries:

Becky – Swimming, gentle bike riding, walking

Kate – Yoga

Stephanie – Light jogging, light weightlifting, surfing, walking, yoga

Tyler – Pilates, corrective exercises, swimming, jogging with my pup, hiking

Other active recovery suggestions:

  • Easy hiking or walking your dog (or a friend’s dog or a dog at a shelter)
  • Gentle rowing or paddling
  • Playing catch or sports with your kids
  • Snorkeling or swimming
  • Low-intensity Yoga, Pilates, or Tai Chi
  • Foam rolling
  • Light weight lifting

How Does Physical Therapy Help With Active Recovery? 

Physical therapists can help you design a custom exercise program that includes proper warm-up and recovery activities based on your individual activity level, goals, and needs. In addition, if you have tried active recovery and continue to be sore or experience pain, you may have an injury which will benefit from a physical therapy evaluation and customized treatment plan.

If you are experiencing pain or prolonged soreness after a work-out, please contact our office to schedule an appointment and see how our team of skilled physical therapists can help you reach your goals. 

(1) Mika A, Oleksy Ł, Kielnar R, et al. Comparison of Two Different Modes of Active Recovery on Muscles Performance after Fatiguing Exercise in Mountain Canoeist and Football Players. PLoS One. 2016;11(10):e0164216. Published 2016 Oct 5. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0164216
(2) Peake JM, Roberts LA, Figueiredo VC, et al. The effects of cold water immersion and active recovery on inflammation and cell stress responses in human skeletal muscle after resistance exercise. J Physiol. 2017;595(3):695–711. doi:10.1113/JP272881
(3) Ortiz R, Elder AS, Elder C et al. A systematic review on the effectiveness of active recovery interventions on athletic performance of professional-, collegiate-, and competitive-level adult athletes. J Strength Cond Res. 2019 Aug; 33(8):2275-2287. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002589.

Get to Know Your PT: Stephanie Colasanti, Therapydia Kona Physical Therapist

physical therapist kona hawaii

Therapydia Kona Physical Therapist Stephanie Colasanti, PT, DPT, takes some time to talk about staying motivated, the difficulty of turning off her PT brain when she’s not at work, and sunny-side up eggs.

“Don’t stop moving! Get off the couch and go outside to release some endorphins and feel motivated about life.”

When did you know that you wanted to be a physical therapist?

I knew I wanted to be a PT when I was an undergraduate studying exercise science and getting observation hours through various PT settings. Seeing the positive influence that PTs were able to provide through delivering personalized treatments and building caring relationships with patients motivated me to pursue the profession.

What is the biggest challenge involved in being a physical therapist?

Turning off my PT brain when I’m not at work. It is hard to go out in public and avoid observing people’s gait, posture, and overall movement patterns and not want to start giving PT advice.

How do you like to stay active?

I enjoy going to group workout classes like CrossFit. Working out with friends in a group environment is generally more motivating than trying to work out by myself. I also try to stay active by getting in the ocean and surfing or stand-up paddleboarding.

What’s your favorite song to get you motivated?

“What Do I Know?” by Ed Sheeran. It’s all about not taking life too seriously and when it comes down to it, love is all that matters.

What surprised you the most about the physical therapist profession?

I would say the most suprising thing about the profession is the lack of public awareness of the level of education physcial therapists have. It seems like most people are unaware of how equipped PTs are in diagnosing and treating most musculoskeletal conditions.

Have you learned anything new about PT recently that surprised/interested you?

I recently learned there is a new technique being studied to reverse the effects of various types of foot and hand neuropathy (pain, numbness, and tingling occurring from nerve damage). I have seen a lot of patients who could benefit from this.

Are you currently pursuing any further education/certifications?

Not currently, however I am looking into getting SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment) certified and possibly eventually doing a yoga certification for health professionals.

What do you wish everyone knew about physical therapy?

I wish everyone knew that PT should be the first line of action to take prior to surgery or medications when it comes to pain, with the exception of some very serious issues and acute fractures that require emergency surgery. PT will get you back to doing what you love sooner and with less risk than other non-conservative methods of pain relief.

What’s your go-to breakfast?

Sunny-side up eggs.

What is the most important personality trait that a PT must have?

I think being personable and having good listening skills is absolutely crucial. It makes the experience much more comfortable and allows the patient to trust you.

How do you unwind/de-stress?

Surfing, working out, hanging out with friends, reading, cleaning, yard work.

What is your favorite piece of wellness advice to offer?

Don’t stop moving! Get off the couch and go outside to release some endorphins and feel motivated about life.

Click here to learn more about Stephanie and the other physical therapists at Therapydia Kona.

Get to Know Your PT: Tyler Patrick, Therapydia Kona Clinic Director

Therapydia Kona Clinic Director Tyler Patrick, PT, DPT, OCS, ATC, CSCS, takes some time out of his busy schedule to talk about how PT is perceived by the general public, what keeps him motivated, and his dog, Rufio.

“At our clinic, we get to know the person who has the injury which allows us to treat them, and not just their injury.”

When did you know that you wanted to be a physical therapist?

My interest in medicine as a career started when I tore my ACL, MCL, and meniscus while playing football in high school. I decided to pursue Athletic Training for my undergraduate degree as it combined my interest in sports and medicine. Through clinical experiences with the different sports teams at Ohio State and professionally with the Baltimore Ravens, I realized I enjoyed rehabilitating the athletes the most, therefore I decided to become a PT.

What is the biggest challenge involved in being a physical therapist?

We are a medical provider that asks a lot of the patient. We don’t perform a lot of passive treatments, which requires the patients to take an active role in their recovery with home exercises performed daily or even multiple times a day. Once people start to take that ownership and realize that they have some control in their recovery, it is very rewarding to experience.

How do you like to stay active?

I have an exercise program that I follow 3x a week and I also run 3x a week with my dog. Then try to hike, bike, swim, and surf as much as possible.

What’s your favorite song to get you motivated?

Honestly it depends on my mood, but I have been listening to a lot of Nahko and Medicine for the People and Childish Gambino recently.

What surprised you the most about the physical therapist profession?

Since we are a young profession, compared to nursing or physicians, many people still do not truly know what physical therapists actually do until they experience it for themselves.

Are you currently pursuing any further education/certifications?

Recently I have taken a deep dive into golf rehabilitation with the Titleist Performance Institute and it has not only helped me treat the golfers on the island, but improve their golf game as well! Additionally, I have plans to take some Pelvic Restoration Institute courses to incorporate more diaphragm and breathing into my treatments.

What do you wish everyone knew about physical therapy?

I think this one ties back into my surprise as to people not fully understanding what we do. As a profession, we are trying to educate people on how we treat injuries and pain, as well as the amount of training/education that goes into becoming a PT. It takes 7 years to become a Doctor of Physical Therapy.

What’s your go-to breakfast?

I hate to admit this but I usually don’t eat breakfast, but when I do it usually is anything fast.

What is the most important personality trait that a physical therapist must have?

At our clinic, we spend an hour with new patients and 45 minutes with follow up appointments, so being able to communicate is probably the most important trait. We get to know the person who has the injury, which allows us to treat them and not just their injury.

What do you to unwind/de-stress?

I meditate, spend time with my pup Rufio, play bike polo, surf, workout, watch a movie or show, and read to name a few.

What is your favorite piece of wellness advice to offer?

I have a lot, but one that I was given recently is to imagine the person you want to be and then ask yourself, what would that person do in this situation? When it comes to fitness though my soap box topic is always to train movement, not muscles.

Click here to learn more about Tyler and the other physical therapists at Therapydia Kona.

For the General Public: Using therapydia.com as a resource

Have you ever googled: why does my knee hurt? Try it…

You will see a bunch of random information.  Some will pertain to a particular provider advertising their practice.  Some will suggest that your pain has dozens of different potential causes without really helping you figure out why your knee hurts.

The big problem with most health related web pages is that the web page doesn’t have the ability to interact with you.  Yes you can ask a question to the search engine, but the search engine cannot ask you a question.

Therapydia’s website does well to solve the above mentioned problem.  Best of all, the website is a free resource for anyone to use.  On our site, under the “For You” green box is a section called “Research a Condition.”

For You

Ask whatever you want regarding a particular injury / problem and a physical therapist from somewhere within the United States will answer.  Maybe your problem is an easy fix such as correcting the way you sit or lift an object.  Perhaps the solution sounds more involved and the therapist recommends you seek clinical care.

Although we don’t have the ability to solve all problems online, we do have the ability to start the process of gaining useful and specific information at the point of initial pain onset.  As a medical community, we have long sat within our “walled gardens”, tucking ourselves away in clinics and limiting our exposure to the communities that we are supposed to be serving.  Our ability to advance our skills and practices relies heavily on the ability of our communities to learn more about painful and debilitating conditions.

Please use therapydia.com and don’t wait until your first physical therapy appointment to ask your first question.

A Hui Hou,

Dr. Brett Carey D.P.T.