If I’m asked whether or not it is worth having a personal trainer, my answer is always the same: it depends. As with any industry, you get what you pay for. If you find someone who is charging an unbelievable rate it is probably due to the amount of work they are going to put in.

The alternative is to seek out quality, who considers all the aspects of your life that contribute towards your fitness, be it exercise, diet or your actual medical signs. Typically I focus these blogs on diet or exercise but today I want to talk more about one of those signs, or indicators, that health professionals use to measure a clients physical fitness.

That indicator is your heart rate. Typically we have our heart rate measured when we are at rest or when we are exerting as much physical energy as possible.

Bradycardia describes an adult heart rate that falls below 60 beats per minute at any point and can start to show genuine symptoms when that value drops even further, particularly below 50.

When this happens it isn’t uncommon to find sufferers experiencing dizziness, fatigue or even falling faint in what seems to be an unexpected matter.

But while this is obvious a problem within the medical community, how does it impact us that focus on health and fitness? Well bradycardia has been witnessed in athletes who are subjected to extensive training and have an abnormally slow resting heart rate.

Of course there are a number of different types of this condition and we are only concerned with one when it comes to bradycardia that we see being exhibited by athletes, and that is sinus bradycardia.

I’ve spoken numerous times about not confusing information by making it over-scientific and I plan to avoid that here too. The general idea is that as athletes train their heart becomes more proficient at pumping blood around the body and therefore as a result an athlete’s heart doesn’t have to work as hard at rest. The result is a slower heart rate.

Firstly, not only does this not occur in all athletes it also differs from other types of bradycardia where the heart is beating slower but is no more proficient at pumping blood. So do you have to change your workouts?

Of course the answer is no. The point is to be aware of these genuine conditions, so that if you try to exercise in a new way and you experience difficulty, you are still able to explain what is going on.

If you have a genuine concern that you might be experiencing any adverse affect to a new regime, whether it is nausea, sickness or faintness the safest thing to do is get it checked out.

But just be aware of the conditions out there that could arise if you don’t consult professional advice before making drastic alterations to your lifestyle!

Ollie Lawrence
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