Garmin smartwatches can track your heart rate and some models have a function to track your Heart Rate Recovery rate as well. Garmin’s top-end sports watches can provide insight into your recovery heart rate based on your heart rate reading during exercise and 2 minutes after exercise. The difference between the two gives you your Recovery Heart Rate.
It is recommended to monitor your Heart Rate Recovery Rate at least twice weekly to gauge improvement in fitness levels.
The optimal way to get this reading is to stop moving completely after your workout, however, it is advisable to cool down after exertion.
Why Is Recovery Rate Important?
Garmin claims that studies have shown that heart rate recovery is linked to cardiac health. The higher the number the healthier your heart.
Since your heart is as muscle, how quickly your heart rate recovers is a good way to estimate your fitness level. The faster the heart rate recovers the better cardiovascular health you are in.
You should expect your heart rate to drop most sharply the first minute after stopping exercise. It should then fall about 20 beats per minute. A drop of less than 12 beats per minute is considered abnormal and a physician should be consulted.
A recovery Heart Rate of 23-30 beats in one minute is a good score. A Recovery Rate of 50-60 beats in one minute is considered excellent.
Garmin Devices that Display Recovery Heart Rate
fenix 3 HR
fenix 5 Plus/5S Plus/5X Plus
Forerunner 245 Series
Forerunner 645 Series
vivoactive 3 Music
vivoactive 3 Music (Verizon)
The New England Journal of Medicine claims that based on studies done on recovery heart rate, those with longer rates are at a higher risk of death than people with shorter recovery times regardless of physical condition or other risk factors. According to the National Emergency Medical Association, measuring one’s recovery heart rate is a way of determining if an exercise program is effective.
People with better cardiovascular condition tend to have lower heart rates during peak exercise. They also tend to recover quicker to their resting heart rates after working out. Before starting an exercise program, record your resting heart rate and use it as a baseline to see improvement in your exercise efforts over time. This won’t happen overnight.
Many smartwatches come with Heart Rate Monitors giving you the ability to track your heart rate from your wrist instead of a more cumbersome chest strap. Garmin was one of the forerunners of this feature when they launched their Forerunner 225 back in 2015.
In most Smartwatch heart rate monitors, an optical-based sensor on the back of the watch face touches the skin on the top of the wearer's wrist and monitors elevated heart rate levels. The sensor is able to measure the rate at which the blood is pumped through capillaries in the bloodstream.
Most, if not all, Garmin Smartwatches have a function that lets you see your BPR (Beats Per Minute) so you can make sure you are working out intensely and not overdoing it. There are different zones based on your age on the recommended heart rates for an individual. You generally should not go over your age minus 220.
Many individuals train based on keeping your heart rate in a certain Zone.
Post Workout: Heart Rate Data
When you have finished your workout, be it walking, running, cycling etc. you can review your data. You can use the Garmin Connect App. You get a graph of your heart rate over your workout session, an average, and maximum Heart Rate figure.
Get into the habit once you finish your workout, to stop and measure your heart rate immediately and two minutes after. Subtract the difference and that is known as your Recovery Heart Rate. Your Garmin Sports smartwatch can do this for you.
Remember not to move. You can breathe slower to help your heart rate slow down.
Some Garmin sports watches have a ‘Recovery Time’ feature. This is not the same thing as Recovery Heart Rate. Recovery time is the number of hours before you will be back at 100% ability to train hard again after a hard workout. It is used to indicate when training hard is beneficial and when it is better to go easy.
For best results, Garmin advises going for several runs or workouts so your device can learn your overall level of fitness. It gives you a way to optimize your training program. This is used by serious athletes who are in training.
Recovery Heart Rate is for anyone interested in seeing how their exercise program is affecting their heart as an indication of improving health.
Resting Heart Rate is your Heart Rate when you have just woken up. A lowering of your resting heart rate is a sign of improved fitness. While the average adult has a resting heart rate of about 60-100 BPM, an athlete might have 40-60.
If your Recovery Heart Rate (Difference between your Heart Rate when you stop Working out minus what your heart rate is after 2 minutes) is:
Less than 22- Your biological age is slightly older than your calendar age
22-25: Your biological age is the same as your calendar age
53-58: Your biological age is slightly younger than your calendar age
59-65: Your biological age is moderately younger than your calendar age.
66+: Your biological age is a lot younger than your calendar age.
The upshot is, the faster your heart rate returns to normal, the higher your level of fitness and Garmin sports watches that feature Recovery Heart Rate monitors can help you track this. This may be very appealing to some serious athletes and individuals interested in health and fitness.