Thursday, 23 May 2013

ECG Results...

On Wednesday evening I popped along to the Nuffield Health and Wellness Centre in Finnieston Street, Glasgow to check all was well with the trusty ticker in preparation for the big race.

They measured my height, mass, BMI (a pretty useless measurement to be truthful), body fat (down at 11-12%), resting heart rate (41 bpm), ran blood and urine tests, checked posture and alignment, flexibility, family medical history, nervous system response, diet, eyesight, blood pressure (110/60) and various other tests.

Outcome - it seems I'm pretty healthy… might have something to do with all this exercising!

I was strapped up to an ECG - electro cardiogram to measure the electrical activity of my heart whilst cycling under load (i.e. working out). I started at a load of 25 W and the following trace was obtained:

It's funny seeing these traces - I've seen heart rate traces so often on TV, but never my own.  Good distance between the beats shows my heart was beating nice and slowly - around 80 bpm at this stage…

Compare this with the next trace, showing the load increased in 25W increments to 275W (i.e. having to work much harder to maintain the same cadence (pushing pedals) on the bike):

You can see the gaps between each beat are now much shorter (beating at approximately 155 bpm) since my heart is having to work harder to supply oxygen to my muscles.

The next trace shows me in the recovery phase; load reduced and allowing the body to cool down. A couple of erratic spikes shows that one of my ventricles is occasionally squeezing a little too quickly - seemingly this can be due to an electrolyte imbalance, now given the amount of bananas I eat that will unlikely be potassium or magnesium...  Much more likely to be a deficiency in sodium… normally I drink sports drinks during heavy exercise but not during this test… so I'm not worried about it - neither was the physiologist!
My heart rate dropped from 160 bpm to 100 bpm in just under a minute which shows the cardio system is in pretty good shape.

The last trace shows my blood pressure increasing during exercise (as expected) from 110/60. The first number is called systolic, or maximum pressure and the second number is diastolic, or minimum pressure. Both numbers are pretty spot on.  You can see as the load increases and the heart works harder to pump the blood, the systolic pressure increases up to a maximum of 180.  There should always be a difference between systolic and diastolic pressure… blood flows from high pressure to low pressure, so if there is no difference the blood won't flow through your vascular system!!!

All in all, I was given a clean bill of health. I'm going to work on some flexibility issues by doing some additional core muscle work in the coming 37 days! Not long now...


Nick Constantine said...

yes flexibility issues, get that BALL out and see Dr Mark:) great shape Gavin, better than me by about a factor of 10, 10-12% body fat!!! bloody hell man you need a kebab from the west end of Newcastle I reckon..

Dr Gall said...

Hahahah - yep, there will be a few kebabs heading my way… but maybe in July! Definitely need to see Mark and get the flexibility improved… just struggling with an IT band issue at the minute - stopped my long 2.5 hour run today when I was about as far away from the house as I could get… Ended up hobbling 1.5 hours home, so the rest of the day has been spent on the couch with ice packs and the leg elevated. Doh!

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