Are you a gifted athlete? While your athleticism might be caused by numerous factors, having superior heart rate recovery might be among your most advantageous traits. Here’s how genomic science can help you understand your full potential.
Anyone who has ever sprinted, done kickboxing, or tried high-intensity interval training knows the feeling of your heart beating so fast that it might jump out of your chest. And it definitely takes a while until you feel okay again. Yet, professional athletes, fitness trainers, and regular gym-goers are extremely resilient to these increases in heart rate and can get their hearts back to their baseline rates very quickly.
Heart rate recovery is your heart’s ability to return to its average heart rate after vigorous physical activity. Heart rate recovery is an overall indication of fitness and cardiovascular health – the faster your heart recovers, the stronger your heart and lungs are. Measuring heart rate recovery is a tool used by medical and fitness professionals to assess your overall conditioning.
Although your fitness level and overall heart health are the main contributors to efficient heart rate recovery, your genes could play a significant role, too.
One study has examined how our genes are related to heart rate during exercise and found 16 gene loci that were independently and significantly associated with heart rate recovery. Many genes were related to neurons, which are the building blocks of the nervous system. This phenomenon may suggest that the nervous system, especially the autonomic nervous system (which is responsible for regulating vital organs in an unconscious, automatic manner), may drive heart rate recovery.
The above study indicates that an increase in heart rate and heart rate recovery could be heritable traits. Moreover, the results substantiate the assertion that the autonomic nervous system is a key factor in controlling the acute heart rate reaction to intense physical activity. While this might not seem particularly important if you aren’t a scientist, it’s nonetheless an important step towards discovering new preventative medicines and treatments for cardiac issues.
So, what does this mean? Which genes are associated with heart rate recovery?
There is a strong body of evidence that suggests your heart’s response to intense exercise could be heritable. However, it’s important to note that additional research will have to be performed to determine precisely which genetic variants are the key drivers of efficient heart rate recovery.
Nevertheless, the more we learn about this particular genetic variant, the better we will understand the fascinating variables that contribute to human health and endurance.
Unlocking your genetic potential is just a click away! Simply download your raw DNA file from a genetic testing provider like AncestryDNA or 23andMe, and the experts at Genomelink will take care of the rest.
Register with Genomelink to upload your raw DNA file. Our genomic science team will provide you with an in-depth, comprehensive analysis of your genetic profile and help you understand your unique traits.
What do your genes say about your post-exercise heart rate recovery rate? Check Genomelink to find out.