How Long Should It Take To Catch Your Breath After a Run? A Cardiologist Weighs In

Photo: Getty/ Yasser Chalid
So, how long should it actually take you to catch your breath after a run or a cardio-focused workout? The short answer: It varies from person to person. But if you’re heart rate recovers more quickly, it’s a good sign of overall cardiovascular health, says Sidney Glasofer, MD, FACC, and a board-certified cardiologist with New Jersey-based Atlantic Medical Group. “Individuals whose heart rate recovers faster are in better cardiovascular health,” he says. If you’re not there quite yet, don’t worry. The heart is a muscle and just needs a bit of training. Running is a fantastic aerobic activity to get your heart pumping and increase overall heart health, but just like running, it takes practice and a consistent routine to get your heart in good shape. According to the nonprofit academic medical center Cleveland Clinic, the heart beats an average of 10,000 per day and pumps blood through your vessels that, if stretched in a straight line, would cover some 60,000 miles—which is...a lot. When you opt for aerobic activity like running, your heart is working extra and uses more nutrients and oxygen to meet your needs, which makes it stronger and stronger over time. The more efficient your heart, the more blood it pushes out, and the better your heart distributes blood through your vessels. You'll begin to notice that after your run, your recovery time is shorter. But there isn't a set time that it should take to get back to your regular breathing pattern. *Shakes fist at the sky wishing for a magic number.* “It is very individualized, and it gets better as you [continue to move]," Dr. Glasofer says. While he wants patients to pay attention to their heart rate changes, he encourages them to not fixate on the number or time. “You can’t train yourself to have your heart rate come down faster, but you can train to get into better shape so it will help you recover faster.” Dr. Glasofer encourages patients to remember that the process takes time. “I want you to do 30 minutes of moderate three to five times a week,” he says. “Staying in that moderate exercise for a little longer, over time, will get you into better shape.” Before long, you’ll likely notice you can go from your running to resting heart rate in less time. Oh hi! You look like someone who loves free workouts, discounts for cutting-edge wellness brands, and exclusive Well+Good content. Sign up for Well+, our online community of wellness insiders, and unlock your rewards instantly.

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