Test Your Ticker

Here are two easy ways to get a quick measure of heart health.

(1) Go to the National Institutes of Health's online risk-assessment calculator (hp2010.nhlbihin.net/
) to learn your odds of having a heart attack within the next ten years.

(2) How quickly your heart recovers from exercise is also a good indicator. Give yourself this simple test, based on a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.


Step 1: Run for ten minutes at a moderate to vigorous pace (fast enough that it's difficult to carry on a conversation). Immediately after stopping, check your heart rate (count beats per minute with a watch or use a heart-rate monitor).

Step 2: After the initial reading, wait one minute and calculate your heart rate again.

Step 3: Do the math. Your heart rate should have dropped by at least 25 beats per minute. If it didn't, you should see a cardiologist and make some lifestyle changes. In the NEJM study, participants whose heart rate dropped fewer than 25 beats per minute were more likely to suffer heart attacks.


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