Many people dread to feel their heart beat and during panic the heart can beat very fast and this can scare anyone! I suffered for a long time with heart anxiety, so I fully understand you. I hope this can help ease your mind if you suffer from heart anxiety. Of course, I am referring to anxiety not actual heart disease or dangerous arrhythmias.
I do believe knowledge is power, and I think it helps to put this into perspective, by looking at some calculations, set by the American Heart Association of what heart rates constitute good cardio fitness. These are figures, that are used to burn fat, and increase the strength and health of one's heart. There are some different opinions of what calculates the key fat burning zone, cardio zone, etc., but as a general estimated guideline, lets see what the American Heart Association's official website tells us:
"Your maximum heart rate is about 220 minus your age.
You want to stay between 50 percent to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. This range is your target heart rate."
Age Target HR Zone 50-85% Average Maximum Heart Rate, 100%
20 years 100-170 beats per minute 200 beats per minute
30 years 95-162 beats per minute 190 beats per minute
35 years 93-157 beats per minute 185 beats per minute
40 years 90-153 beats per minute 180 beats per minute
45 years 88-149 beats per minute 175 beats per minute
50 years 85-145 beats per minute 170 beats per minute
55 years 83-140 beats per minute 165 beats per minute
60 years 80-136 beats per minute 160 beats per minute
65 years 78-132 beats per minute 155 beats per minute
70 years 75-128 beats per minute 150 beats per minute
Of course these above numbers are just estimates, since we are all unique. But now if the American Heart Association recommends a good cardio exercise for a 35 year old to be 93-157 BPM, what does that mean to you with regards for your concerns if anxiety can damage your heart? Do you feel better about it?
On this site: http://www.thewalkingsite.com/thr.html
It mentions: Anaerobic Zone (Performance Training) --- 80 - 90% of maximum heart rate: Benefits of this zone include an improved VO2 maximum (the highest amount of oxygen one can consume during exercise) and thus an improved cardiorespiratory system, and a higher lactate tolerance ability which means your endurance will improve and you'll be able to fight fatigue better. This is a high intensity zone burning more calories, 15 % from fat.
Again, these numbers are estimates, but have you ever even got to 90% in a panic attack? Estimated Maximum Heart Rate is 220- your age. If you are 35 then that is 185. 85% of that is 157 bpm. So At 157 beats per minute, according to this site you would be, "improving your cardiorespiratory system". And "burning 15% calories from fat!" Does this help ease your worries?
Also it says: "Aerobic Zone (Endurance Training) --- 70 - 80% of maximum heart rate: The aerobic zone will improve your cardiovascular and respiratory system AND increase the size and strength of your heart. This is the preferred zone if you are training for an endurance event. More calories are burned with 50% from fat."
So for a 35 year old, 75% of 183 is 137, and at this zone it states: "The aerobic zone will improve your cardiovascular and respiratory system AND increase the size and strength of your heart."
For a 25 year old, the Aerobic Zone at 75% is 146 beats per minute and 85% in the anaerobic zone is 165 beats per minute!
Fitness Target Zones: Heart Rates
Exercise Level Benefits Intensity Level
(Max HR %)
Light Exercise Healthy Heart Maintenance
Maintenance 50% - 60%
Weight Loss Burn Fat & Calories 60% - 70%
Base - Aerobic Increase stamina & endurance 70% - 80%
Conditioning Fitness conditioning, muscle building, and athletic training 80% - 90%
Athletic - elite Athletic training and endurance 90% - 100%
Do any of these say you will die or your heart can't take it anymore? Do any of these say if you beat too fast your heart will explode? Go search all you want and see if you can find that. Of course, there are actual medical conditions of atrial fibrillation, tachycardias, etc., that can be a serious medical problem, but I am referring to anxiety here.
Of course, you would need to start slow and work your way up to higher fitness levels gradually as you get in better shape. Also, you may want to not go all out and stay in a training zone according to your fitness goals. But if you get a panic attack because you are in crowds, or upon waking, or if you have to give a speech, or in an elevator, etc., and you worry about your heart, take a look at the information here, and it may help put all of this into perspective for you.
Watch Dr. Mercola, do an intense cardio interval workout. He is 56 years old, and gets his heart rate past 150 bpm during short intervals and considers this extremely healthy.
What's funny, is one of the comments on youtube asks him, " I enjoy high intensity workout; however, my heart rate only gets up to maybe 135-140. I am 52 yr old and I am using a Schwinn recumbent bike."
Dr. Mercola's response is, "You need to go harder. Please watch the video to observe the type of intensity that is required. You might not get to 175 but you should certainly get to 160 unless you are taking beta blockers that slow your heart down"
I'm not a doctor or a fitness trainer, and these figures are all just estimates, but I hope you get the idea of what I am trying to get across.
Take care, and try and do what you can to enjoy your life. Life is short and the small things just don't matter. Within all of us is a place of peace and happiness. It's always there. It's only a matter of if you are in touch with it or not.