Relatively numb

The team gave thirty-four participants a test…jump on an exercise bike for fifteen minutes. They were told to pedal as they liked. The people who were good at perceiving their heart beats showed significantly smaller increases in heart rate and blood flow and covered a significantly shorter distance.

The two groups were matched for physical fitness. The only conclusion the researchers could draw was that those who can accurately sense the rate of their own heart beat are more sensitive to physical load: they feel the physiological pressures more, so they don’t push themselves as hard.

In contrast, the relatively numb bad-perceivers cycled fasters, because they felt it less. People who are good at heart-rate-sensing could therefore find it harder to get fit and build their fitness, because exercise is more off-putting.

Emma Young, Super Senses (2021)

Interesting! Maybe those who are very disconnected from their heart beat could potentially approach exercise in a less realistic, more abstract way that may help you put up with it for longer and build a habit.

Shout out to the legend Bob Harper

I would also guess that someone obese or very unfit is likely not very sensitive to their heartbeat. I think losing weight and improving ‘cardio’ fitness will make you more sensitive to your own heartbeat.


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