I was exercising (spordically) until early February when, as I was gently walking on the treadmill my heartrate jumped up to 160...something that until that moment only happened when I was REALLLLY pushing hard. It took the better part of 2 hours for it to come down below 100 again at rest. Since that day I have been TOTALLY freaked out about exercising.
What medications do you take? Do you have a heart condition, such as atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter? Both can sometimes result in fast heart rate during exercise, unless they are well controlled with medication. You mentioned that, according to your cardiologist, your heart is fine. If so, why do you need a cardiologist? (They tend to say this to reassure patients.)
Did you try measuring your blood pressure after exercise?
When we exercise, there is an increased demand for oxygen. The heart has to pump more blood to supply the increased skeletal muscle demand.
The nervous system gets the body ready for exercise by increasing heart rate, blood pressure and breathing, and by releasing extra glucose to supply energy. Once the exercise begins, the heart rate raises rapidly, in part due to the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine.
Some of the factors that can effect heart rate during exercise are medications, catecholamines, rise in body temperature (which increases during exercise), illness, type of exercise and body position.
Anyway, these days I am sooooo puffed all of the time. My doctor just says 'exercise more'. Well DUH...that is helpful! My issue is this...I'm now scared to exercise, afraid that my heartrate or blood pressure will go too high.
I understand how you feel. But, it is natural for the blood pressure and heart rate to increase during exercise. Do you measure your blood pressure and heart rate right before exercise, right after, and about half an hour later?
Since the excessive heart rate only happened once, is it possible you were having a bad day, reacted to medication, or weren't feeling well?
I think walking is one of the safest exercises to do, regardless of the health issues that might be present.
Part of the month, my BP and pulse are nice and low...almost too low for me (I get dizzy lots). The rest of the month my BP and pulse are up(ish) despite my BP meds
This is rather strange
. Do you mean both your blood pressure and pulse become elevated for days or weeks at a time? What do you think triggers these changes, hormones, diet, or lifestyle, non-compliance (if you take medication)?
I don't think this will help much. Hopefully, you'll get responses from posters with more experience in exercise related issues.