My heart rate monitor has a feature that measures my drop in heart rate over a 60 second resting period. It is suppose to just be a measure of heart fitness (the faster the drop the better your heart), but I haven't been able to come up with a consistent way to use it. Should I start just casually pedaling? Stop pedaling? Stop the bike? Get off the bike? The biggest drop I get is I get off the bike and sit down on a bench, but I'm not going for biggest, I'm just trying to figure out how I should measure it that would give me a result that I could compare to my other results and maybe compare to a chart of values and how good they are if such a chart exists.
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The usual recommendation is to just pedal slowly and then take the measurement. If your recovery rate is 12BPM or less, you should go see a doctor. A very fit person would recover 40+BPM. Someone who engages in regular cardio exercise would probably see recovery rates of 20+.
This is a HRM function that I use only a few times a year; like when I get back to real rides in the spring. It's probably most useful for either someone in training or a person starting out on a cardiovascular fitness program.
There's a chart on the wiki answers link.
And another: http://www.drmirkin.com/heart/8076.html