Heart & Cardiology/PVCs during exercise


Hello Dr. Richardson,

I'm 39, otherwise healthy and have had bouts of PVCs for 20 years.  I've been told they are benign.  I have also been told they tend to be more likely to occur when the HR is low.  I do a few high intensity interval training drills each week.  Almost like clockwork when my HR gets to 170-175 (nearing my max HR) during these drills, such as sprints, I will throw several PVCs (generally not consecutive PVCs however).  This will even occur during times where I have no PVCs at any other point in the day.  And they do not seem to happen when I am at a steady pace, on a bike for example, of even 165 bpm.  They seem to happen only when I am ramping up.  Of course it's scary cause my HR is already pounding like crazy.  I just want to ask if this is still considered "normal/safe?"   


Hello James,

Yes, normal and safe.   Premature beats are normal heart activity, easy to understand as normal from knowledge of the heart's electrical system and occurring in about half of us.  They don't mean you have heart disease or will in the future develop heart disease or any catastrophe.

Please write back if this doesn’t answer all your questions.

David Richardson

Heart & Cardiology

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David Richardson


Adult heart function and disease. Not very good about children lesss than 12. Hypertension is o.k. Heart rhythm a special interest.


Certified in cardiology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Was chairman of division of cardiology at the Medical College of Virginia. Am now mostly retired.

Fellow of American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology and member of American Physiological Society..

Circulation, American Heart Journal, Hypertension.

M.D. from Harvard Medical School. Residency training at Yale Uhniversity School of Medicine and Medical College of Virginia.

Awards and Honors
Gold Heartt Award from American Heart Association in 1995.

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