For the past several years, I've had a slowly increasing intolerance to exercise - particularly climbing stairs or hills. I'm in my mid-sixties, 5'4", 135 lb, and have allowed for my aging. But if I climb more than about 20 stairs, or if I try to walk up hills, my heart rate shoots right up to about 120 or more and I feel out of breath. (Resting heart rate is about 60-65, my blood pressure is about 110/70, thyroid panel is normal.) It feels like I did when I had anemia as a teenager.
I've had a stress test (had to quit after 2 1/2 minutes because my heart rate went up so quickly), but the cardiologist was unconcerned. I also had an echogram, which showed some mitral valve prolapse, but without regurgitation. And I had a Holter monitor for about a month, and it showed intermittent arrhythmia originating in the atrium and sometimes the ventricle. Typically they lasted only a few seconds.
I exercise regularly (go to the gym about four times a week, work out on the elliptical climber, lift weights, do most of my home maintenance, etc.), and I seem to do fine. But the stairs and the hills are where I get breathless and my heart rate goes up.
What's up with that?? It's very discouraging, especially when my friends are cycling, walking up hills, and running circles around me.