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Lowest resting heart rate competition

 By: Torsten Gabrielsson, Tentipi


How relaxed can you get? At this summer’s edition of the massive Outdoor Show, where the outdoor industry of the world gathers for four intense days in southern Germany, we asked this quite unusual question to the visitors when we challenged them to see how low resting pulse they could get in one minute.

Fabiana Fenuta"It felt good, it was relaxing in the tent", winner Fabiana Fenuta, Switzerland says after achieving resting heart rate of 52 beats per minute (bpm), laying down in our Nordic tipi-booth. Needless to say we were totally impressed by her result, and a bit concerned.

"No worries, I'm alive! But usually my pulse is lower, 48, 46 in the morning. You have to do a lot of cycling to get that!"

So, why a relaxing competition? Well, the answer lies in the roots of our company. Tentipi was founded, and still has one of our main offices, in Moskosel, Swedish Lapland. In this northern part of Scandinavia, one of the most popular activities, except for skiing, snowmobiling and perhaps hunting, is the art of "bara vara". Directly translated to English it says "just be", and the expression means to do nothing special, having nothing serious to think about, being in peace, and perhaps also being quiet. Not to say relaxed.

So, this summer we exported this concept to the continent, and to see how relaxed people could get we made a sport out of it at the Outdoor Show, finding out who had the lowest resting heart rate of all the 20,000 visitors. At the trade show a new open air area, simply called HangOut was created, a fusion of outdoor lifestyle, BBQs, chill-out zone and product presentations. Nordic tipis with open fires to sit and stare into, Tentipi style. "These are aspects we had almost lost sight of in the past. Outdoor isn't just about rushes of adrenalin or challenging adventures, but about enjoying the great outdoors – preferably with friends if possible", says Martin Kössler, one of HangOut’s initiators in a press release for Outdoor Show 2017.

ContestTentipi was one of 27 companies invited to the HangOut area. "We had a brainstorm meeting and came up with the idea to have a relaxing competition at our booth. We wanted to find the person with the lowest heart rate, Patrik Rönnbo", sales and marketing at Tentipi says. "We set up a Safir 5 cp with our new camping mattress so the competitors could lay down comfortably and find their inner peace. We also had some fire wood impregnated with Scandinavian forest scent and speakers playing birds songs to really put our visitors in the right mood!"

The firewood however was purely decorative, with temperatures reaching 34°C and a bright blue sky during the week it's needless to say there was no use of a fire. "It was hot! I was jealous of my colleagues who were at our booth inside the air conditioned show halls", Tilde Grahn, competition manager and daughter of Tentipi CEO Bengt Grahn says. 

But she overcame the heat and succeeded to bring a fair amount of aspiring low pulse masters to the tent."One guy did a try and had a 92 resting pulse. He was really disappointed of course but came back next day and had a whole bunch of colleagues with him. It became a fun way to challenge your co-workers!" Tilde says.

The competition was co-hosted by two other Scandinavian brands: Finnish sports watch manufacturer Suunto and Swedish outdoor cooking supplier Light My Fire, contributing prizes for the winners. The participants were armed with a Suunto Spartan pulse watch fitted around the wrist and then laid down in the Nordic tipi for one minute, trying to get the pulse down. 

Griffin BrungraberNational Institute of Health, USA, states that a normal resting heart rate for an adult is between 60 and 100 beats per minute (bpm). Well trained athletes usually have heart rates between 60 and 40bpm. In 2005, Guinness World Records registered Martin Brady (born 1969) as the world record holder with as few as 27 heart beats per minute while resting. However that record was beaten in 2014 when British pensioner Daniel Green, then 81, at a check-up recorded a resting pulse of 26 beats per minutes, lower than Usain Bolt (33 bpm) and five-time Tour De France winner Miguel Indurian (28 bpm) according to the Daily Mail. Mr Green puts his incredibly low pulse down to daily exercise and running marathons in his younger days.

When the Guinness World Records measure low pulse they hook the candidate to an ECG machine for 24 hours, measuring the average pulse. We, however, took it a tad less seriously and gave the participants only 60 seconds to get as low as possible. Despite the short time and the high temperature at the booth, we still expected it to be a close competition since the Outdoor Show features plenty of sports brands and sporty people.

"We're here promoting our company, me and my wife. We sell a lightweight bag with compartments for organized hikers and travellers", Griffin Brungraber of GobiGear says when he receives the silver medallion in form of the very Suunto pulse watch that measured his pulse at an impressive 56 bpm. Does it also give you the physique of a top athlete?  "Haha, you wish! No, we also have a company called SummitWest Environmental where we look for rare plants out in the wilderness of southern California. It's for a wildflower database. This means we hike about 15-20km every day!"

Adventurer Squas Falconer getting the third prize from Tentipi s Tilde Grahn a kit from Light my FireAmong the participants you'd find skiers, mountaineers, long-distance runners, kayakers, one of them was Freddy Bliss of UK power and survival brand Tex Energy. "Fun competition, I'm sending over my colleagues!" Freddy says after registering a heart rate of 71 bpm.

Freddy, however was well beaten by his company's own ambassador – the first British woman to climb Mt Blanc and then paraglide down from the top. Adventurer Squash Falconer has climbed about every mountain out there, she's even bum boarded down from the 6th highest mountain in the world, the Cho Oyu in the Himalayas. "I tried to be as calm and relaxed as possible to get my pulse down low. I focused on my breathing, my tactic was regular breaths that weren't too deep", Squash says with a big smile after reaching a third position with a resting heart rate at 60 bpm. "I entered the competition because I was curious how low I could get my heart rate and because I thought the prizes were really good! Also, there was no stress involved! So often a competition creates a certain level of stress."

As third prize she got a nice kit with sporks, fire steel and other outdoor cooking gear from Light My Fire, first prize winner Fabiana Fenuta gets the pleasure to go to a Tentipi Camp somewhere in Europe.