Tips For Lowering Your Resting Heart Rate
When your resting heart rate is in the normal heart rate range for your age, your heart muscle doesnt have to work as hard to pump enough blood to keep a steady beat.
If someone notices an increase in their heart rate within a certain periodafter not being physically active for a year or two, for examplebut other things havent changed much with their health, the elevated heart rate could indicate they may need to be more active to lower the heart rate, says Dr. Tilahun.
If your resting heart rate is higher than the normal adult heart rate of 60 to 100 beats per minute, regular activity is key to bringing the heart rate down. That activity could be exercise, but it doesnt have to be dedicated exercise. It could be walking, gardening, mowing the lawn or other regular activities, says Tilahun.
When youre doing the activity, the heart rate is going to be higher, and people sometimes get worried. But thats not an issueits whats supposed to happen. Over time, regular activity will lower the heart rate for most people, he adds.
What Is A Normal Heart Rate
A normal heart rate for adults is typically 60 to 100 beats per minute. A heart rate that is slower than 60 beats per minute is considered bradycardia and a rate that is faster than 100 beats per minutes is termed tachycardia . There are some experts who believe that an ideal resting heart rate is closer to 50 to 70 beats per minute. Regardless of what is considered normal, it’s important to recognize that a healthy heart rate will vary depending on the situation.
Among healthy people, a slower heart rate can be due to being physically fit, a medication, or sleep patterns. However, a slower heart rate can indicate a sign of disease including heart disease, certain infections, high levels of potassium in the blood, or an underactive thyroid.
On the reverse side, a fast rate in healthy people can be because they are exercising, nervous or excited, using a stimulant or are pregnant. The health conditions that are associated with a fast heart rate include most infections or just about any cause of fever, heart problems, certain medications, low levels of potassium in the blood, an overactive thyroid gland or too much thyroid medication, anemia, or asthma or other breathing trouble.
Target Heart Rates Chart
What should your heart rate be when working out, and how can you keep track of it? Our simple chart will help keep you in the target training zone, whether you want to lose weight or just maximize your workout. Find out what normal resting and maximum heart rates are for your age and how exercise intensity and other factors affect heart rate.
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Check Your Resting Heart Rate Early And Often
Dr. Wasfy recommends checking your resting heart rate a few times per week and at different times of the day. Keep in mind that the number can be influenced by many factors, including stress and anxiety, circulating hormones, and medications such as certain antidepressants and some blood pressure drugs.
Talk with your doctor if your resting heart rate is regularly on the high end. There are ways to lower it and keep it within its proper range. One example is keeping your cholesterol levels in check. High levels restrict blood flow through the arteries and damage blood vessels, which can make your heart beat faster than normal to move blood through the body.
Another reliable way to lower your resting heart rate is to exercise. “Even small amounts of exercise can make a change,” says Dr. Wasfy. However, the intensity of the exercise is key. One study that involved 55-year-old adults found that just one hour per week of high-intensity aerobic training lowered RHR more efficiently than a low-intensity effort .
Tips for measuring your resting heart rate
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Myth: If My Pulse Is Fast It Always Means I’m Stressed Out
Stress is just one thing that can raise your pulse. Your heart rate may also speed up when you exercise, get excited, or feel anxious or sad.
When you stand up, your pulse may go up for 15 to 20 seconds before it goes back to normal. Even the weather, like high temperatures or humidity, can raise it.
If you take thyroid medication, a fast pulse may be a sign you’re taking too much. Talk to your doctor.
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What Is Target Heart Rate
Your target heart rate is a range of numbers that reflect how fast your heart should be beating when you exercise. A higher heart rate is a good thing that leads to greater fitness, says Johns Hopkins cardiologist Michael Blaha, M.D., M.P.H. During exercise, you can monitor heart rate and try to reach this target zone. Doctors also use target heart rate to interpret the results of a cardiac stress test.
Who Does It Affect
Bradycardia can happen to people of any age and background but is more common in adults over 65. It’s less common in younger adults and children because your heart rate naturally slows down as you get older. The exception is when it happens because of certain conditions you’re born with .
It is also more common in people with certain conditions, some of which you can inherit from your parents, or if you take certain types of medication. It can also happen because of injuries to your chest or because of nutrition problems and eating disorders.
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What Your Heart Rate Is Telling You
Your pulse, both at rest and during exercise, can reveal your risk for heart attack and your aerobic capacity.
Your grandmother may have referred to your heart as “your ticker,” but that nickname has proved to be a misnomer. A healthy heart doesn’t beat with the regularity of clockwork. It speeds up and slows down to accommodate your changing need for oxygen as your activities vary throughout the day. What is a “normal” heart rate varies from person to person. However, an unusually high resting heart rate or low maximum heart rate may signify an increased risk of heart attack and death.
One simple thing people can do is to check their resting heart rate. It’s a fairly easy to do and having the information can help down the road. It’s a good idea to take your pulse occasionally to get a sense of what’s normal for you and to identify unusual changes in rate or regularity that may warrant medical attention.
Why Is It Important To Get It Checked
Often an irregular pulse is harmless. However, it’s important to get it checked by a health professional, because sometimes it’s a sign of a heart condition.
The most common kind of heart rhythm condition is atrial fibrillation , which can put you at greater risk of having a stroke. Fortunately, if you have AF, there’s medication you can take to help significantly reduce this stroke risk.
Your doctor can do a simple test called an ECG to further check your irregular pulse.
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When I See A Patient With A Low Heart Rate I Ask Myself The Following
Is the low heart rate a physiologic finding or a pathologic finding? An example of a physiologic low heart rate would be an athlete with a low resting heart rate from being trained, which is absolutely fine. An example of a pathologic heart rate would be a disorder of the internal pacemaker system of the heart such as heart block that would often need a pacemaker inserted as treatment.
Is the low heart rate the likely cause of symptoms? Symptoms of a low heart rate may include dizziness and fatigue. In order to be attributed to a low heart rate the symptoms should occur at the same time the heart rate is low.
Are there any reversible causes for the low heart rate? Medicines such as beta-blockers or disorders such as hypothyroidism may lead to low heart rate and if the heart rate is dangerously low and causing symptoms as a result of this, stopping the medication or treating the underlying conditions will likely reverse the symptoms.
Ideal Heart Rate For Exercise
After youve gotten the hang of heart rate measurement, you can begin to calculate and monitor your target exercising heart rate.
If youre using the manual method of heart rate measurement, youll need to stop exercising briefly to take your pulse.
If youre using a heart rate monitor, you can continue your workout while keeping an eye on your monitor.
Your doctor can help determine the best target heart rate for you, or you can use general target zone guidelines to determine your target exercise heart rate based on your age.
According to the AHA , moderate-intensity workouts should be closer to the lower end of the target heart rate range that correlates with your age. Within the higher end of the range is the target heart rate for high-intensity, vigorous workouts.
The target heart rate zones noted below are based on what is equal to 50 to 85 percent of the average maximum heart rate for each stated age, and the average maximum heart rate is based on the calculation of 220 minus years of age.
Please be aware that the American Heart Association states that these figures are averages to be used as a general guide. If you feel this guide doesnt fit your personal exercise heart rate target for moderate or vigorous exercise, your doctor will be able to work with you on an individual basis to help determine the target heart rate range that is best for you.
|Target heart rate zone|
|75 to 128 beats per minute||150 beats per minute|
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What Does A Resting Heart Rate Of 50 Bpm In A Non
It is quite normal for endurance athletes to have a lower resting heart rate than others. A low heart rate in athletes is actually a sign of an efficient and working heart. However, in others, if the heart rate becomes too slow, then a low heart rate could also signify that there are underlying health complications that you need to address.
Heart rate is measured in beats per minute or bpm. A normal resting heart rate in adults is anywhere between 60 and 80 beats per minute and it is best measured when you are either lying down or while you are sitting. You should be in a calm state. For athletes, the resting heart rate can even be as low as 30 to 40 bpm. However, if you are a non-athlete, then what does a resting heart rate of 50 bpm indicate? Lets take a look.
Which Is The Best Way To Measure Your Resting Heart Rate
You can measure your heart rate manually, and the procedure is very simple. The most convenient place to measure it is on your wrist. First, you have to locate the pulse or beat by pressing the side of your wrist below the thumb. Press gently on that place for exactly 30 seconds and double the beats. This gives you your heart rate in beats per minute . If you feel your beat is a bit irregular, count it till 60 seconds.
The best time to measure your resting heart rate is as soon as you get up in the morning, preferably after a good nights sleep.
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Exercise And Your Pulse
If you check your pulse during or immediately after exercise, it may give an indication of your fitness level. A heart rate monitor is also useful for recording your heart rate when resting and during exercise.
Aerobic activities such as walking, running and swimming are good types of exercise because they increase your heart and breathing rates.
Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome
A person with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome may experience an increased heart rate upon standing up. They may also experience dizziness and a drop in blood pressure.
POTS is a condition of the autonomic nervous system. It happens because this system does not properly regulate bodily functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, or breathing.
their heart muscle. However, a very low heart rate in those who are not athletic or healthy can be a sign of a condition affecting the electrical system of the heart.
A sudden drop in heart rate far below a persons usual resting heart rate may indicate sepsis , a brain bleed, or the electrical system of the heart failing.
In a person with any symptoms of illness, excessive bleeding, a recent serious injury, fainting, or dizziness, a low heart rate is an emergency.
According to one , the following factors may lead to a person experiencing a low heart rate:
- chest trauma
It is not an emergency if the heart rate briefly falls outside of the recommended range or if a person has a shift in heart rate that improves with relaxation or deep breathing.
However, a person should contact a doctor if they:
- notice that their resting heart rate suddenly changes
- have a change in heart rate that causes anxiety
- experience a heart rate change after taking a new medication
- often have an irregular heart rate
A person should go to the emergency room if they:
To lower a high heart rate at home, a person can:
How To Determine Your Ideal Exercising Heart Rate
Some athletes like to follow target-heart-rate training. This is based on your intensity level compared to your maximum heart rate.
Your maximum heart rate is considered the highest amount your heart can sustain during cardiovascular training. To calculate your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220.
Most athletes train at between 50 and 70 percent of their maximum heart rate. For example, if your maximum heart rate is 180 bpm, your target-training zone would be between 90 and 126 bpm. Use a heart rate monitor to keep track during exercise.
Is Resting Heart Rate Different By Age
For most of us , between 60 and 100 beats per minute is normal.1 The rate can be affected by factors like stress, anxiety, hormones, medication, and how physically active you are. An athlete or more active person may have a resting heart rate as low as 40 beats per minute. Now thats chill!
When it comes to resting heart rate, lower is better. It usually means your heart muscle is in better condition and doesnt have to work as hard to maintain a steady beat. Studies have found that a higher resting heart rate is linked with lower physical fitness and higher blood pressure and body weight.2
Understanding Your Heart Rate By The Numbers
If youre curious about your heart rate, you can measure it yourself. First, find your pulse by holding a finger to the radial artery on the inside of your wrist. Then, count the number of beats per minute while youre resting.
Other places your heart rate can be measured include:
- on your neck, alongside your windpipe
- inside your elbow
- on the inside of your groin/upper thigh
- on the top of your foot
When youre determining your heart rate, here are some numbers to keep in mind:
- A resting adult heart rate is normally between
What Are The Symptoms Of A Low Heart Rate
It is very possible to have a slow heart rate and experience no symptoms. However, if you have symptoms but ignore them, it can sometimes cause more serious problems.
Consult your doctor if you are experiencing some of these symptoms and you have an associated slow heart rate:
- Lack of energy.
- Heart palpitations or flutters.
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How To Measure Heart Rate
Measuring your heart rate is as simple as checking your pulse. You can find your pulse over your wrist or neck. Try measuring your radial artery pulse, which is felt over the lateral part your wrist, just below the thumb side of your hand.
To measure your heart rate, gently press the tips of your index and middle fingers over this blood vessel in your wrist. Make sure not to use your thumb, because it has its own pulse and may cause you to miscount. Count the beats you feel for a full minute.
You can also count for 30 seconds and multiply the count by two, or count for 10 seconds and multiply by six.
What Can I Expect If I Have This Condition
For many people, bradycardia doesnt cause symptoms and isnt a problem. This is especially true for people who have bradycardia because theyre in good physical shape.
For people who do have symptoms or problems because of bradycardia, youre more likely to have a good outcome with early diagnosis and treatment. Delays in treatment, especially when bradycardia happens because of certain conditions, usually increase your risk of complications or death.
How long does bradycardia last?
Bradycardia can be a life-long problem, or it can be short-lived. The underlying cause is usually what decides how long it will last. Bradycardia is more-likely to be a short-term problem when it happens because of drugs or with other short-term conditions.
Overall, your healthcare provider is the best person to tell you whether or not this condition will be a short-term concern or if you’ll have it for the rest of your life. In most cases where you have symptoms and you’ll have it for the rest of your life, you’ll need to take medication daily or have surgery to implant a pacemaker.
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