What Is A Normal Heart Rate
ByBahar Gholipour12 January 2018
Heart rate, also known as pulse, is the number of times a person’s heart beats per minute. Normal heart rate varies from person to person, but a normal range for adults is 60 to 100 beats per minute, according to the Mayo Clinic.
However, a normal heart rate depends on the individual, age, body size, heart conditions, whether the person is sitting or moving, medication use and even air temperature. Emotions can affect heart rate for example, getting excited or scared can increase the heart rate.
Most importantly, getting fitter lowers the heart rate, by making heart muscles work more efficiently. A well-trained athlete may have a resting heart rate of 40 to 60 beats per minute, according to the American Heart Association .
“Your heart is a muscle and just like strengthening other muscles by doing activities, you can do the same thing with your heart,” said Dr. Mary Ann Bauman, an internist at Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City.
Knowledge about your heart rate can help you monitor your fitness level, and it may help you spot developing health problems if you are experiencing other symptoms.
Heart Rate Tips To Keep In Mind
- Start at your beginning. Before getting overly concerned about your heart rate, Martin says, its best to simply get moving. If you havent exercised much before, start where youre comfortable and gradually exert yourself more over time.
- Listen to your body. Your body provides other indicators of how hard its working that you need to consider along with heart rate. Pay attention to how hard youre breathing or sweating, and stop if you feel very uncomfortable, Martin says. Devices recording your heart rate have been known to malfunction, for exampleanother reason listening to your body is important.
- Remember that target heart rate is just a guide. Dont get overly fixated on numbers, Martin says. Ideally, they just push you to work a little harder.
How To Maintain A Normal Heart Rate
Exercise is key to maintaining a healthy heart. The British Heart Foundation recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every week. Moderate exercise can include brisk walking, jogging, cycling and dancing.
Test the level of intensity by talking while youre exercising. If you feel slightly breathless and warm, but can still hold a conversation, the activity is giving your heart a sufficient aerobic workout. If you have a heart condition, always check with your GP what is a safe average heart rate for you, and the type of exercise that may be suitable.
Maintaining heart health can actually be pretty simple and may just mean making small changes to your lifestyle or diet. Find out more about heart health and cholesterol by signing up to the Flora ProActiv e-newsletter, featuring fitness tips, healthy recipes and many more ways to look after your heart.
This information has been included in good faith, but is for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as a guarantee. The nutritional facts and statements on this site are designed for educational and resource purpose sonly, not being substitutes for professional advice. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always check with your GP or healthcare professional.
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What Is Your Target Zone
Target Heart Rate Zones by Age *
- Age: 20
- Target Heart Rate Zone : ** 120 170
- Predicted Maximum HR: 200
Your Actual Values
- Target HR
* This chart is based on the formula: 220 – your age = predicted maximum heart rate.
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|
Also Check: What Are Signs Of A Heart Attack In A Man
Signs Symptoms And Risk Factors For Cardiac Arrest
Many people believe that cardiac arrest causes the heart to stop beating immediately. While its true that some areas of cardiac muscle will start to die during a heart attack because of a lack of blood, a persons pulse may become slower or faster , depending on the type of heart attack theyre experiencing .
Other signs and symptoms of heart attack include a sudden onset of:
- Pain, pressure, or tightness in the chest
- Arm, neck, back, or jaw pain
- A feeling of “impending doom”
- Shortness of breath
- A sudden cold sweat
Both men and women experience heart attacks. Specific risk factors for cardiac arrest include smoking, chronic inflammation, obesity, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, and family history.
What To Expect At The Doctors
Your doctor may use a variety of diagnostic tools to help diagnose your condition, including:
- Electrocardiogram. Also referred to as an ECG or EKG, this diagnostic tool uses small electrodes to record the electrical activity of your heart. Your doctor can use the information collected to determine if heart abnormalities are contributing to your condition.
- Imaging tests. Imaging can be used to assess if there are any structural abnormalities in your heart that may be contributing to your condition. Possible imaging tests can include echocardiogram, CT scan, and MRI scan.
- Laboratory tests. Your doctor may order blood tests to determine if your condition is caused by something such as an electrolyte imbalance or thyroid disease.
Once a diagnosis is made, your doctor will work with you to develop a plan to treat and manage your condition.
Depending on the findings from the diagnostic tests, your doctor may refer you to a cardiologist. A cardiologist specializes in treating and preventing diseases of the heart and circulatory system.
What Is A Healthy Resting Heart Rate For An Adult
A normal resting heart rate for adults lies somewhere between 60 and 100 beats per minute , and varies based on age group and gender. Women’s heart rates are about 2-7 BPM faster than men’s on average.
Generally speaking, you want to keep your resting heart rate as low as possible. One large, long-term study compared men with heart rates above 90 and those below 80. The men with higher average heart rates were associated with triple the risk of death.
People with lower heart rates tend to be more active and get more exercise than others. A young, highly-trained athlete’s healthy resting heart rate may be as low as 40 BPM.
What’s A Normal Heart Rate
Most adults have a resting heart rate between 60 and 100bpm.
The fitter you are, the lower your resting heart rate is likely to be. For example, athletes may have a resting heart rate of 40 to 60bpm, or lower.
See a GP to get checked if you think your heart rate is continuously above 120bpm or below 40bpm, although it may simply be that this is normal for you.
Visit the British Heart Foundation for more information on checking your pulse.
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What Is A Dangerous Heart Rate
A number of conditions can impact your heart rate. An arrhythmia causes the heart to beat too quick, too slow or with an irregular rhythm.
Tachycardia is normally considered to be a resting heart rate of over 100 beats per minute, according to the National Institutes of Health, and generally triggered when electrical signals in the hearts upper chambers fire unusually. If the heart rate is closer to 150 bpm or higher, it is a condition known as supraventricular tachycardia . In SVT, your hearts electrical system, which controls the heart rate, runs out whack. This usually requires medical attention.
Bradycardia is a condition where the heart rate is too low, generally less than 60 bpm. This can be the result of issues with the sinoatrial node, which functions as the pacemaker, or damage to the heart as an outcome of a heart attack or heart disease.
When Should I Worry About My Heart Rate
Before you become worried over your heart rate, it is important to know the things that can increase or decrease your heart rate.
Your heart rate might be increased
- Soon after you consume coffee or smoke
- Whenever you feel scared, anxious, or stressed out
- If the climate is hot and humid
- If you are obese
- If you are on certain medicines like decongestants
- If you indulge in binge drinking frequently
Health conditions that may increase your heart rate and could be improved upon by treatment
Some conditions like supraventricular tachycardia may cause a sudden increase in your heart rate at rest. This is a medical emergency and needs immediate medical attention. This condition may lead to sudden death.
Consuming heavy amounts of alcohol frequently can lead to a fast and irregular heart rate . This again is a medical emergency.
A persistent high heart rate can also mean that the heart muscle is weakened, which forces it to pump harder to deliver the same amount of blood.
You may have a lower resting heart rate due to
- Exercising regularly
- Low levels of thyroid hormones in the body
You should also be concerned about your heart rate if you notice your heart beating on an irregular rhythm frequently. This can be a serious condition known as arrhythmia for which you should see your doctor right away.
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How To Lower Your Resting Heart Rate
In general, people who are more fit and less stressed are more likely to have a lower resting heart rate. A few lifestyle changes can help you slow it down:
- Exercise regularly. It raises your pulse for a while, but over time, exercise makes your heart stronger so it works better.
- Eat right. Losing weight may slow your resting heart rate. And studies have found lower heart rates in men who eat more fish.
- Tackle stress. Set aside time to disconnect from electronic devices and relax each day. Meditation, tai chi, and breathing exercises can also help.
- Stop smoking. Itâs one of the best things you can do for your overall health.
How To Measure Heart Rate: 3 Simple Ways
Taking your pulse is very simple, heres how you can measure your heart rate easily:
You can work out an average heart rate by measuring your BPM multiple times, adding them together, and then dividing by the number of times youve measured it.
Whichever method you use:
- Measure your pulse when youve just woken up to find out your average resting heart rate.
- Repeat after youve done at least ten minutes of aerobic exercise that is, anything that increases your heart rate and breathing to see the upper range of your heart rate, which can then be compared to your target.
Read Also: How To Check For Heart Disease At Home
What The Experts Do
Monitor Heart Rate for Motivation
For Johns Hopkins cardiologist Michael Blaha, M.D., M.P.H., most workoutstake place on an elliptical trainer in his home. His machine has electrodeson which he can place his hands to automatically see his heart rate. Itgives me a sense of how hard Im working, he says.
Blaha also uses his targeted heart rate to guide the course that heprogrammed into the machine, so that he works up to where he wants to be interms of exertion. Knowing your target heart rate and trying to achieve itcan be very motivating, he says.
Stay on Top of Your Heart Health
If you have a new or existing heart problem, it’s vital to see a doctor. Our heart health checklist can help you determine when to seek care.
Whats A Normal Heart Rate
A heart rate is a measurement of the number of times the heart muscle beats per minute. Healthy kids and adults will have hearts that beat at different speeds because of their age and body size. If the heart is beating too fast or too slow, this could mean you have an underlying health problem. Your resting heart rate will also allow you to gauge your current heart health.
In general, a lower resting heart rate means the heart is beating less per minute, which likely means its more efficient. Your resting heart rate tells you how fast your heart is beating when youre in a relaxed state, like sitting or laying down. If your resting heart rate is too high, this might mean you have lower physical fitness, or that youre at risk of developing a heart condition.
Knowing what your target heart rate should be for your age can help you recognize if and when your heart rate is abnormal, which may be an indication that its time to go to the doctor.
|Normal heart rate by age|
|18 and older||60-100 bpm|
As we get older, the range of whats considered to be a healthy normal resting heart rate will change.
The average healthy adult will have a resting heart rate of 60 bpm or higher. Although in clinical practice, the resting heart rate between 60 and 100 bpm is considered to be normal, people with a resting heart rate higher than 80 bpm could have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
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Measure Your Child’s Pulse
You will know you have found your child’s pulse when you feel a throbbing or beating. Once you find it, count the number of beats in a 60-second period.
Alternatively, you can count the number of beats you feel in 30 seconds and then multiply that number by two.
Use a clock with a second hand, a stopwatch, or the timer on a cell phone to track the time. You might also want to use a phone app that measures the pulse. These often require you to place a finger on the camera lens for the measurement, so they may not be a good choice for young children who have a hard time holding still.
Myth: If My Heart Rate Is Slow It Means I Have A Weak Heart
Not necessarily. A slow heart rate can be a sign that you’re healthy and fit. An athlete’s heart muscle is in better shape, so it doesn’t have to work as hard to keep up a steady beat.
In general, Patel says, slow rates are only a problem if you also pass out, feel dizzy, are short of breath, or have chest pain. See your doctor if you have any of those symptoms.
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How To Take Your Heart Rate
You can measure your heart rate by finding your pulse. The pulsating rhythm of your bloodyour pulsematches the movements of your heart and indicates your heart rate. Using your middle and index finger, press firmly in an area of your body that has a pulse. One of the most common places to take your pulse is on the inside of your wrist. Other body parts that reveal your pulse include:
- The side of your neck
- The pit opposite your elbow
- The base of your toe
Once you locate your pulse, using a stopwatch, begin counting each beat for 60 seconds. Alternatively, you can count the beats for 15 seconds and multiply your results by 4. This measurement indicates your approximate resting heart rate.