Understanding Your Target Heart Rate
Nearly all exercise is good. But to be sure youre getting the most fromyour workout yet staying at a level thats safe for you, you can monitorhow hard your heart is working.
Aiming for whats called a target heart rate can help you do this, says Johns Hopkins cardiologist;Seth Martin, M.D., M.P.H.;Think of it as the sweet spot between not exercising hard enough and overexerting.
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Resting Heart Rate Chart By Age And Gender
A resting heart rate chart shows the normal range for resting heart rate by age and physical condition. Athletes, those who are physically active, tend to have a lower RHR than those who are less active.
The average heart rate generally increases with age. But many factors determine your heart rate at any moment. These factors include the time of day, your activity level, and your stress level.
Why Has My Resting Heart Rate Increased
As shown above, there are many factors to consider if you find yourself suddenly asking why is my resting heart rate getting higher? Its important to first think about the aspects that can contribute towards a raised resting heart rate that isnt a cause for concern.
Most people will notice their resting heart rate rising with age.
Most people will notice their RHR rising with age. While you cant control your bodys aging process, you can reduce its impact on your cardiovascular system. Try exercising within a variety of heart rate zones as this can be effective in reducing resting heart rate.
Not getting enough sleep can contribute towards your resting heart rate going up. If youre always exhausted, you could be experiencing chronic sleep deprivation. Not only does this lead to feelings of fatigue and a slower metabolism but it can also result in resting heart rate increasing. You should always try to get at least seven hours of sleep every night to ensure your body is sufficiently recovered.
Similarly, if youre training at an intense level but not allowing your body enough time to rest, you may notice hey, my resting heart rate has gone up! This is a sign that you need to give your body the time to repair properly so it can absorb the benefits of your workouts. Otherwise, all that hard work could end up having a detrimental effect.
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How To Lower The Heart Rate
Practicing meditation or yoga may help to lower the heart rate.
If the heart rate is suddenly spiking in response to issues such as emotional stress or environmental factors, addressing the cause is the best way to reduce the heart rate.
Ways to reduce sudden changes in heart rate include:
- practicing deep or guided breathing techniques, such as box breathing
- relaxing and trying to remain calm
- going for a walk, ideally away from an urban environment
- having a warm, relaxing bath or shower
- practice stretching and relaxation exercises, such as yoga
Many lifestyle habits can contribute to lower the resting heart rate in the long term.
They may also improve a persons ability to maintain a healthy heart rate during physical activity and stress.
The following tips may help to lower the heart rate in the long term:
1. Exercise: The easiest and most effective way to achieve a lasting lower heart rate is to do regular exercise.
2. Stay hydrated: When the body is dehydrated, the heart has to work harder to stabilize blood flow. Throughout the day, drink plenty of sugar- and caffeine-free beverages, such as water and herbal tea.
3. Limit intake of stimulants, such as caffeine and nicotine: Stimulants can cause dehydration, increasing the hearts workload.
4. Limit alcohol intake: Most forms of alcohol dehydrate the body. Alcohol is also a toxin, and the body must work harder to process and remove it.
Heart-healthy nutrients include:
Foods That Lower Resting Heart Rate
People in the Blue Zones, areas where people live longer than average, eat plenty of beans. One reason beans are so healthy is that they can help lower your pulse.
In one study, participants were given a cup a day of beans, chickpeas, or lentils. Participants lowered their resting heart rate from an average of 74.1 to 70.7, a 3.4 point drop. The change was similar to those in the other study who exercised for 250 hours!
You might consider eating beans regularly to keep your resting heart rate in a healthy range. Beans are also an excellent source of vegan protein.
Why Does My Resting Heart Rate Fluctuate
You now know that there are many factors that can cause resting heart rate fluctuations. Its important to think about all of these if you observe any resting heart rate changes, as its likely to be a short term change. Its relatively normal if your RHR fluctuates a lot and, for example, you are having a varied sleep pattern, experiencing stress, taking medication, changing your training schedule, or are affected by hot weather.;
There is a wide range of normal when it comes to your RHR so yours fluctuate, it wont often be cause for concern. However, if your RHR is consistently over 100 beats per minute, then you could have tachycardia, which could be caused by a heart rhythm disorder. Alternatively, if youre not a trained athlete and your RHR is below 60 beats per minute and you are dizzy or short of breath, you could have bradycardia. In either of these cases, its important to speak to a doctor so they can look at why your RHR fluctuates.
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How Do I Measure My Resting Heart Rate
Also known as your basal heart rate because it is your base measurement
If you dont have a heart rate sensor, you can try measuring it yourself by checking your pulse. You can choose between your carotid artery or your radial artery .
You should never use your thumb to take this measurement as it has its own pulse, which could cause you to miscount. Instead, place your index and third fingers on either your neck or wrist. Count the number of beats in 15 seconds and then times this number by four to calculate the beats per minute.;
The American Heart Association recommends checking your RHR first thing in the morning before getting out of bed. The caffeine in your morning coffee or tea will cause heart palpitations, so make sure you measure your RHR before making your heart rate rise.;
Dont attempt to measure your resting heart rate after exercise or a stressful event. Leave it an hour as your RHR is high after a workout or any strenuous activity. Allow your resting heart rate recovery time just like the rest of your body.;
Want to work out max heart rate? Use our calculator.
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Normal Resting Heart Rate
A healthy resting heart rate for adults is 60 to 80 bpm. Adults with a high level of fitness can have a resting heart rate below 60. Some elite endurance athletes have a resting heart rate below 40.
An average adult resting heart rate range is 60 to 100 bpm. The higher end of the range is associated with increased health risks including metabolic syndrome.
An;elevated resting;heart rate of 80 bpm or higher can be an indicator of increased cardiovascular risk and all-cause mortality risk. The risk is most pronounced when the resting heart rate goes above 90 bpm.
Resting heart rate varies by sex. Women tend to have smaller hearts and lower blood volume and hemoglobin, which means the heart needs to beat more frequently to nourish the body’s tissues.
A person’s average resting heart rate also changes from throughout the lifespan, being much faster in infants and slowing by adulthood. The average ranges also change slightly as you age.
Your resting heart rate can also be affected by any medications that you take. For example, beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers can lower your resting heart rate below 60, while medications to treat asthma, depression, and attention deficit disorder might raise it.
Talk to your doctor if you do not actively;exercise but you have a low RHR with symptoms of;dizziness or shortness of breath.
When someone who is not an athlete or at a high level of fitness has a low resting heart rate , it can be a sign of a medical or health problem.
How Long And How Hard
To achieve a lower resting heart rate from exercise, you should exercise at least 150 minutes a week in your aerobic zone. If you are just starting an exercise program, slowly build up your exercise time by a little bit each day. You can enjoy great health benefits and an even lower resting heart rate by exercising for a longer time or at a more vigorous level, such as at 65 percent to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate.
How To Check Your Resting Heart Rate
Its essential to;check in on your heart rate;regularly to ensure its within a normal or healthy range. For the most accurate results, check first thing in the morning prior to consuming anything or exerting yourself. Either on your wrist or the side of your neck, place your index and middle finger and proceed to count how many beats your heart has within 60 seconds. Check your results in comparison to the chart referenced above.
Maximum And Target Heart Rate
Its important to know what your maximum heart rate should be to avoid causing harm to your heart or body. To calculate your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. According to the American Heart Association , your target heart rate while doing moderately intense activities should be about 50% to 70% of your maximum heart rate. During vigorous exercise, it should be about 70% to 85% of your maximum heart rate.
If you exceed your maximum heart rate, you may experience sore joints, sore muscles, or musculoskeletal injuries. Heart rate monitors are great to wear while exercising because they tell you your heart rate in real-time.
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Yoga Hrv And The Nervous System
Studies have shown that regularly practicing Yoga can result in a decrease in resting heart rate similar to that seen in endurance training.
Yoga is at its core an active form of meditation. While it may not improve cardiac output or aerobic fitness directly, it has other benefits that are just as powerful.
Yoga download is an excellent resource for high quality Yoga instruction you can do from home. They boast over 250,000 active users, and you can use their service for as low as $10/month.
Yoga lowers our resting heart rate over time by improving the function of the nervous system. Specifically, regular Yoga practice has been shown to improve Heart Rate Variability . HRV is a measure of how your body is dealing with stress, and has a strong correlation to cardiovascular health.
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.
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Female Resting Heart Rate Chart: Average Bpm By Age
Normal resting heart rate for women increases slightly with age, and is also generally a few BPM higher than the average for men.
The graphic above shows the average resting heart rate of female and male WHOOP members ages 20-50. As you can clearly see, women normally have a slightly higher RHR than men do .
There is also usually a minor increase in RHR with age between a persons 20s and 50s . The normal bpm for women in their 20s is about 58, but by their 40s its closer to 60.
Effects Of Exercise On Rhr By Considering Different Types Of Sports/exercise
The mean baseline and post-interventional RHR according to the different forms of sports and/or exercise are presented in . Under consideration of all comparisons, the RHR significantly decreased more in the exercising groups compared to the control groups . The meta-analyses on specific types of sports and exercise also revealed significant higher decreases in RHR in the intervention compared to the corresponding control groups for endurance training , yoga , strength training , and combined endurance and strength training .
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How To Get Your Heart Rate Up
Its essential that some of your exercise make your heart beat fasterthan it does when youre resting.
Exercise is an important part of disease prevention and that includes cancer prevention, too. But not all exercise is created equal. Its essential that some of your exercise make your heart beat faster than it does when youre resting.
Getting your heart to beat faster trains your body to move oxygen and blood to your muscles more efficiently, helps you burn more calories and lowers your cholesterol. All of this can help you stay healthy and lower your cancer risk.
According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week can help lower your cancer risk. Its the vigorous exercises that can help you get your heart rate up.
How to measure your heart rate
So, how do you determine your heart rate? One of the easiest ways to measure your heart rate is with a monitor, says Whittney Thoman, exercise physiologist at MD Andersons Cancer Prevention Center. This is typically a watch or a strap that goes around your arm or chest that syncs with a watch or another device. Many wearable fitness trackers now include heart rate monitors.
Understanding your heart rate
Now that you know how to measure your heart rate, you can determine:
Check your pulse or your heart rate monitor while youre resting and then again while youre exercising to compare your resting heart rate to your active heart rate.
Causes For A High Heart Rate
Our heart is designed to keep us safe, which is why when you need it to work harder it will. You dont have to ask it to beat faster when you start running or send in a request for more beats when youre stressed out it does this automatically. Other reasons for a temporary spike in heart rates may be:
- Increased emotional responses cause the stress response to kick in.
- High temperature or high humidity outside means the body is working to cool down.
- Standing up too quickly or a rapid change in body position.
- Fright or terror sparks an adrenaline response.
- Hormone changes can affect the heart rate.
- Sleep deprivation and fatigue cause the body to work harder.
- Obesity can cause your heart to work overtime, even while resting.
If you find your heart rate is consistently higher than others, there may be a few reasons for this. First, the heart rate typically increases with age. As those muscles grow weaker, they have to work harder. So if youre the oldest person in the room, your heart rate is likely higher. Also, if you have underlying conditions such as a poor diet, smoking habits, excessive alcohol use, high blood pressure, or recreational drug use, these are all reasons why your heart is working overtime and its time to lower your heart rate.
What is the Ideal Heart Rate?
Your body is not designed to run at 100% capacity all the time. Is yours running too much? Heres a quick way to tell if you need to lower your heart rate: First, find your pulse, and find a clock.
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What Are The Factors That May Affect Resting Heart Rate
Several factors may affect resting heart rate:
- Age:;RHR can change with age, according to some;studies.
- Gender:;On average, women’s RHR tends to be 2-7 bpm higher than mens.
- Air temperature:;RHR can increase during hot weather, but usually not more than 10 bpm.
- Emotions:;Strong feelings of;stress, anxiety, or even happiness can raise the RHR.
- Body position:;RHR can be 3 bpm higher when sitting versus lying down. Similarly, RHR tends to increase a bit upon standing.
- Medication:;Prescription drugs, such as antidepressants and beta-blockers, can cause the RHR to be lower than it would without the medication.
- Meditation: Yoga and pranayama if done regularly can cause reduced resting heart rate.
How To Measure Heart Rate
Measuring your heart rate is easy to do if you follow some simple steps. The easiest place to measure your heart rate is on your wrist, just below the base of the thumb. Place your index and middle fingers between the bone and tendon at the base of your thumb. Once you feel your pulse, count the number of beats you feel in 15 seconds. Once youve counted how many pulses, youll multiply that number by four. This gives you the total amount of times your heart beats in one minute. For example, if your heart beats 18 times in 15 seconds, your heart rate is 72 beats per minute.
Its important to measure your heart rate when youre in a relaxed state. If you take your pulse after any strenuous activity, you wont get an accurate reading. You should wait for one to two hours after exercising to take your resting heart rate, and an hour after consuming caffeine, according to Harvard Health.
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