Medical Cause Of A Fast Resting Heart Rate
Dr. Elnahar says that you should first find out if there could be a medical issue causing your elevated resting pulse, such as hyperthyroidism or anemia. Blood tests can show if theres an abnormality.
There is a cause of a fast resting pulse that many people never consider: too much exercise.
Too much doesnt necessarily mean a lot of time at the gym. The time must also include a lot of strenuous work.
For some workout enthusiasts or very competitive athletes, overtraining can lead to a fast heart rate at rest along with slower recovery periods and moodiness.
So if youre a serious gym rat or athlete who feels burned out and whose progress has stalled, see if paring back a bit wont slow down your pulse.
Resting Heart Rate As A Marker Of Heart Health
Your resting heart rate may say something about the health of your heart. Some studies show that a lower resting heart rate is linked with a healthier heart. ;A study of 130,000 post-menopausal women found those who had faster heart rates at rest were more likely to have a heart-related health event, like a heart attack than those with lower resting heart rates. People who arent as physically fit also have faster-resting heart rates because their heart doesnt beat as efficiently.
Most adults have a resting heart rate between 60 and 90 beats per minute, but athletes and people who exercise hard may have a resting heart rate in the 50s or even 40s. However, a heart rate in the 40s may also be a sign of heart conduction problems, so its a good idea to see a physician. Likewise, you should let your physician know if your resting heart rate is often above 100 beats per minute. This could be a sign of other health problems too, like an overactive thyroid gland.
When To See A Doctor
Most times, resting heart rate spikes are temporary and will normalize over time. In cases where the cause is one of the issues we touched on above, implementing the right lifestyle practices should have you back to a regular lower resting heart rate in no time.
However, in rare cases, your heart rate may spike and stay high for extended periods. In these cases, you should immediately consult with your doctor, as the heart rate variance could be a sign of a potentially dangerous underlying condition.
Note: You can measure your heart rate yourself using an electronic device like a FitBit, or by taking your pulse, counting the number of beats in 10 seconds, and multiplying by 6.
Depending on the severity of the issue, your doctor may recommend solutions like:
- Other lifestyle changes
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Less Common More Risky Maneuvers
Other maneuvers may quickly lower your heart rate, though they are not commonly recommended for at-home use. Some examples include eyeball pressure, breath holding, deep breathing, gagging, squatting or dipping your head in ice water.
These techniques have the potential to be harmful, especially if they are not performed appropriately. Therefore, do not try them unless your doctor has instructed you how to perform them safely.
Reviewed by Mary D. Daley, M.D.
How To Lower Your Heart Rate With Exercise
High-Intensity Interval Training is a training method where you give 100% effort in a quick, intense burst of exercise, followed by a short resting period. HIIT increases your maximum heart rate and lowers your RHR.
HIIT is as simple as doing one exercise, like sprinting, as fast as you can safely run for 30 seconds, then resting for 90 seconds.
Warm-up first and start with one rep.
Rest for several days in between HIIT days. Build up slowly to a workout of several reps that only takes about 15 minutes. Then try adding new exercises.
For the best results, dont set an arbitrary time. Instead, push yourself to your max. And then rest and recover until youre ready to give 100% again. For instance, give 100% effort for 15 seconds and rest for five minutes.
Learn more about the health benefits of HIIT and how to do it the right way in this short HIIT video from Thomas DeLauer.
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How Does Exercise Affect Heart Rate
Its important to get your heart rate up while exercising. This strengthens your heart. The stronger your heart is, the more efficiently its pumping blood, Johnson says. And if your hearts pumping efficiently, it doesnt need to beat as quickly when at rest.
The key metric when exercising is identifying your maximum heart rate, usually defined as 220 minus your age. The American Heart Association uses this number to define target heart rate ranges for moderate, intense, and maximum intensity during a workout.
Its old school, concedes Johnson. But it remains the best way to create an exercise program tailored for your specific fitness level and goals.
A second key metric in assessing your heart rate is how fast it returns to normal after vigorous exercise. A prompt recovery to your pre-exercise heart rate is generally linked to numerous health benefits, including lower risk of death. As we age, it takes the heart longer to return to a normal heart rate. This is true even for healthy people.
In one large study, researchers analyzed the exercise recovery patterns and risk of death of about 2,500 people who had no existing cardiac conditions. The participants exercised to exhaustion, and researchers measured their heart rates after one minute of rest. The recovery was considered normal if the heart rate dropped more than 12 beats per minute between the moment of peak exercise and the end of the rest period. Otherwise, the recovery was labeled abnormal.
Resting Heart Rate And Its Role In Running
Resting heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute while you are at complete rest. A healthy resting heart rate for adults is 60 to 80 beats per minute. Your resting heart rate is an indicator of your physical fitness. As your fitness levels increase, your resting heart rate will lower. Aerobic activities such as running and cycling have a significant effect in lowering your resting heart rate. As your heart becomes stronger, it gets better at pumping more blood and the body requires fewer heartbeats to pump the same amount of blood. In this video, coach Anubhav Karmarkar explains the role of resting heart rate in runners, causes of increased heart rate and how to calculate your resting heart rate to monitor and track your progress in your running journey.;
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What Are The Different Training Zones
A heart rate training zone is a range that defines the intensity of your training. The upper and lower boundaries of each zone are calculated using your maximum heart rate which also depends on your age.
Moderate Activity : 50-60% of HRmax. This is the most comfortable training zone. It is primarily used to warm-up and to recover after a more intense zone. It strengthens your heart and improves muscle mass while it reduces body fat, cholesterol, blood pressure, and your risk for degenerative disease.
Weight Control : 60-70% of HRmax. This is the best zone for burning fat. It gives you all the benefits of the moderate activity zone but with increased intensity. 85% of calories burned in this zone are from fat.
Aerobic : 70-80% of HRmax. Aerobic exercise makes your lungs work harder as your bodys need for oxygen increases. This zone improves your cardiovascular and respiratory systems. It also increases the size and strength of your heart. More calories are burned in this zone but only 50% of the calories come from fat.
Anaerobic : 80-90% of HRmax. Training in this zone improves your athletic performance. Only 15% of the calories burned in this zone come from fat.
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Normal Range How Do You Compare
Resting heart rate normally ranges from 60 100 bpm .
Being normal doesnt mean you are healthy though. For example, with a heart rate of 90 beats per minute, while you may not have a medical condition, you are definitely not fit.
Usually, the better shape youre in the lower your heart rate will be. Basically, you train your heart to work more efficiently by working out. For example, a professional athlete can have a normal resting heart rate as slow as 40 beats per minute .
Its important to know that both high or low heart rate can point to an underlying health issue.
You should consult a healthcare professional if your resting heart rate is consistently above 100 bpm, or if you are not a trained athlete but your heart rate is below 60 bpm. This is especially the case if you are experiencing symptoms such as weakness, shortness of breath, fainting spells, and chest pain.
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Preparing For Your Appointment
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.
You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the following questions:
- Do you have a history of problems with your heart rate or rhythm? If so:
- Did you see a doctor?
- What was the diagnosis?
- What tests were done?
- How was it treated?
If you have kept a record of your heart rate or rhythm changes, be sure to discuss this with your doctor.
When To See A Gp
See a GP or call 111 if:
- you have chest pain that comes and goes
- you have chest pain that goes away quickly but you’re still worried
- you notice;a sudden change in your heartbeat
- your;heart rate;is consistently lower than 60 or above 100;
It’s important to get medical advice to make sure it’s nothing serious.
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There’s A Short In Your Heart’s Electrical System
Your heart has its own electrical systema network of signals that help it beat correctlyand a slow heart rate might indicate an abnormality, says Taub. People who have an electrical problem may feel dizzy or lightheaded. Your doctor should be able to detect and pinpoint the malfunction with a simple EKG.
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How To Check Your Heart Rate
Checking your heart rate can be done anytime, anywhere and doesnt cost a dime. The first step is to find your pulse. You can try the wrist, inside of the elbow, side of your neck, or top of your foot. These are usually the easiest places to feel the pulse. To get the most accurate reading, put your finger over your pulse and count the number of beats in 60 seconds. If youre under 100, youre probably good to go. If youre higher than that, its time to lower your heart rate.
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What Causes Atrial Fibrillation
When the heart beats normally, its muscular walls tighten and squeeze to force blood out and around the body.
They;then relax so the heart can fill with blood again. This process is repeated every time the heart beats.
In atrial fibrillation, the heart’s upper chambers contract randomly and sometimes so fast;that the heart muscle cannot relax properly between contractions.;This reduces the heart’s efficiency and performance.
Atrial fibrillation happens when abnormal electrical impulses suddenly start firing in the;atria.
These impulses override the heart’s natural pacemaker, which can no longer control the rhythm of the heart.;This causes you to have a;highly irregular pulse rate.
The cause is not fully understood, but it tends to affect certain groups of people, such as older people and people living with long-term conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure or obesity.
It may be triggered by certain situations, such as drinking too much alcohol or smoking.
Atrial fibrillation can be defined in various ways, depending on the degree to which it affects you.
- paroxysmal atrial fibrillation ;episodes come and go, and usually stop within 48 hours without any treatment
- persistent atrial fibrillation ;each episode lasts for longer than 7 days
- permanent atrial fibrillation when it’s present all the time
- long-standing atrial fibrillation where you’ve had atrial fibrillation usually for over a year
How To Measure Your Heart Rate
You can check your heart rate at your wrist. Lightly place your second and third fingers of one hand on the inside of your other wrist, below the base of your thumb. You should feel your pulse under your fingertips. Count the number of beats in one minute. Repeat to make sure you get a consistent reading.
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Danger Signs Of A Fast Heart Rate
Although a rapid heartbeat can have many harmless causes, some causes are serious. The heart normally beats between 60 and 100 times each minute. While a slight increase in heart rate is usually harmless, especially in people without heart disease, a very rapid heart rate can cause your blood pressure to plummet to dangerously low levels, which can lead to dizziness or fainting.
A fast heartbeat can also stress your heart, causing chest pain or a heart attack. When shortness of breath accompanies the rapid rate, this suggests the rate is too fast for your heart to pump properly. If you experience any of these danger signs or if something just “doesn’t seem right” seek immediate medical attention.
A Lower Resting Heart Rate Over Time
To lower your heart rate more permanently so you can enjoy the effects over a long period of time, there are several measures that you can take that will have a positive impact. The first is to exercise regularly and engage your cardiovascular system through some kind of heart strengthening exercise.
;This exercise can be something simple like walking, or yoga, as long as it gets your blood circulating and brings up your heart rate. For the best effect youll want to establish what your maximum heart rate should be, and then determine what your target heart rate during exercise should be based on whether your exercise is light, moderate, or intense.
;The second part of this metric is how quickly your heart rate returns to its resting rate after youve exercised. This time will vary greatly from one individual to another, and can largely be due to your age, your level of health, and other conditions that you might have.
;By exercising you can improve your resting heart rate over time, and you can also improve the rate at which your heart rate returns to normal after exercising. A study done on 2500 people found that how you recover from exercise can indicate your potential risk for death long term.
;If you have any health conditions, its best to discuss with your doctor before you engage in any exercises designed to reduce your existing heart rate. Walking is a safe form of exercise for many individuals, and positive dietary changes are another option as well.
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What Is A Resting Heart Rate
Your resting heart rate is the rate that your heart beats over a minute when you are at rest. Generally, the lower this number is, the better as it can be an indication of certain health factors, and a higher resting heart rate can indicate a potential health issue that needs to be addressed.
A normal resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute, but this can vary based on the individual and their activity level. For example, a highly trained athlete can have a heart rate that is lower, even as low as 40 beats per minute, and still be considered healthy.
A resting heart rate over 100 beats per minute can indicate a health problem, or perhaps an event or stressor that has triggered your heart rate to increase. It’s not a good idea to attempt to get a resting heart rate if the following are true:
- Youve consumed caffeine recently
- You have exercised within the last 2 hours
- There has been a stressful or emotional event in the last 2 hours
- It’s the end of the day
The best time to take your resting heart rate is early in the day, and preferably in the morning before youve even gotten out of bed. Before you get out of bed you can be sure that your heart rate will be lowest because you havent put any strain on your body, there are fewer external factors to consider, and you are most likely to be in a calm state.
What Is Target Heart Rate
You get the most benefits when you exercise in your ”target heart rate zone.” Usually, this is when your heart rate is 60% to 80% of your maximum. In some cases, your doctor may decrease your target heart rate zone to around 50%.
Check with your doctor before starting an exercise program. They can help you find a routine and target heart rate zone that match your needs, goals, and overall health.
When you start an exercise program, you may need to slowly build up to your target heart rate zone, especially if you havenât exercised regularly before. If the exercise feels too hard, slow down. Youâll lower your risk of injury and enjoy the exercise more if you don’t try to overdo it.
When you exercise, take a break and check your pulse regularly to find out whether youâre in your target zone. If your pulse is below your target zone, step up the intensity of your workout.
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