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.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Dropping a few pounds and getting leaner can help bring down your heart rate. The more weight you carry, the harder your body has to work to move blood through the body especially if you dont have a lot of muscle mass, says Dr. Singh.
Embracing good nutrition and regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight. Plus, theyre good for your overall heart health. Consider it a win-win.
How To Think About Your Heart Rate
Heart rates not useless as a measure of health, but its not a very precise measure of health, Allison said. Your heart rate can be affected by many factors, including age, medication, stress levels, sleep, physical activity, diet and hydration.
Consider this example: A heart rate less than 60 is great if its achieved by being fit, Allison said. But it would be a problem if you have an underlying medical condition thats causing your heart to beat more slowly.
Similarly, he said, an elevated heart rate could be a triggered by something benign, such as excitement, or it could be your body signaling that you might be coming down with an illness, such as covid-19.
The experts advise talking to your primary care provider if your heart rate is consistently higher or lower than expected. But if dramatic changes in your heart rate are accompanied by symptoms such as palpitations, chest pain, fatigue, lightheadedness, dizziness or shortness of breath, you should seek medical care. The more persistent the symptoms are, the faster you need attention, Allison said.
One thing you shouldnt do: measure your heart rate against others. If youre comparing, Oh, my heart rates two beats lower than yours, so Im healthier. Im going to live longer well, no, Allison said.
Allison agreed. We have to remember that maintaining good health is about behaviors, he said, not taking tests.
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Heart Rate For Exercise
Now that you know how to calculate your resting heart rate, you can also monitor your target heart rate when exercising. Target heart rate indicates the minimum number of times your heart has to beat in order to conduct cardiovascular activity. According to the American Heart Association and the CDC, the normal target heart rate should be 64% to 76% of your maximum heart rate.
Maximum heart rate is based on age. To find your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. This is known as the Heart Rate Reserve method and gives you your target heart rate training zone. For example, say youre 60 years old. You would subtract 60 from 220 and get 160 beats per minute. Next, youd take 64% and 76% of 160 to get your target heart rate zone. Your target zone would be between 102 and 121 beats per minute.
These figures are just a guide so dont panic if your numbers arent dead on. If youre concerned about your resting heart rate or ability to reach your target heart rate during exercise, talk to your doctor. A qualified physician can help you figure out whats normal and what, if anything, you need to do to stay healthy.
How Do You Find Your Pulse
The easiest place to find your pulse is in your wrist.
- Turn your hand so that your palm is facing upwards.
- Now place the three middle fingers from your other hand on your wrist in the outside groove below the base of your thumb.
- Press lightly to feel the pulse under your fingers. If you can’t feel anything press slightly harder.
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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 60bpm, although it may simply be that this is normal for you.
Find out more about how to check your pulse on the British Heart Foundation website.
Where Is It And What Is A Normal Heart Rate
The best places to find your pulse are the:
- side of your neck
- top of the foot
To get the most accurate reading, put your finger over your pulse and count the number of beats in 60 seconds.
Your resting heart rate is the heart pumping the lowest amount of blood you need because youre not exercising. If youre sitting or lying and youre calm, relaxed and arent ill, your heart rate is normally between 60 and 100 .
But a heart rate lower than 60 doesnt necessarily signal a medical problem. It could be the result of taking a drug such as a beta blocker. A lower heart rate is also common for people who get a lot of physical activity or are very athletic. Active people often have a lower resting heart rate because their heart muscle is in better condition and doesnt need to work as hard to maintain a steady beat. A low or moderate amount of physical activity doesnt usually change the resting pulse much.
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When To Call Your Doctor
The heart is arguably the most important organ in the body. If something goes wrong, the consequences are sometimes fatal. Some heart problems may not be as detrimental as a heart attack, but this doesnt mean they shouldnt be taken seriously.
You should go to the doctor if your heart rate has been within a normal range and suddenly is not. This might indicate you have a heart problem like arrhythmia which is an abnormal heart rhythm, tachycardia which is when the heart beats consistently at over 100 bpm, or bradycardia which is a low heart rate thats less than 60 bpm.
You should seek emergency care if your rapid heart rate is resulting in symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitations, or dizziness, says Evan Jacobs, MD, the Regional Medical Director in Cardiovascular Services atConviva Care Centers. In general, a sustained heart rate above 130 beats per minute, regardless of symptoms, should prompt urgent evaluation. Your primary care doctor or cardiologist should be alerted to rates between 100 and 130 beats per minute and can decide on the need for emergency care on a case-by-case basis.
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How To Find Your Resting Heart Rate
This article was medically reviewed by Luba Lee, FNP-BC, MS. Luba Lee, FNP-BC is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner and educator in Tennessee with over a decade of clinical experience. Luba has certifications in Pediatric Advanced Life Support , Emergency Medicine, Advanced Cardiac Life Support , Team Building, and Critical Care Nursing. She received her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Tennessee in 2006.There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 92% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 95,453 times.
Experts agree that your resting heart rate is an important indicator of your fitness level and overall cardiovascular health.XResearch source Finding your resting heart rate is simple, and something you can do on your own at home. Studies show that once you’ve tracked your heart rate, you can use the information to help you learn more about your heart and your health. There are several steps you can take to effectively use this information in your daily life.
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Track Your Heart Rate
Keeping track of your heart rate can give you insight into your fitness level, heart health and emotional health, Dr. Sinha says. Many people are walking around with a resting heart rate that is too high, due to factors such as too much caffeine, dehydration, inactivity and persistent stress. Those extra heart beats over time can be taking years off your life.
Dr. Sinha recommends tracking your heart rate as well as keeping a journal of which activities are causing higher heart rates. Then use that information to make changes, set priorities and move toward a healthier life. If daily stress is raising your resting heart rate, for example, think twice about taking on that extra project at work or school. Consider adding a morning walk or a 10-minute breathing session at lunch.
A final reminder from Dr. Sinha: Get your doctors OK before exercising hard if you have a heart condition or other disorder where exercising may be unsafe. Also keep in mind that certain medications can affect your heart rate, making it a less reliable measurement.
Impact On The Heart Rate
Lets assume a person is regularly taking a dose of CBD and wants to see how it impacts the heart rate. Its one thing to start making changes to your regimen and another to recognize what it is going to do the heart and the body as a whole.
The impact in the first few days may be steady as the body gets used to the effects of CBD. It may provide a sense of calm to the mind and could help reduce the heart rate and blood pressure, too.
For most people, the impact may be seen in the resting heart rate. This reduction isnt going to be significant, but it may be enough for you to notice. A reduction may be as little as 1-3 beats per minute.
Of course, its important to note this is going to vary from person to person and other underlying variables that are at play.
A healthier person may notice an improvement in their resting heart rate more so than someone who is already suffering from symptoms of heart disease.
What happens when the body starts exercising and is put under duress? This can be from something as simple as running at 5 MPH from one place to the next. In situations such as these, CBD may help regulate how the heart beats even when it is under stress.
Similar to the resting heart rate, if you experience a reduction in heart rate, it may be minimal. However, it may take time for the body to get used to CBD and its effects. So you may want to check back with your heart rate over time.
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How Do I Check My Resting Heart Rate
To check your heart rate:
- Sit down and rest for 5 minutes.
- Turn your wrist so your palm is facing up.
- Feel for a pulse at thumb side of your wrist.
- Once you feel it, count how many times you feel a beat in 30 seconds. Then double it.
If you cant find your pulse at your wrist, put 2 fingers on the side of your neck, next to the windpipe.
If you still cant find a pulse, ask someone else to feel it for you.
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Keys To Getting An Accurate Result
Resting heart rate is determined with a pulse measurement when you are relaxed and at rest. Do not take resting heart rate after:
- Active exercise
Some common causes of low heart rates include the following:
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Healthy Hearts Recover Fast
If you are healthy and fit, your heart will recover quickly after exercise, promptly returning to a lower rate. If you are out of shape, however, youre likely to be huffing and puffing after a workout, while your heart rate stays high for a longer time. You can assess this by measuring your heart rate recovery the difference between your beats per minute when exercising vigorously and your beats per minute one minute after stopping exercising.
To find your HRR, exercise at a high intensity for a few minutes. High-intensity exercise is when you cant say more than three or four words without significant effort, and are breathing mostly through your mouth, Dr. Sinha says. Stop exercising and immediately measure your heart rate, then again one minute later. A decrease of 15-25 beats per minute in the first minute is normal. The higher the number of decrease, the fitter you are.
The difference between those two numbers can also tell you something about your risk of dying from a heart attack, Dr. Sinha adds. Studies show that if it drops by 12 or fewer beats in that one minute after exercise, you have a higher risk of death from heart disease.
What Is Your Activity Level
Your target heart rate depends on how physically fit you are. For example, if you are not active and not physically fit, your target heart rate is a little lower than the target heart rate of someone who exercises every day. This tool gives you a range of what your target heart rate is, based on how much you usually exercise.
To find your target heart rate range, you will choose the category that best matches your level of physical activity. The categories are:
- Not active. You do less than 30 minutes of light activity no more than 2 times a week. Cleaning house, slow walking, and playing golf are examples of light activity.
- Moderately active. You do up to 30 minutes of light to moderate activity 3 to 5 times a week. Brisk walking, jogging, riding a bike, swimming, and playing tennis are examples of moderate activity.
- Very active. You do more than 30 minutes of moderate activity at least 5 times a week.
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What Are Heart Palpitations
A heart palpitation is when you suddenly become aware of your heart beating, usually in an irregular way. Sometimes you can feel it in your ears, neck or chest when youre lying down. Your heart beat may feel:
- too fast or slow
- like its fluttering
- like its thudding, or pounding.
It is not unusual to feel heart palpitations occasionally and mostly they are harmless. However if youre experiencing them on a regular basis, see your doctor.
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:
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Which Factors Can Influence Heart Rate
Many things can affect your heart rate, including:
- physical activity if youve been moving around a lot, your heart rate will increase
- fitness level your resting heart rate may be lower if youre very fit
- air temperature on hot days, your heart needs to pump more quickly
- emotions such as feeling stressed or overly excited
- medicines some can decrease your resting heart rate , while others can increase it
- age with age, the rate and regularity of your pulse can change and can be a sign of a heart problem.
How To Measure Different Kinds Of Heart Rate
There are four different heart rate measurements you should know about. They all have some place in monitoring health and fitness, but your resting heart rate and max heart rate are the two most important.
Why Measure Your Rhr
Whereas your FTP is a good indicator of your work, resting heart rate can be a very good indicator of recovery. The proper combination of work and recovery is necessary for continued improvement in your performance. The goal is to fit in as much work as possible without accumulating excessive fatigue.
If you havent put in enough work, youre simply not going to be fast enough. But, if you havent recovered enough, you could be headed for a whole host of problems. A lack of proper recovery leads to fatigue, which holds you back from the benefits of your training. Worst of all, excessive fatigue often leaves you prone to illnesses that can derail your training.