Your Maximum Heart Rate
The rate at which your heart is beating when it is working its hardest to meet your body’s oxygen needs is your maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate plays a major role in setting your aerobic capacitythe amount of oxygen you are able to consume. Several large observational studies have indicated that a high aerobic capacity is associated with a lower risk of heart attack and death. And a small controlled trial demonstrated that men and women with mild cognitive impairment who raised their aerobic capacity also improved their performance on tests of memory and reasoning.
What Is A Normal Heart Rate In Your Age
Heart rate, also known as pulse, is the number of times a persons heart beats per minute. A normal heart rate depends upon the individual, age, body size, heart disease, whether the person is sitting or moving, medication use and even air temperature level. Even feelings can have an impact on heart rate. For instance, getting excited or scared can increase the heart rate. But most significantly, getting fitter decreases the heart rate, by making heart muscles work more efficiently.
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.
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What Is A Normal Or Resting Heart Rate
There are three general ways to classify heart rate, 1) normal, 2) fast and 3) slow.
- A resting heart rate is normal between 60-100 beats per minute.
- A resting heart rate is fast at greater than 100 beats per minute.
- A resting heart rate is slow at less than 60 beats per minute.
A resting heart rate predicts longevity and cardiovascular disease, and current evidence suggests that it is also an important marker of outcome in cardiovascular disease, including heart failure. A normal heart rate is generally stated to be between 60-100 beats per minute at rest . However, recent studies have suggested that an ideal resting heart rate is between 50-70 beats per minute. It is well-known that the average resting heart rate for well-trained athletes is between 40-60 beats per minute! A heart rate can change dramatically while sleeping or with daily activity and exercise. Usually, a heart rate will be slower during sleep, faster during daily activities or with exercise, and recover quickly back to a resting rate after exercise. This means your heart has appropriate heart rate variability and recovery, which is associated with good heart health. Your resting heart rate can also be used to estimate how much energy your body uses, or your basal metabolic rate.
What Are The Best Places To Check Pulse
The best places to check your heart rate are your wrist, the side of your neck, the inside of your elbow, and the top of your foot .
How to Check Your Pulse Video
Watch Emily Reeve, the Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation, show you how to check your pulse.
Heart Rate Monitors
You can track your heart rate with a wrist monitor like the popular LETSCOM Fitness Tracker .
Or, check out this detailed review of heart rate monitors to help you find the right one for you.
Heart rate monitors make it easier to track your heart rate consistently and learn which activities raise or lower your pulse the most.
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Things Your Heart Rate Says About You
That steady beat you feel when you touch your fingers to your wrist, neck, or the inside of your elbow is good newsit means you’re alive and kicking. And if you take a minute to figure out just how fast or slow it’s thumping, you might learn something about how to keep your health in check.
Determining your heart rate is easy just take your pulse and count the beats for a full minute. But that info is most useful if you track it over time and tell your doctor about any substantial shifts, says Pam R. Taub, MD, a board-certified cardiologist and associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego.
“What’s even more important than a single heart rate is the trend,” she says.
Taub says that the ideal resting heart rate for most people is between 60 and 85 beats per minute , though some doctors say up to 100 bpm is OK. If yours is too low or too high , it could be your body’s way of sending out an S.O.S. to tell you something’s not right.
So what could be troubling your ticker? Here are a few reasons that might explain why your heart rate is out of whack.
Measure Your Heart Rate
To determine your heart rate, use your first two fingers to press lightly over the blood vessels on your inner wristthe side by your thumb. Count your pulse for ten seconds and multiply this number by six.
If your heart rate is 50 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate, you have hit your target heart zone and are working at the right level of intensity.
Wearing a multifunctional fitness tracker such as the Fitbit, or Nike+ FuelBand SE, does the work for you. The device is worn like a bracelet or watch and measures your heart rate.
Exercising at the right level of intensity improves heart and respiratory endurance and helps keep your workout at a level that is vigorous enough to meet your health goals.
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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.
What Affects Resting Heart Rate
- Temperature: When temperature and humidity rise, your heart needs to pump more blood. Whereby your pulse may increase up to 5 to 10 bpm.
- Body position: Your pulse is usually the same when youre resting, whether youre sitting or standing. However, it may go up for a couple of minutes after you sit or stand.
- Emotions: Being stressed, excited, or upset can raise your pulse.
- Body Size: If youre obese your heart rate could be higher than average as your heart needs to work harder to circulate throughout your body.
- Medications: Drugs that block your adrenaline can slow your heart rate. Conversely, high doses of thyroid medication can raise it.
- Water: Being dehydrated raises your RHR .
- Type 2 Diabetes is associated with resting heart rate .
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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.
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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Arrhythmia Tachycardia And Other Conditions
A variety of conditions can influence your heart rate. An arrhythmia causes the heart to beat too quickly, too sluggish or with an irregular rhythm.
Tachycardia is usually considered to be a resting heart rate of over 100 beats per minute, according to the National Institutes of Health, and typically caused when electrical signals in the hearts upper chambers fire abnormally. If the heart rate is closer to 150 bpm or higher, it is a condition called supraventricular tachycardia . In SVT, your hearts electrical system, which controls the heart rate, is out of whack. This normally needs medical attention.
Bradycardia is a condition where the heart rate is too low, usually less than 60 bpm. This can be the result of problems with the sinoatrial node, which acts as the pacemaker, or damage to the heart as an outcome of a heart attack or heart disease.
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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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 over your wrist below the base of your thumb.
- Press lightly to feel the pulse under your fingers. If you can’t feel anything press slightly harder.
Target Heart Rate For Exercise
Your target heart rate is 50 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. It is the level at which your heart is beating with moderate to high intensity. To determine your maximum heart rate, take 220 and subtract your age.
Sustaining a workout at this pace improves cardiorespiratory endurance. So knowing your target heart rate helps you pace your workouts. Exercising at the right level of intensity will help you avoid burning out or wasting time with a workout thats not vigorous enough to help you meet your goals.
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Exercise And Heart Rate
Like any other muscle, your heart needs exercise to keep it fit and healthy. Regular exercise can help reduce your risk of heart disease and other health conditions, such as diabetes.
To keep your heart healthy, you should aim to do 150 minutes of low to moderate intensity exercise a week. If you have a heart condition, talk to your doctor about what exercise and target heart rates are safe for you.
One way to measure the intensity of your exercise is by using your heart rate. To exercise at a low to moderate intensity your heart rate should be at 50 to 70% of your approximate maximum heart rate.
The easiest way to get an approximate maximum heart rate is to calculate 220 your age. You then need to calculate 50 to 70% of your MHR.
For example, if you’re 40-years-old:
- your approximate maximum heart rate is: 220 40 = 180 beats per minute
- 50% of your MHR is 180 X 0.5 = 90 bpm
- 70% of your MHF is 180 X 0.7 = 126 bpm.
Alternatively, you can use our heart rate chart below to get a rough idea.
Remember if you’re on medications to slow your heart rate down, you may not be able to meet these upper heart rates and the aim should be to exercise at a rate that makes you lightly puff.
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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What Is A Normal Heart Rate Under A Stress Test For Adults
A stress test is used to measure your heart rate recovery time. Your doctor may recommend a stress test if youre experiencing an irregular heartbeat , or if youre showing signs or symptoms of coronary artery disease. This test can also be used to inform treatment decisions, measure the effectiveness of treatment or determine the severity of a heart condition with which youve already been diagnosed.
During the stress test, you will likely exert varying levels of physical stress as you walk on a treadmill until your heart rate reaches a targeted number of beats per minute . At that point, each minute is monitored to see how quickly your heart recovers from the exercise.
How To Calculate Resting Heart Rate
To check your normal resting heart rate, you can use a heart rate monitor, or use this 10-second pulse count method:
- Take your pulse at either the base of your thumb on the palm side of your wrist, or the base of your neck on either side of your windpipe.
- Using two or three fingers, press lightly on your skin until you can feel your blood moving underneath.
- Count the beats for 10 seconds, then multiply that number by six.
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Increase In Resting Heart Rate Is A Signal Worth Watching
- By Howard E. LeWine, MD, Chief Medical Editor, Harvard Health Publishing
When you sit quietly, your heart slips into the slower, steady pace known as your resting heart rate. An increase in your resting heart rate over time may be a signal of heart trouble ahead.
Your heart rate changes from minute to minute. It depends on whether you are standing up or lying down, moving around or sitting still, stressed or relaxed. Your resting heart rate, though, tends to be stable from day to day. The usual range for resting heart rate is anywhere between 60 and 90 beats per minute. Above 90 is considered high.
Many factors influence your resting heart rate. Genes play a role. Aging tends to speed it up. Regular exercise tends to slow your heart rate down. Stress, medications, and medical conditions also influence your resting heart rate.
Results of observational research studies support a link between health and heart rate. Researchers from Norway previously reported the results of a large study looking at changes in resting heart rate over 10 years. They recruited more than 29,000 people without any history or heart disease, high blood pressure, or any other type of cardiovascular disorder, and measured their resting heart rates when they started the study and again 10 years later. This study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
How to lower your resting heart rate
What Is A Dangerous Resting Heart Rate
A resting heart rate can be dangerous if its too fast, tachycardia, or too slow, bradycardia. Tachycardia is generally over 100 bpm and bradycardia is generally below 60 bpm . A resting heart rate that is too fast or too slow could be the result of a more serious underlying health problem.
What Is Tachycardia?
Tachycardia is a resting heart rate that is too fast . It can be caused by congenital heart disease, poor circulation, anemia, hypertension, or injury to the heart, such as a heart attack . Tachycardia is also associated with a shorter life expectancy .
What Is Bradycardia?
Bradycardia is a slow resting heart rate . It can be caused by hypotension, congenital heart disease, damage to the heart , chronic inflammation, or myocarditis .
If you have a resting heart rate that is too high or too low for an extended period of time, it can cause dangerous health conditions such as heart failure, blood clots, fainting, and sudden cardiac arrest.
if your resting heart rate is consistently above 100 bpm or below 60 bpm , you should see your doctor or medical provider. Additionally, you should watch for symptoms such as fainting, shortness of breath, feeling dizzy or light-headed, chest pain, or feeling discomfort or fluttering in your chest.
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