Your Resting Heart Rate
When you are at rest, your heart is pumping the lowest amount of blood to supply the oxygen your bodys needs. For most healthy adult women and men, resting heart rates range from 60 to 100 beats per minute. However, a 2010 report from the Womens Health Initiative indicated that a resting heart rate at the low end of that spectrum may offer some protection against heart attacks. When WHI researchers examined data on 129,135 postmenopausal women, they found that those with the highest resting heart ratesmore than 76 beats per minutewere 26% more likely to have a heart attack or die from one than those with the lowest resting heart rates62 beats per minute or less. If your resting heart rate is consistently above 80 beats per minute, you might want to talk to your doctor about how your heart rate and other personal factors influence your risk for cardiovascular disease.
What Is Pulse Rate
Pulse rate is the rate at which the arteries contract and relax when the heart ejects the blood. Pulse rate can be measured at certain points in the body such as neck and wrist by feeling the pulse, which is known as palpation.
Figure 02: Measuring the Pulse Rate
Hence, in healthy individuals, the pulse rate should be similar to the heart rate. Approximately normal pulse rate is 70. We can use a pulse meter or an infrared monitor to measure the pulse in addition to the conventional method of palpation. Pulse rate also changes with factors such as exercise, stress, illness and injury. Pulse rate and the heart rate differ in subjects with abnormal cardiac conditions.
Pulse Rate Vs Heart Rate
The reason why this topic gets a bit confusing is because while pulse rates and heart rates are technically two different things, they are so closely correlated and connected that they can also be seen as the same things. To make things easier on you, lets provide you with a rudimentary definition of both of these terms.
First off, the heart rate is the number of times per minute that the heart contracts, and is thus measured in beats per minute.
On the other hand, the pulse rate is the mechanical pulse of blood flow through the capillaries cause by the contractions of the heart per minute. When it comes down to it, although these are technically two different things, your pulse is your heart rate. Your pulse rate is also how many times per minute your heart beats.
What’s Your Maximal Heart Rate
To find your maximal heart rate for exercise purposes, subtract your age from 220. This should be the highest heart rate you reach for general conditioning purposes. Consult your doctor before any exercise and your intent to pursue a maximal heart rate. Generally, by exercising to reach your maximal heart rate, you are ensuring you will stress your heart enough to produce the benefits of a cardio workout.
Traumatic Injuries Or Internal Bleeding
A traumatic brain injury or bleeding around your brain can also cause a combination of high blood pressure and a low pulse. Both injuries and bleeding increase pressure on your brain, leading to something called the Cushing reflex.
The symptoms of Cushing reflex include:
- slow heart rate
- high blood pressure
- irregular or very slow breathing
If youve recently had any sort of head injury and notice these symptoms, contact a doctor right away.
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How To Monitor Heart Rate
Individuals can quickly check their heart rate manually by placing the tip of their index, second and third finger on the palm side of their wrist. Furthermore, they can put their index and second fingers on either side of the windpipe.
Apart from that, an electrocardiogram or ECG machine is ideal for checking heart rate. It is a very reliable tool and provides extensive information regarding the heart.;
Furthermore, wearable devices available nowadays can easily measure an accurate heart rate. The small arteries within the wrist transiently increase their volume with every heartbeat. As a result, the amount of light reflected back to the conductor in a device changes. The frequency of this fluctuation is the heart rate.
Know Your Numbers: Heart Rate
The better you understand your heart rate, the more you can maximize your movement to give your heart a good workout.
What is your heart rate?
Your heart rate, or pulse, is the number of times your heart beats per minute. Your resting heart rate is the heart pumping the lowest amount of blood you need because you’re not exercising. If you are sitting or lying down and you’re calm, relaxed and aren’t ill your heart rate is normally between 60 and 100 beats per minute.
Other factors can affect your heart rate include:
- Air temperature When temperatures or humidity increases, the heart pumps more blood so you pulse or heart rate may increase.
- Body position Sometimes when going from a sitting to a standing position, your pulse may go up a little. After a few minutes, it should return to a normal rate.
- Medications that block adrenaline tend to slow your heart rate. Thyroid medication may raise it.
Why your heart rate matters
What’s considered normal?
Your target heart rate is the minimum heart rate in a given amount of time to reach the level of energy necessary to give your heart a good workout. To find your target heart rate to maximize your cardiovascular exercise, the first step is determining your maximum heart rate.
Your maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age. Your target heart rate for moderate exercise is about 50%85% of your maximum heart rate.
Averages by age as a general guide are:
What you can do
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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.
Normal Resting Heart Rate
The heart rate measures how many times the heart beats in 60 seconds.
It is important to identify whether your heart rate sits within the normal range. If disease or injury weakens the heart, the organs will not receive enough blood to function normally.
The United States National Institutes of Health have published a list of normal resting heart rates.
The heart rate gets progressively slower as a person moves through childhood toward adolescence.
The normal resting heart rate for adults over the age of 10 years, including older adults, is between 60 and 100 beats per minute .
Highly trained athletes may have a resting heart rate below 60 bpm, sometimes reaching 40 bpm.
The following is a table of normal resting heart rates at different ages according to the NIH:
|Over 10 years||60 to 100|
The resting heart rate can vary within this normal range. It will increase in response to a variety of changes, including exercise, body temperature, emotional triggers, and body position, such as for a short while after standing up quickly.
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What Is The Pulse Rate
Pulse rate is the mechanical beating or vibration felt throughout the body. As a result of the contraction of a heart, blood rushes through capillaries and creates the pulse. Unlike heart rate, individuals can fell pulse rate in several areas of their body such as knees, neck, ankle, arms, wrist, etc.
Learn What Is A Normal Heart Rate And How To Find Your Pulse With Your Fingers Or A Device
Measuring your heart rate is any easy way to gauge your health, as it provides a real-time snapshot of your heart muscle function. For most adults, a normal resting heart ratethe number of heartbeats per minute while at restranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute. A normal heart rate can vary from person to person. However, an unusually high or low resting heart rate can be a sign of trouble.
When Heart Rate Or Rhythm Changes Are Minor
Many changes in heart rate or rhythm are minor and do not require medical treatment if you do not have other symptoms or a history of heart disease. Smoking, drinking alcohol or caffeine, or taking other stimulants such as diet pills or cough and cold medicines may cause your heart to beat faster or skip a beat. Your heart rate or rhythm can change when you are under stress or having pain. Your heart may beat faster when you have an illness or a fever. Hard physical exercise usually increases your heart rate, which can sometimes cause changes in your heart rhythm.
Natural health products, such as goldenseal, oleander, motherwort, or ephedra , may cause irregular heartbeats.
It is not uncommon for pregnant women to have minor heart rate or rhythm changes. These changes usually are not a cause for concern for women who do not have a history of heart disease.
Well-trained athletes usually have slow heart rates with occasional pauses in the normal rhythm. Evaluation is usually not needed unless other symptoms are present, such as light-headedness or fainting , or there is a family history of heart problems.
How Do I Check My Pulse
You can check your heart rate by taking your pulse and counting how many times your heart beats in a minute.;
There are fitness trackers or devices available in retail outlets that can measure your heart rate. Don’t rely on these devices too much as the accuracy depends on the quality of the device.;
See your doctor or GP if you are worried about your pulse.;
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What Is Heart Rate Variability
Heart rate variability is a measure of the changes in the time intervals between adjacent cardiac cycles as measured by considering these RR intervals. A healthy heart is not a metronome; even under stationary conditions, the heart rate will be constantly changing. These variations are complex and non-linear, and are needed by the cardiovascular system to adapt to a changing environment in a quick and flexible way.
A multitude of factors can influence HRV, namely: the autonomic nervous system activity, blood pressure, respiration rate and emotional state. Quantifying HRV can therefore provide valuable scientific insights on these factors, particularly in response to a studied variable .
Should I Be Concerned About Having High Blood Pressure And A Low Pulse
If youre taking blood pressure medication and have slightly high blood pressure and a low pulse, this generally isnt anything to be concerned about.
But if youre not taking any medication, its best to work with a doctor to figure out whats going on. This is especially true if you have symptoms of a low pulse, such as dizziness or shortness of breath.
The typical range of 60 to 100 beats per minute is both the average pulse measurement as well as the rate at which most peoples heart needs to beat to pump enough blood through their body.
Some people may simply have a lower pulse. Examples include athletes or those in very good shape. Theyve conditioned their heart muscle to be stronger. As a result, their heart pumps more effectively, meaning it doesnt need to beat as often. Learn more about why athletes have lower pulses.
Exercising can also temporarily raise your blood pressure. So, if you exercise regularly, you may have a naturally low pulse and higher blood pressure right after you work out.
Is Your Pulse And Heart Rate The Same Thing
The heart rate is the number of times the heart beats in the space of a minute. The pulse rate is exactly equal to the heartbeat, as the contractions of the heart cause the increases in blood pressure in the arteries that lead to a noticeable pulse. Taking the pulse is, therefore, a direct measure of heart rate.
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.
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How Do You Know Your Heart Rate
Your heart rate is a measure of how fast your heart beats and is also an important indicator of good health. Your doctor will always make it a point to measure your heart rate whenever you visit him for your routine health checkup or any health-related problem.
While the heart rate is routinely examined by your doctor, you can also measure your heart rate. With the help of your middle finger and index finger, you have to first try to feel and locate your pulse at any of the following places
- The inner side of your elbow
- The base of the toe
- The side of your neck
The wrist is the most commonly used and convenient place to check your heart rate. Once you locate the pulse on your wrist, you have to gently press on it for 60 seconds and count the beats. This is how you will know your heart rate, which will be in beats per minute.
Your Heart Rate: Changes Throughout The Day
Your heart works like a pump: its contractions push blood throughout your body. Your heart rate is the number of times your heart contracts per minute. This is often expressed in BPM beats per minute.
A heart rate varies from person to person. It also changes throughout the day. Are you sitting, lying or sleeping? Then your heart beats about 60 to 100 times per minute. But during exercise or stress, the rate automatically increases. Your heart knows it has to pump extra oxygen and nutrients through the body.
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Heart Rate And Exercise
In discussions about high blood pressure, you will often see heart rate mentioned in relation to exercise. Your target heart rate;is based on age and can help you monitor the intensity of your exercise.
- If you measure your heart rate before, during and after physical activity, youll notice it will increase over the course of the exercise.
- The greater the intensity of the exercise, the more your heart rate will increase.
- When you stop exercising, your heart rate does not immediately return to your normal heart rate.
- The more fit you are, the sooner your heart rate will return to normal.
How Do I Find My Pulse
Your wrist is the easiest place to find your pulse. Follow the steps below to find your pulse:
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Measuring Pulse Rate & Heart Rate
Something you may be wondering now is how to measure your heart rate and your pulse rate. First off, the heart rate is most accurately measured with the transmitter of a heart rate monitor or the electrodes from an EKG machine, right from the thorax.
On the other hand, the pulse rate can be measured using a pulse meter from the earlobe. Just keep in mind that pulse meters are only accurate indoors, particularly in settings with moderate amounts of ambient light. Due to changes in lighting, pulse meters are generally not accurate outdoors.
Your pulse rate can also be measured by palpating during rest. You can use your index fingers and thumb, hold them at the base of the thumb or wrist, and count hot many times your heart beats in 15 seconds, then multiply it by 4 to get an estimate of how many times per minute your heart is beating.
Effects Of Various Health Conditions And Exercises On Heart And Pulse Rate
Our cardiovascular system is a dynamic and resilient structure capable of overcoming several short comings. We see this first hand in those who live unhealthy lifestyles, eating foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol and not getting enough exercise. These individuals have weakened their vascular system by clogging their blood vessels with plaque and degrading blood vessel integrity leading to diagnosis such as hypertension . In cases such as these, the heart has to work extra hard to pass blood through narrow blood vessels. it achieves this by increasing the force it has to push, which leads to a rise in blood pressure. This rise occurs over years of neglect of good health habits.
The dynamic nature of the cardiovascular system works in the immediate as well. This can be appreciated as temporary rises in blood pressure while we exercise to help improve blood flow or during the time of anxiety were our body feels it needs to get ready to either fight or run away. Variations in temperature also have a distinct effect on heart rate as one UK study found that a one-degree change in body temperature could increase or lower the pulse as much as 10 beats per minute.
The things we consume such as cigarette smoke, alcohol, and various drugs can also affect your heart rate on a chemical level. Sometimes this can be dangerously so. Much like other muscles in the body, the heart is also connected to the central nervous system which can be influenced by chemical augmentation.
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