How Healthy Is Your Resting Heart Rate
Learn whats normal, whats not, and what could be throwing your resting heart rate out of whack.
Pulse taking is an ancient technique, dating back thousands of years, but these days you’d almost never know it. Long gone are the days of placing two fingers against your neck while watching the clock. Now,;measuring your resting heart rate;is as easy as firing up a smartphone app or saying, “Siri, what’s my heart rate?“;
The ease at which you can detect your resting heart rate — and track it over time — has led to a sort of heart-rate renaissance among non-medical professionals, with everyone from health nuts to;fitness fanatics trying to use it to their advantage. But the wealth of resting heart rate data available literally at your fingertips doesn’t mean anything if you don’t know how to interpret it.;
Below, a primer that will help get you up to speed before you next doctor’s appointment.;
Read more:;The best iPhone and Apple Watch health devices for checking blood pressure, heart rate and more;| This might be the number-one way to track your fitness
Matters Of The Heart: Why You Should Know Your Resting Heart Rate
At the recent HIMSS 2019 medical conference, Dr. Karl Poterack, Medical Director of Applied Clinical Informatics at the Mayo Clinic, said that clinicians often dont take the time to utilize health data collected from a persons wearable fitness device. But he noted that having resting heart rate information can be usefulespecially for the patient, who can use their digital data to monitor their heart health and alert doctors to changes.
So in our continuing focus on matters of the heart for Februarys American Heart Month, lets follow Dr. Poteracks orders and learn more about RHR, why it is important to track, what factors can alter it, and how everyone in the family can improve overall heart health with exercise. Tracking your real-time heart data, including changes in your resting heart rate, just might save your life. Here are seven resting heart rate facts and stats:
Know your numbers. The ability to track resting heart rate with Fitbit devices allows you to know if your resting heart rate falls within an average range. The American Heart Association notes that a normal resting heart rate ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute for adults. Medical experts also agree that a lower resting heart rate can indicate more efficient heart function and cardiovascular fitness, as highly conditioned athletes typically have a resting heart rate of 40 to 60 bpm.
Resting heart rate data analysis by age and gender
Lowering A Rapid Heart Rate
Pulse rates can spike due to nervousness, stress, dehydration and overexertion. Sitting down and taking slow, deep breaths can generally lower your heart rate. Exercising and getting fitter will usually lower heart rate, too.
Cooling down after a workout is important, according to the AHA. Because your heart is beating faster, your body temperature is higher and your blood vessels are dilated, stopping too fast could make you feel sick or even pass out.
The AHA recommends stretching and walking. Stretching helps reduce the buildup of lactic acid, which cause cramps and stiff muscles. Follow these tips:
- Walk for about 5 minutes, or until your heart rate gets below 120 beats per minute.
- Stretch, and hold each stretch 10 to 30 seconds. If you feel you need more, stretch the other side and return for another set of stretching.
- The stretch should be strong, but not painful.
- Do not bounce.
- Breathe while youre stretching. Exhale as you stretch, inhale while holding the stretch.
Recommended Reading: List The Steps Of How To Calculate Your Target Heart Rate Zone
Searching By Bpm To Find The Perfect Song
Did you know that you can search for music by BPM right on Storyblocks? Theres a slider on the left side of the search results page that runs from 0250 BPM. Every track also includes its BPM on the preview page for reference. So, the next time youre looking for music to use in your next project, try searching by BPM and see what turns upit may just be the perfect track to amp up your project to the next level!
When Heart Rate Or Rhythm Changes Are More Serious
Irregular heartbeats change the amount of blood that flows to the lungs and other parts of the body. The amount of blood that the heart pumps may be decreased when the heart pumps too slow or too fast.
Changes such as atrial fibrillation that start in the upper chambers of the heart can be serious, because they increase your risk of forming blood clots in your heart. This in turn can increase your risk for having a stroke or a blood clot in your lungs . People who have heart disease, heart failure, or a history of heart attack should be more concerned with any changes in their usual heart rhythm or rate.
Fast heart rhythms that begin in the lower chambers of the heart are called ventricular arrhythmias. They include ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation. These types of heart rhythms make it hard for the heart to pump enough blood to the brain or the rest of the body and can be life-threatening. Ventricular arrhythmias may be caused by heart disease such as heart valve problems, impaired blood flow to the heart muscle , a weakened heart muscle , or heart failure.
Symptoms of ventricular tachycardia include palpitations, feeling dizzy or light-headed, shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, and fainting or near-fainting. Ventricular fibrillation may cause fainting within seconds and causes death if not treated. Emergency medical treatment may include medicines and electrical shock .
Check your symptoms to decide if and when you should see a doctor.
Read Also: How Much Blood Does An Adult Heart Pump Every Day
Influences From The Central Nervous System
The heart rate is rhythmically generated by the sinoatrial node. It is also influenced by central factors through sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves. Nervous influence over the heart rate is centralized within the two paired cardiovascular centres of the medulla oblongata. The cardioaccelerator regions stimulate activity via sympathetic stimulation of the cardioaccelerator nerves, and the cardioinhibitory centers decrease heart activity via parasympathetic stimulation as one component of the vagus nerve. During rest, both centers provide slight stimulation to the heart, contributing to autonomic tone. This is a similar concept to tone in skeletal muscles. Normally, vagal stimulation predominates as, left unregulated, the SA node would initiate a sinus rhythm of approximately 100 bpm.
Norepinephrine binds to the beta1 receptor. High blood pressure medications are used to block these receptors and so reduce the heart rate.
Input to the cardiovascular centres
Increased metabolic byproducts associated with increased activity, such as carbon dioxide, hydrogen ions, and lactic acid, plus falling oxygen levels, are detected by a suite of chemoreceptors innervated by the glossopharyngeal and vagus nerves. These chemoreceptors provide feedback to the cardiovascular centers about the need for increased or decreased blood flow, based on the relative levels of these substances.
What Factors Can Affect Heart
Several factors can affect HRV, including age, sex, sleep quality, stress, and lifestyle choices, such as nutrition and exercise.
Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Versa 3 notify you when we detect that your heart rate is outside of your high or low thresholds while you appear to be inactive for at least 10 minutes.
Also Check: Can Acid Reflux Cause Heart Palpitations
When Apple Watch Measures Your Heart Rate
When you use the Workout;app, Apple Watch;measures your heart rate continuously during the workout;and for 3 minutes after the workout ends to determine a workout recovery rate. If you don’t see your heart rate, check your settings.
This information, as well as;other data it collects, helps Apple Watch estimate how many calories youve burned. In addition, Apple Watch measures your heart rate throughout the day when youre still, and periodically when youre walking . Since Apple Watch takes these background readings based on your;activity, the time between these measurements will vary. Apple Watch also calculates a daily resting rate and walking average by correlating background heart rate readings with accelerometer data when sufficient background readings are available. You can;control which third-party apps have access to your health data from the Health app in Sources.
Some anomalies may appear in the displayed data, resulting in occasional heart rate measurements that are abnormally high or low.
Target Heart Rates During Exercise
The heart rate increases during exercise.
When training for fitness, it is important not to put too much strain on the heart. However, an individual needs the heart rate to increase while exercising to provide more oxygen and energy for the rest of the body.
While the heart rate increases as a result of physical activity, an overall decrease in target heart rate is possible over time. This means that the heart is working less to get the necessary nutrients and oxygen to different parts of the body, making it more efficient.
Cardiovascular training aims to reduce the target heart rate. The ideal target heart rate reduces with age. It is also worth noting the maximum heart rate. This demonstrates the full capability of the heart, and it is normally reached through high-intensity exercise.
The American Heart Association states that the maximum heart rate during exercise should be roughly equal to 220 bpm minus the age of the person.
As the body of each individual will react to exercise differently, the target heart rate is presented as a range known as the target heart rate zone.
The following table shows the appropriate target heart rate zone for a range of ages. A persons heart rate should fall within this range when exercising at 50 to 80 percent intensity, also known as exertion.
Don’t Miss: Acid Reflux Cause Palpitations
How Do You Check Your Pulse
You can measure your heart rate manually by checking your pulse. Follow these three steps.
- Find your pulse in your wrist .
- Count each beat for a total time of 30 seconds.
- Double the number of beats you counted. This is your heart rate or pulse, measured in beats per minute.
Also make a note of whether your heart beats at an even or uneven rhythm. A normal heart beats at a steady rhythm like a clock, tick tock tick tock.
Some people like to use a heart rate monitor to measure their heart rate. These monitors are often included in fitness trackers, which are now widely available in sports stores and other retail outlets. However, their accuracy depends on the quality of the device.
Is It Normal For Heart Rate To Increase After Drinking Alcohol
The cardiovascular system is affected by alcohol. At the time of drinking, alcohol can cause a temporary increase in heart rate and blood pressure. In the long-term, drinking above the guidelines can lead to on-going increased heart rate, high blood pressure, weakened heart muscle and irregular heartbeat.
Read Also: Can Reflux Cause Heart Palpitations
How To Measure And Understand Heart Rate
Most people have heard about monitoring their heart rate the speed at which your heart beats for exercising safely and effectively. However, they dont always understand how to measure heart rate or why heart rate measurement is so important.
They are aware that exercise raises the heart rate, but have no real idea about just how much that increase should be. What should your hrv heart rate variability be? How often should your heart rate be elevated? How much should you exercise, for how long, and what will it do to your blood pressure?
To learn what heart rate is optimum for your goals, you must first understand what is heart rate and how it relates to exercise. You should also learn the different methods for accurately identifying your target heart rate.
How To Take Your Pulse
Although you may be able to feel your blood pumping in a number of placesyour neck, the inside of your elbow, and even the top of your footyour wrist is probably the most convenient and reliable place to get a good pulse.
Press your index and middle fingers together on your wrist, below the fat pad of your thumb. Feel around lightly until you detect throbbing. If you press too hard you may suppress the pulse. You can probably get a pretty accurate reading by counting the number of beats in 15 seconds and multiplying that number by four.
The best time to get your resting heart rate is first thing in the morning, even before you get out of bed. To gauge your maximum heart rate, take your pulse immediately after exercising as vigorously as possible.
Don’t Miss: Does Acid Reflux Cause Heart Palpitations
What Is A Normal Resting Heart Rate
Your resting heart rate can reveal a lot about you. Ask any runner, and theyll tell you that they keep tabs on their resting heart rate to figure out things like how well they’re responding to training and whether they may be coming down with a cold.;
Knowing how your ticker ticks can provide you with valuable information, but dont feel pressured to compare yourself to others. Heart rate resting or otherwisevaries from person to person.;
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
Recommended Reading: Can Too Much Vitamin D Cause Heart Palpitations
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.
How Accurate Is Fitbit Heart Rate Data
Like with any optical heart rate solution, Fitbit’s PurePulse technology is solid but not without its issues.
Fluctuating between high heart rate and low heart rate during interval training can often prove to be problematic for the heart rate monitor to keep up with. As we say though, Fitbit’s trackers aren’t alone in this problem.
If you sense your Fitbit device isn’t quite tracking your heart rate correctly, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
Firstly, a good tight fit is extremely important as light leaking in from the sides of your watch will disrupt the signal.
When you’re not exercising, wear your device a finger’s width below your wrist bone. And when you are exercising, consider wearing the device slightly higher on your wrist for more accurate readings, since some exercises will cause your wrist to move frequently.
Naturally, as with any wrist-based monitor, you’ll also need to make sure the back of the watch is touching the skin at all times, while also ensuring it isn’t strapped too tightly onto your wrist.
Fitbit’s new Versa 3 and Sense watches have ushered in PurePulse 2.0, which aims to improve the performance of that sensor technology. It’s achieving that by increasing the number of light transmitters and receivers that are used to get that data. It means that Fitbit can now use 6 independent optical channels across a larger surface area to improve the reliability of the data.
Also Check: Does Acid Reflux Cause Heart Palpitations
What Things Affect Heart Rate
Other than exercise, things that can affect your heart rate include:
- Weather. Your pulse may go up a bit in higher temperatures and humidity levels.
- Standing up. It might spike for about 20 seconds after you first stand up from sitting.
- Emotions. Stress and anxiety can raise your heart rate. It may also go up when youâre very happy or sad.
- Body size. People who have severe obesity can have a slightly faster pulse.
- Medications. Beta-blockers slow your heart rate. Too much thyroid medicine can speed it up.
- Caffeine and nicotine. Coffee, tea, and soda raise your heart rate. So does tobacco.