Thursday, May 23, 2024

What Does Heart Rate Measure

Don't Miss

Exercise And Your Pulse

How to Measure your Heart Rate

If you check your pulse during or immediately after exercise, it may give an indication of your fitness level. A heart rate monitor is also useful for recording your heart rate when resting and during exercise.

Aerobic activities such as walking, running and swimming are good types of exercise because they increase your heart and breathing rates.

If you haven’t exercised before, or haven’t for some time, see our Live Well section to read about the benefits of exercise and how much exercise you should be doing.

Best Devices For Measuring Heart Rate

So now you know all the different kinds of heart rate and how to measure them using clocks and math. Even though the traditional methods aren’t all that hard, there are easier — and potentially more accurate — ways to measure and track your heart rate.

Of course, the most accurate readings will come from a lab test or other clinical method. But since most people don’t have access to and don’t need those methods, these devices will work just fine.

Activity Tracker Or Smartwatch

Activity trackers are easily the most convenient way to measure your heart rate. They’re relatively inexpensive, they don’t take up a lot of space and they have a substantial battery life. Best of all, activity trackers are comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time to get a very accurate measure of your heart rate.

Wearing a Fitbit, Apple Watch, Garmin or other tracker allows you to measure your heart rate at all times of day: when you’re sleeping, during typical daily activities and during exercise. They then present this data to you in an easy-to-digest way. Activity trackers and smartwatches use optical technology to read the pulse in your wrist. With optical technology, your tracker sends light into your skin and reads the light that bounces back.

The Apple Watch Series 5 can even generate a PDF of your heart rhythm that you can share with your doctor.

You May Like: How Does Heart Disease Affect The Skeletal System

Breathing Rate Is A Better Measure Of Exertion Than Heart Rate

Fourth Frontier

Numerous studies have shown that breathing rate is much more closely correlated with your true internal effort than heart rate. This is because both BR and the exertion you perceive are determined by the same central command signals sent out by the brain to the muscles when you engage in hard exercise. Heart rate is more influenced by various external factors like caffeine, lack of sleep, temperature, humidity and stress, which are some of the problems with heart rate-based training. The Frontier X can also be configured to alert you when you cross certain breathing rate thresholds, so you’re alerted with a buzz when crossing into a higher effort zone than what you had planned for the workout. This can be used to optimize your training in different effort zones.

During a race or event, the alert based on Breathing Rate will warn you if you are running or cycling at an unsustainable pace, and by slowing down and breathing deeper, you will be able to avoid hitting the wall in such situations.

Was this article helpful?

What Are The Risks Of Fetal Heart Monitoring


Radiation is not used for this test. The transducer usually causes nodiscomfort.

You may find the elastic belts that hold the transducers in place slightlyuncomfortable. These can be readjusted as needed.

You must lie still during some types of fetal heart rate monitoring. Youmay need to stay in bed during labor.

With internal monitoring, you may have some slight discomfort when theelectrode is put in your uterus.

Risks of internal monitoring include infection and bruising of your babysscalp or other body part.

Note:You should not have internal fetal heart rate monitoringif you are HIV positive. This is because you may pass the infection on toyour baby.

You may have other risks depending on your specific health condition. Besure to talk with your provider about any concerns you have before theprocedure.

Certain things may make the results of fetal heart rate monitoring lessaccurate. These include:

  • Obesity of the mother
  • Position of the baby or mother
  • Too much amniotic fluid
  • Cervix is not dilated or the amniotic sac is not broken. Both of these need to happen to do internal monitoring

Recommended Reading: How Much Can Marijuana Increase A Person’s Heart Rate

Resting Heart Rate Measurement

Resting heart rate refers to your heart rate measured when you are still, awake, and at rest. The best time to measure your resting heart rate is immediately after you wake up in the morning.

Open the Health app, touch Devices then your device name, go to Health monitoring> Continuous heart rate monitoring, and enable Continuous heart rate monitoring. The device will then measure your resting heart rate automatically.

  • If you disable Continuous heart rate monitoring after checking your resting heart rate, the resting heart rate displayed in the Health app will remain the same.
  • The resting heart rate data on the device will be cleared on its own at 00:00 AM.
  • If “–” is displayed as the resting heart rate reading, it indicates that the device was unable to measure your resting heart rate.
  • Your actual resting heart rate may not be displayed or accurately measured, as it is not always the case that your heart rate was automatically measured at the best time.

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.

You May Like: How To Calculate Resting Heart Rate

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.


Influences From The Central Nervous System

How to measure someone’s heart rate

Cardiovascular centres

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.

You May Like: How To Calculate Target Heart Rate Zone

Hf Power And Rsa Do Not Represent Vagal Tone

In healthy individuals, RSA can be increased by slow, deep breathing. Respiration rate changes can produce large-scale shifts in RSA magnitude without affecting vagal tone, which is mean HR change across conditions . Grossman proposed an experiment. If you slow your breathing to 6bpm, you should observe increased HR fluctuations compared with 15bpm. During this time, mean HR should not appreciably change because vagal tone did not change.

While HF power indexes vagal modulation of HR, it does not represent vagal tone. If shifts in HF power mirrored shifts in vagal tone, they should produce corresponding changes in average HR. But, breathing at different rates within the 924bpm range, which changes HF power, does not change mean HR. RSA and vagal tone are dissociated during large-scale changes in SNS activity, chemical blockade of the SA node, and when intense vagal efferent traffic dramatically slows HR during inhalation and exhalation . Shifts in respiration rate and volume can markedly change HRV indices without actually affecting vagal tone.

Target Heart Rate For Different Exercises

For an effective cardio workout, it is important to exercise at a certain level of intensity. Your target heart rate is a zone at which you can attain the level of exertion necessary for improving your cardiovascular fitness. Depending on your age, sex, level of fitness, the target heart rate zone will vary from 50 to 90 percent of your maximum heart rate. Here is the breakdown for understanding heart rate zones:

You May Like: Does Acid Reflux Cause Heart Palpitations

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 or your 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.

Normal Resting Heart Rate

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.

Also Check: Fitbit Charge 2 Accuracy Heart Rate

Heart Rate Measurement Methods

There are numerous ways you can measure your heart rate with varying levels of accuracy. When determining how to measure heart rate most effectively, consider your goals, budget, and what will work for your method of use. Here are some of the ways to measure heart rate:

An easy way to calculate your heart rate is to use a heart rate monitor. A heart rate monitor is a device that can detect your heartbeat, count the beats per minute and then display it for you. Heart rate monitors can continuously track and display your heart rate as you perform various activities or exercises.

Continuous Heart Rate Monitoring

Open the Health app, touch Devices then your device name, go to Health monitoring> Continuous heart rate monitoring, and enable Continuous heart rate monitoring. Once this feature is enabled, your watch can measure your real-time heart rate.

  • Smart mode:
  • The heart rate measurement will be performed once every 10 minutes for low-intensity activities .
  • The heart rate measurement will be performed once every 10 minutes for moderate-intensity activities .
  • The heart rate measurement will be performed once a second for high-intensity activities and it takes 6 to 10 seconds to display the first heart rate value, though this may vary between individuals.
  • Real-time mode: The heart rate measurement will be performed once a second for any type of activity intensity.
  • The HUAWEI WATCH GT series and HONOR Watch Magic/Dream series do not support smart heart rate measurements.
  • Using Real-time mode will increase the power consumption of your watch, while using Smart mode will adjust the heart rate measurement interval based on the activity intensity and help to save power.

You May Like: Can Flonase Cause Heart Palpitations

How Accurate Are Ouras Heart Rate & Hrv Measurements

Oura is always looking for ways to prioritize and communicate accuracy. As a result, were excited to share new research by our science team to continue to validate our sensors against industry standard tools.

In this study of 49 healthy subjects, the Oura ring packed the same punch as a medical-grade ECG, despite weighing in at only 4 grams!

The Oura ring performed near-perfect for resting heart rate and extremely high for heart rate variability when compared to a medical-grade ECG device.

In a study of 49 healthy subjects, the Oura ring was shown to be:

  • A valid tool for measuring average nighttime resting heart rate & variability
  • A highly accurate means of assessing body signals and long-term health behavior

Lets dig into the data.

Ouras Average Nighttime Values Correspond Near-Perfect with ECG

When comparing Ouras average nighttime RHR and HRV to a medical-grade ECG device, the results showed a near-perfect correlation for RHR and extremely high squared correlation for HRV .

If youre not familiar with r squared , it is a commonly used way to assess how well two values correspond. It ranges from 0 to 1 where 0 means theres no correlation while 1 means the two variables are completely in sync.

Because both of these r² are very close to 1, it means that the values in the Oura app are at the top of the accuracy range and correspond nearly perfectly with ECG values, the gold standard for measuring heart rate.

Heres where you can find these metrics within the app:

Hows Your Heart Rate And Why It Matters

How to measure Heart Rate

When it comes to your heart rate, it’s a bit like the speed of your car. What you want is not too fast, not too slow, and not too erratic. In fact, most of the time, heart rhythm and pace are not things you need to think about. And unless something unusual is going on, you’re likely completely unaware of what your heart is doing.

Heart rate is important because the heart’s function is so important. The heart circulates oxygen and nutrient-rich blood throughout the body. When it’s not working properly, just about everything is affected. Heart rate is central to this process because the function of the heart is directly related to heart rate and stroke volume .

Don’t Miss: Can Acid Reflux Cause Palpitations

What Is Your Heart Rate

Your heart rate, or pulse, is the number of times your heart beats in 1 minute. Heart rates vary from person to person. Itâs lower when youâre at rest and higher when you exercise.

Knowing how to find your pulse can help you figure out your best exercise program. If youâre taking heart medications, recording your pulse daily and reporting the results to your doctor can help them learn whether your treatment is working.

Blood pressure vs. heart rate

Your heart rate is separate from your blood pressure. Thatâs the force of your blood against the walls of your blood vessels.

A faster pulse doesnât necessarily mean higher blood pressure. When your heart speeds up, like when you exercise, your blood vessels should expand to let more blood pass through.

Heart Rate Variability: A New Way To Track Well

  • By , Contributor

Information is knowledge, and big tech companies know how important it is to collect and track data. When it comes to your health, it is now easy to measure and track all kinds of information. In the comfort of our homes we can check our weight, blood pressure, number of steps, calories, heart rate, and blood sugar. Recently some researchers have started to use an interesting marker for resilience and behavioral flexibility. It is called heart rate variability .

Have you ever wondered what the health impact of a stressful day was? Will you perform well during your long run tomorrow morning? Is there anything you can do today that would improve your ability to have a better day moving forward? HRV may be the piece of data that could help you answer these questions.

Recommended Reading: Does Tylenol Increase Heart Rate

More articles

Popular Articles