Elevated Heart Rate Most Likely Caused By Medical Condition
May 6, 2011
What is sinus tachycardia? What causes it? How is it treated?
Sinus tachycardia is the term used to describe a faster-than-normal heartbeat a rate of more than 100 beats per minute versus the typical normal of 60 to 70 beats per minute. Well over 99 percent of the time, sinus tachycardia is perfectly normal. The increased heart rate doesn’t harm the heart and doesn’t require medical treatment.
The term sinus tachycardia has nothing to do with sinuses around the nose and cheeks. Rather, it comes from the sinus node, a thumbnail-sized structure in the upper right chamber of the heart. This structure controls the heart rate and is called the heart’s natural pacemaker.
The sinus node signals the heart to speed up during exercise or in situations that are stressful, frightening or exciting. For example, a 10- to 15-minute brisk walk typically elevates the heart rate to 110 to 120 beats per minute. Also, the sinus node increases the heart rate when the body is stressed because of illness. In all of these circumstances, the heart rate increase is a normal response.
Likewise, the sinus node signals the heart to slow down during rest or relaxation.
For some patients, the elevated heart rate is the only symptom. Some have a lifelong history of sinus tachycardia in the 110 beats per minute range, and they lead a normal, healthy life. And often the inappropriate sinus tachycardia will improve in time without treatment.
Know Your Numbers: Maximum And Target Heart Rate By Age
This table shows target heart rate zones for different ages. Your maximum heart rate is about 220 minus your age.3
In the age category closest to yours, read across to find your target heart rates. Target heart rate during moderate intensity activities is about 50-70% of maximum heart rate, while during vigorous physical activity its about 70-85% of maximum.
The figures are averages, so use them as a general guide.
What The Experts Do
Monitor Heart Rate for Motivation
For Johns Hopkins cardiologist Michael Blaha, M.D., M.P.H., most workoutstake place on an elliptical trainer in his home. His machine has electrodeson which he can place his hands to automatically see his heart rate. Itgives me a sense of how hard Im working, he says.
Blaha also uses his targeted heart rate to guide the course that heprogrammed into the machine, so that he works up to where he wants to be interms of exertion. Knowing your target heart rate and trying to achieve itcan be very motivating, he says.
Stay on Top of Your Heart Health
If you have a new or existing heart problem, it’s vital to see a doctor. Our heart health checklist can help you determine when to seek care.
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After: Refuel Your Tank
After your workout, Ms. Platt recommends refueling with:
- Fluids. Drink water, of course. Blend your water with 100% juice such as orange juice which provides fluids, carbohydrates.
- Carbohydrates. You burn a lot of carbohydrates; the main fuel for your muscles when you exercise. In the 20-60 minutes after your workout, your muscles can store carbohydrates and protein as energy and help in recovery.
- Protein.;Eat things with protein to help repair and grow your muscles.
Its important to realize that these are general guidelines. We have different digestive systems and a lot depends on what kind of workout youre doing, Platt said.So do what works best for you. Know that what you put in your body is as important as you what you do with your body . Both are crucial to keeping your engine performing at its best.
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.
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What Is An Average Resting Heart Rate By Age
When you are resting -;whether sitting or lying down -;you can check your resting heart rate. Provided that you have not smoked, consumed coffee, or exercised vigorously an hour before. Activities such as smoking, having coffee, loud noises, and vigorous physical activity make your heart beat faster for a while, and so you might not get your exact resting heart rate. And hence this may interfere with the correct heart rate.
Average resting heart rate by age:
Children : 70-100 beats per minute
Adults :; 60-100 beats per minute
Checking Your Heart Rate
You don’t need fancy equipment or a visit to the doctor’s office to check your own heart rate. Hold your index and middle fingers together and find your pulse on either side of your throat. When you can clearly identify each beat, look at a clock or watch and begin counting the beats. You don’t need to count for 60 seconds to get the reading; try counting the beats for 15 seconds and then multiplying that number by 4 to get your heart rate. Use this technique during periods of rest and during your walk to note the change in your heart rate.
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What Is A Normal Exercising Heart Rate
To determine what a normal exercising heart rate is, you first need to determine your age-predicted maximal heart rate. Here is the generalized equation for predicting maximal heart rate in healthy adults:
HRmax = 208
For example, a 20-year-old person, the age-predicted maximal heart rate would be 194 beats per minute and for a 65-year-old person, the age-predicted maximal heart rate would be 163 beats per minute. A simplified age-predicted maximal heart rate equation is commonly used, but it overestimates maximal heart rate in young adults and increasingly underestimates the maximal heart rate in older adults.
What Heart Rate Is Too High
Generally, for adults, a heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute is considered as high.
Your heart rate usually rises when you walk fast, run, or do any strenuous physical activities.;
Maximum heart rate and Target Heart Rate
Before doing any vigorous exercise, you should know your maximum heart rate and target heart rate, both of which vary by age.
Going beyond your maximum heart rate is not healthy for you. Your maximum heart rate depends on your age. This is how you can calculate it:
- Subtracting your age from the number 220 will give you your maximum heart rate. Suppose your age is 35 years, your maximum heart rate is 185 beats per minute. If your heart rate exceeds 185 beats per minute during exercise, it is dangerous for you.
- Your target heart rate zone is the range of heart rate that you should aim for if you want to become physically fit. It is calculated as 60 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate.;
- Your target heart rate helps you to know if you are exercising at the right intensity.
- It is always better to consult your doctor before starting any vigorous exercise. This is especially important if you have diabetes, heart disease, or you are a smoker. Your doctor might advise you to lower your target heart rate by 50 percent or more.
Given below are the table showing the target heart rate zone and maximum heart rate as per age.
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Things Your Resting Heart Rate Can Tell You
Youre Not Active EnoughA normal resting heart rate for the average adult is 60 to 100 beats per minute or 40 to 60 bpm for highly conditioned athletes.If youre sedentary most of the day, your RHR likely approaches or exceeds the top end of this range. This may be ;because your heart is less efficient. The good news? By regularly engaging in moderate to vigorous aerobic activities , you will help your heart ;become more efficient at pumping blood, plus you might shed a few pounds, all of which will lower your resting heart rate over time. Even modest reductions in resting heart rate can dramatically reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and add years to your life!
Youre OvertrainingWhile pushing your body can lead to great gains, it can also be detrimental. If you notice an increase in your resting heart rate when youre going heavy on the training and light on the rest, your body may be telling you that you need to scale back. By giving it the proper rest it needs, your body can repair and adapt and you may bounce back ;stronger than ever.
Youre Sleep DeprivedAlways exhausted? Chronic sleep deprivationwhich can lead to fatigue, a lower metabolism, and extra snackingcan also raise your resting heart rate. ;Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
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.
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Measuring Your Walking Speed
There;are ins and outs of different methods of measuring your walking speed. Cell phone apps and running speedometer watches use GPS, which can be inaccurate and won’t work indoors on a treadmill. Fitness bands and pedometers may use your step cadence, which can vary if your stride length is different from what is expected. You can verify the accuracy of these readings by walking a measured mile and calculating your walking speed and pace.
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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How Do I Determine Heart Rate
Take your pulse on the inside of your wrist on the thumb side or on the side of your neck next to your larynx .
How Do I Get My Heart Rate In The Target Zone
When you work out, are you doing too much or not enough? Theres a simple way to know: Your target heart rate helps you hit the bullseye so you can get max benefit from every step, swing and squat. Even if youre not a gym rat or elite athlete, knowing your heart rate can help you track your health and fitness level.
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The Right Kind Of Intensity
When training on a treadmill you can control three variables: frequency, duration and intensity. Frequency is how often you train, duration is how long, and intensity correlates to how hard you work. When monitoring your heart rate, intensity is the most important variable because the percentage of your maximum heart rate that you work at during determines your fitness results. If you prefer easy exercise, work at 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. If you want a moderate intensity, work at 70 to 80 percent and if you desire a high-intensity workout, work at 80 to 100 percent of your maximum heart rate. A safe heart rate for the general population is between 60 to 90 percent.
How To Find Your Target Heart Rate
First, it helps to know your resting heart rate, Martin says. Find your pulse . Then count the number of beats in a minutethats your resting heart rate. The average resting heart rate is between 60 and 100, he says. The more fit you are, the lower your resting heart rate; for very fit people, its in the range of 40 to 50 beats per minute.
Target heart rate is generally expressed as a percentage of your maximum safe heart rate. The maximum rate is based on your age, as subtracted from 220. So for a 50-year-old, maximum heart rate is 220 minus 50, or 170 beats per minute. At a 50 percent exertion level, your target would be 50 percent of that maximum, or 85 beats per minute. At an 85 percent level of exertion, your target would be 145 beats per minute. Therefore, the target heart rate that a 50-year-old would want to aim for during exercise is 85 to 145 beats per minute.
But theres an easier way to figure it out if you want to skip the math: Wear a fitness tracking device, or exercise on a treadmill or other machine that calculates target heart rate for you, Blaha suggests.
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.
My Heart Rate Is 110 Bpm When Walking Slowly
There are several factors that affect your heart rate including your age, sex, weight, concomitant medical conditions, and fitness level. A resting heart rate of 110 is high but may not be abnormal for you depending on specific factors. Conversely, it can also represent a cardiac condition that would need further investigation by your healthcare provider.
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Heart Rate Tips To Keep In Mind
- Start at your beginning.;Before getting overly concerned about your heart rate, Martin says, its best to simply get moving. If you havent exercised much before, start where youre comfortable and gradually exert yourself more over time.
- Listen to your body.;Your body provides other indicators of how hard its working that you need to consider along with heart rate. Pay attention to how hard youre breathing or sweating, and stop if you feel very uncomfortable, Martin says. Devices recording your heart rate have been known to malfunction, for exampleanother reason listening to your body is important.
- Remember that target heart rate is just a guide.;Dont get overly fixated on numbers, Martin says. Ideally, they just push you to work a little harder.
Why Is It Important To Get It Checked
Often an irregular pulse is harmless. However, it’s important to get it checked by a health professional, because sometimes it’s a sign of a heart condition.
The most common kind of heart rhythm condition is atrial fibrillation , which can put you at greater risk of having a stroke. Fortunately, if you have AF, there’s medication you can take to help reduce this stroke risk.
Your doctor can do a simple test called an ECG to further check your irregular pulse.
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Average Walking Speed By Sex
On average, men walk faster than women, with the speeds between the sexes being most similar when people are in their 20s. Both men and women have a walking speed that stays fairly consistent until reaching their 60s, which is when it starts to decline considerably.
This difference could be because many older adults dont get the recommended amount of weekly physical activity. In general, women are less likely than men to get the recommended amount of weekly physical activity.
This table shows the difference in walking speed by sex and age:
Help Your Heart Work Stronger
Cardiovascular exercise is especially effective in keeping your heart healthy and reaching your target heart rate. This specific type of exercise gets your heart beating fast for several minutes at a time.
Target heart rate is defined as the minimum number of heartbeats in a given amount of time in order to reach the level of exertion necessary for cardiovascular fitness, specific to a persons age, gender, or physical fitness.
The following is an estimate given by the American Heart Association for target heart rate numbers for adults ages 45 to 70:
- 45 years: 88 to 149 beats per minute
- 50 years: 85 to 145 beats per minute
- 55 years: 83 to 140 beats per minute
- 60 years: 80 to 136 beats per minute
- 65 years: 78 to 132 beats per minute
- 70 years: 75 to 128 beats per minute
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