Maintaining A Normal Heart Rate
A healthy heartbeat is crucial for protecting cardiac health.
While exercise is important for promoting a low and healthy heart rate, there are several other steps a person can take to protect their heart health, including:
- Reducing stress: Stress can contribute to an increased heart rate and blood pressure. Ways to keep stress at bay include deep breathing, yoga, mindfulness training, and meditation.
- Avoiding tobacco: Smoking leads to a higher heart rate, and quitting can reduce it to a normal level.
- Losing weight: More body weight means that the heart has to work harder to provide all areas of the body with oxygen and nutrients.
Children Have Higher Resting Heart Rates Than Adults
According to Purvi Parwani, MD, director of Womens Heart Care at Loma Linda University International Heart Institute, children tend to have a higher resting heart rate than adults because of a faster metabolism. For example, a newborn heart rate of 100 to 150 bpm is considered normal, Parwani says.;
However, the average resting heart rate of a child also depends on age and activity level during the day. According to the US National Library of Medicine, the resting heart rate range for children changes every few years until around 10 years old:;
- Newborns 0 to 1 month old: 70 to 190 bpm;
- Infants 1 to 11 months old: 80 to 160 pm
- Children 1 to 2 years old: 80 to 130 bpm
- 3 to 4 years old: 80 to 120 bpm;
- 5 to 6 years old: 75 to 115 bpm;
- 7 to 9 years old: 70 to 100 bpm
- 10 years and older: 60 to 100 bpm
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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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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.
Fitbit Heart Rate Monitoring Explained
Tracking heart rate is a huge feature of Fitbit’s smartwatches and fitness trackers and drives the data we demand from our wearables. But how does Fitbit track heart rate, what features does it power and crucially, is it accurate?
Thanks to the in-built heart rate monitor found in the likes of the Fitbit Charge 4, and the new Fitbit Versa 3 and Fitbit Sense you’re able to gauge not only your heartbeat activity during workouts, but also tap into wellness features and some of the best sleep tracking in the business.
With the arrival of its Sense watch and its new PurePulse 2.0 sensor technology, Fitbit is also venturing deeper with the level of heart rate monitoring.
We get stuck into how it all works and why you’d want to try it out:
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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.
Do Calculations Differ For Women And Men
Womens and mens hearts respond a little differently to exercise, so there are slightly different calculations to find the precise target heart rate for women versus men.
But experts say those variations are only really useful for elite athletes who are looking to get super specific. Casual exercisers can stick to using the same basic target heart rate calculation.
Dont feel like pulling out the calculator or want to check the math you just did? Heres a general idea of what your target heart rate should look like for moderate or vigorous exercise, based on your age.
If youre not into crunching numbers, youve got other options for figuring out whether youre moving at the right intensity.
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What Are The Factors That May Affect Resting Heart Rate
Several factors may affect resting heart rate:
- Age:;RHR can change with age, according to some;studies.
- Gender:;On average, women’s RHR tends to be 2-7 bpm higher than mens.
- Air temperature:;RHR can increase during hot weather, but usually not more than 10 bpm.
- Emotions:;Strong feelings of;stress, anxiety, or even happiness can raise the RHR.
- Body position:;RHR can be 3 bpm higher when sitting versus lying down. Similarly, RHR tends to increase a bit upon standing.
- Medication:;Prescription drugs, such as antidepressants and beta-blockers, can cause the RHR to be lower than it would without the medication.
- Meditation: Yoga and pranayama if done regularly can cause reduced resting heart rate.
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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How To Check Heart Rate At Home
Wondering how to calculate resting heart rate on your own?
One convenient method involves an electronic fitness tracker. These devices can come in many forms, including a watch or chest strap. Some workout machines even have a built-in BPM monitor, so you can see your heart rate at a glance.
You dont need high-tech equipment to determine your heart rate though. The following techniques will also get the job done.
Note that its best to check your heart rate in the morning, before you have your morning cup of coffee or tea. Measuring it after a workout will also give you an inflated number.
- Radial pulse: use your middle and pointer finger to find a pulse at the base of your thumb, along the inside fold of your wrist. Count the beats for 15 seconds. Multiply that number by four to determine your BPM.
- Carotid pulse: use your middle and pointer finger to find a pulse on the side of your windpipe, just under your jawbone. You can find it on either side of your neck. Count the beats for 15 seconds and multiply that number by four.
- Pedal and brachial pulse: you can use the same technique to find a pulse on the top of your foot and near the inner crease of your elbow. Its common for doctors to use the latter method to determine heart rate in children.
What Is An Irregular Pulse
An irregular pulse is when the heart doesn’t beat in a regular, steady rhythm. This is also called an irregular heart rate or an arrhythmia.
If your heart rate is irregular, you may notice that your pulse:
- seems irregular or is ‘jumping around’
- is racing, even when you’re at rest
- seems unusually slow some or most of the time.
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How To Lower Resting Heart Rate
The Difference Between Blood Pressure And Heart Rate
Blood pressure and heart rate are two different measurements. While they are frequently measured at the same time in the doctors office, they are distinctly different factors in heart health.
Blood pressure is the force exerted against the artery walls when blood pumps through the body, usually measured with two numbers. The top number measures the pressure as the heart beats and moves blood into the arteries. The bottom number measures the pressure as the heart relaxes between beats. A blood pressure reading of 120/80 is considered normal.;
Heart rate, also called pulse, is the number of times your heart beats per minute. Heart rate can change based on activity level, age, medication, and other factors throughout life. For most adults, a resting heart rate of 50 to 100 beats per minute is considered normal. People who exercise regularly often have lower resting heart rates.;
In some situations, such as periods of acute stress or danger, blood pressure and heart rate may both increase at the same time, but thats not always the case. Your heart rate can increase without any change occurring in your blood pressure. As your heart beats faster, healthy blood vessels will expand in size to allow increased blood flow, which helps your blood pressure remain relatively stable. This is often true during exercise, when your heart rate can increase substantially but your blood pressure may only change slightly.;
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What Abnormal Results Mean
Resting heart rates that are continually high may mean a problem. Talk to your health care provider about this. Also discuss resting heart rates that are below the normal values .
A pulse that is very firm and that lasts for more than a few minutes should be checked by your provider as well. An irregular pulse can also indicate a problem.
A pulse that is hard to locate may mean blockages in the artery. These blockages are common in people with diabetes or hardening of the artery from high cholesterol. Your provider may order a test known as a Doppler study to check the blockages.
What Causes Arrhythmias
There are lots of things that can cause an irregular heart rate or rhythm. These can include:
- damage to the heart as a result of other heart conditions. Heart conditions such as heart attack,cardiomyopathy, heart failure and high blood pressure can damage heart tissue, which leads to heart rhythm problems
- congenital heart conditions. Some arrythmias are caused by heart conditions that youre born with
- other medical conditions, such as hyperthyroidism and obstructive sleep apnoea
- ageing. As you get older your electrical pathways dont always work so well
- medications. Certain over-the-counter medications and prescription medications can trigger arrhythmias in some people
- stimulants such as alcohol, tobacco, and some illegal drugs taken in large amounts over a long period of time can cause arrhythmias in some people
- being overweight.
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What Is The Fat
Exercising in the fat-burning zone may not be the best way to lose weight.
On large fitness equipment and some fitness trackers, you might notice something called the fat-burning zone. The fat-burning zone often refers to zones 2 and 3, where you are working out at a lower to moderate intensity level. In this zone, your body is likely to burn proportionately more calories from fat than from carbohydrates, hence the name.
Does that mean that working out in this supposed fat-burning is the best way to go about losing weight? Not really. Losing weight is a matter of burning more total calories than you take in. At a higher heart rate, youll burn more calories overall , even if more of those calories come from carbs. If your goal is to lose weight, youre better off working at a higher heart rate to burn more calories than you are focusing on burning fat specifically.
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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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How To Measure Heart Rate
The easiest places to measure your heart rate, according to the;AHA, are:
- side of the neck
- top of the foot
For an accurate reading, put two fingers over one of these areas and count the number of beats in 60 seconds. You can also do this for 20 seconds and multiply by three, which may be easier, Bauman said. Using your thumb may be confusing because sometimes you can feel a pulse in the thumb, she said.
It Sounds Obvious But What Is A Fat
Your target heart rate is the number of times your heart should beat per minute to ensure your heart is getting exercise without being overworked. Sticking with that rate also means youre moving at a pace thatll promote calorie burning and help you lose weight.
Fat-burning heart rate is a bit of a misnomer, though.
Your body will burn fat or carbohydrates for energy during physical activity, depending on how hard youre working. Exercising at a moderate pace, with your heart rate slightly elevated, burns more calories from fat. Crank it up to a vigorous, heart-pounding pace and your body eventually switches to burning more calories from carbs.
Staying in the fat-burning zone might sound like your best bet if youre trying to lose weight. But the fact is, it doesnt matter if the cals you burn through exercise come from fat or carbs. You just need to burn calories, period.
So, what heart rate should you target to ensure youre working hard enough to reap the benefits of exercise? For weight loss and overall health, you need to exercise at a moderate pace for at least 150 minutes per week or a vigorous pace for at least 75 minutes per week.
- To exercise at a moderate pace, aim for 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate.
- To exercise at a vigorous pace, aim for 70 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate.
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