Women May Have A Higher Resting Heart Rate Than Men
Research has found that women up to 55 years old have a higher resting heart rate when compared with men. According to the American College of Cardiology, this may have something to do with the difference in sex hormones, especially testoserone, which is higher in men.
Parwani says some data has shown that sex hormones, body size, and heart size can have an effect on the differences in heart rate between men and women. But there are many factors that may influence someone’s heart rate, including:
- Lack of sleep
How Do I Check My Resting Heart Rate
To check your heart rate:
- Sit down and rest for 5 minutes.
- Turn your wrist so your palm is facing up.
- Feel for a pulse at thumb side of your wrist.
- Once you feel it, count how many times you feel a beat in 30 seconds. Then double it.
If you cant find your pulse at your wrist, put 2 fingers on the side of your neck, next to the windpipe.
If you still cant find a pulse, ask someone else to feel it for you.
How To Take Your Heart Rate
You can measure your heart rate by finding your pulse. The pulsating rhythm of your bloodyour pulsematches the movements of your heart and indicates your heart rate. Using your middle and index finger, press firmly in an area of your body that has a pulse. One of the most common places to take your pulse is on the inside of your wrist. Other body parts that reveal your pulse include:
- The side of your neck
- The pit opposite your elbow
- The base of your toe
Once you locate your pulse, using a stopwatch, begin counting each beat for 60 seconds. Alternatively, you can count the beats for 15 seconds and multiply your results by 4. This measurement indicates your approximate resting heart rate.
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How To Check Your Heart Rate
According to the Harvard Medical School Special Health Report Diseases of the Heart, it’s easy to check your pulse using just your fingers, either at the wrist or the side of the neck.
- At the wrist, lightly press the index and middle fingers of one hand on the opposite wrist, just below the base of the thumb.
- At the neck, lightly press the side of the neck, just below your jawbone.
- Count the number of beats in 15 seconds, and multiply by four. That’s your heart rate.
To get the most accurate reading, you may want to repeat a few times and use the average of the three values. For a resting heart rate measurement, you should also follow these steps:
- Do not measure your heart rate within one to two hours after exercise or a stressful event. Your heart rate can stay elevated after strenuous activities.
- Wait an hour after consuming caffeine, which can cause heart palpitations and make your heart rate rise.
- Do not take the reading after you have been sitting or standing for a long period, which can affect your heart rate.
Various smartphone apps to check your heart rate are also available. For most of these, you place your finger on the phone’s camera lens, which then detects color changes in your finger each time your heart beats.
What You Can Do
Additionally, you should plan to visit your doctor regularly for physicals. Not only is it good practice, but it can also help with early detection of things like high cholesterol or blood pressure abnormalities.
If you already have heart disease, you should carefully monitor your condition and stick to your treatment plan. Take all medications as instructed by your doctor. Be sure to promptly report any new or worsening symptoms.
Some additional preventative health tips to help keep your heart healthy and happy include:
- Find ways to reduce stress. Examples of ways to do this can include things like yoga or meditation.
- Limit your caffeine intake. Using too much caffeine can lead to increases in heart rate.
- Moderate your drinking. Women and men over 65 should only have one drink per day. Men under 65 should only have two drinks per day.
- Quit smoking. Smoking increases your heart rate and quitting can help bring it back down.
- Be aware of medication side effects. Some medications can affect your heart rate. Always be aware of possible side effects before taking a medication.
Your heart is a muscular organ that works to pump oxygen-rich blood and nutrients to the tissues of your body. The muscles of your heart contract and relax to push blood through your blood vessels.
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How Long Does It Take To Lower Resting Heart Rate
It takes about 12 weeks to lower your resting heart rate. Studies show that you can lower your resting heart rate with diet and exercise in 12 weeks.
A low resting heart rate means that your circulatory system is efficient. Diet and exercise will make your body more efficient by asking for more work from it.
Your body however, needs time to adapt to the changes you make. These changes include enlarging your heart, increasing red blood cells, building more capillaries, and increasing mitochondria in your muscles.
Alternatively, you can lower your resting heart rate at any moment by slowing your breathing or with meditation. Practice breathing deeply and slowly and your resting heart rate will slow more quickly in response to stress or exercise.
Resting Heart Rate And Fitness
Your resting heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute while at complete rest. It is an indicator of your physical fitness. Your resting heart rate will decrease as your heart becomes stronger through aerobic exercise training.
A low resting heart rate indicates better fitness in people who are in athletic training or a workout program, but it can have other health significance for people who are not physically fit .
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Why Has My Resting Heart Rate Increased
As shown above, there are many factors to consider if you find yourself suddenly asking why is my resting heart rate getting higher? Its important to first think about the aspects that can contribute towards a raised resting heart rate that isnt a cause for concern.
Most people will notice their resting heart rate rising with age.
Most people will notice their RHR rising with age. While you cant control your bodys aging process, you can reduce its impact on your cardiovascular system. Try exercising within a variety of heart rate zones as this can be effective in reducing resting heart rate.
Not getting enough sleep can contribute towards your resting heart rate going up. If youre always exhausted, you could be experiencing chronic sleep deprivation. Not only does this lead to feelings of fatigue and a slower metabolism but it can also result in resting heart rate increasing. You should always try to get at least seven hours of sleep every night to ensure your body is sufficiently recovered.
Similarly, if youre training at an intense level but not allowing your body enough time to rest, you may notice hey, my resting heart rate has gone up! This is a sign that you need to give your body the time to repair properly so it can absorb the benefits of your workouts. Otherwise, all that hard work could end up having a detrimental effect.
Food As Fuel Before During And After Workouts
Your body is your vehicle, so you have to keep your engine running when you work out. That means fueling up your body by eating the right foods and drinking the right fluids, in the right amounts at the right times.
The American College of Sports Medicine says, Adequate food and fluid should be consumed before, during, and after exercise to help maintain blood glucose concentration during exercise, maximize exercise performance, and improve recovery time. Athletes should be well hydrated before exercise and drink enough fluid during and after exercise to balance fluid losses.You dont have to adhere to a rigid schedule and there are no hard-fast rules, said Riska Platt, M.S., R.D., a nutrition consultant for the Cardiac Rehabilitation Center at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. But there are some things you should do before, during and after you work out.
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When Is The Best Time Of Day To Work Out
Trying to find the best time for exercise? The truth is, its personal! Follow these tips to figure out what fitness routine works best for you.
Dawn, dusk or dead of night whens the best time to work out? Well, that depends on whens the best time for you, because the benefits of physical activity depend upon how consistent you are.
You might have heard that the best time to exercise is early in the morning to get your metabolism going or to avoid unexpected distractions during the day that could derail your workout. But if youre not a morning person, it may not work for you to try to get up at dawn to work out. The key is to do whats most likely to work for you consistently.
If your schedule isnt predictable, you may need to be flexible and have a plan for various times of day.
If you find that working out too late in the evening keeps you from falling asleep easily, shift your exercise session earlier in the day or try less intense, more mindful forms of movement.
Things Your Resting Heart Rate Can Tell You About Your Health
Your resting heart rate is a number you may not think about very often. But what if I told you its one of the most important numbers you should know. Not only can your resting heart rate be used to track your fitness level and target your workouts, but it can also alert you to a variety of potential health issues. So get to know your resting heart rateand whats normal for youthrough the Fitbit app and then learn how it can help inform your health.
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What Is A Healthy Resting Heart Rate For An Adult
A normal resting heart rate for adults lies somewhere between 60 and 100 beats per minute , and varies based on age group and gender. Women’s heart rates are about 2-7 BPM faster than men’s on average.
Generally speaking, you want to keep your resting heart rate as low as possible. One large, long-term study compared men with heart rates above 90 and those below 80. The men with higher average heart rates were associated with triple the risk of death.
People with lower heart rates tend to be more active and get more exercise than others. A young, highly-trained athlete’s healthy resting heart rate may be as low as 40 BPM.
How To Achieve A Heart
Exercising is the best way to get a heart-healthy lower heart rate. Increased cholesterol levels can also increase your heart rate, and exercise can also help lower them. The American Heart Association recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise spread throughout the week.
There is another value known as the target heart rate that gives you an idea about how intensely you should exercise. It is recommended to exercise in your target heart rate zone, which is typically a range, expressed as a percentage of your maximum heart rate. Here is how you can calculate your maximum heart rate.
Subtract your age from the number 220, and you get your maximum heart rate. For example, if your age is 40 years, your maximum heart rate is 220 minus 40, which equals 180 beats per minute . The American Heart Association recommends exercising till you get your heart rate to 50% of your maximum heart rate. You can gradually build up till you exercise at 85% of your maximum heart rate. Therefore, at 40 years, if you want to get maximum benefits from your exercise, you should aim to exercise at 50-85% of your maximum heart rate of 180 bpm and that equals 90-153 bpm. You can consult a fitness expert to know what types of exercises are most appropriate for you. See below the maximum and target heart rate chart.
Maximum and Target Heart Rate Chart
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Exercise And Heart Rate
Like any other muscle, your heart needs exercise to keep it fit and healthy. Regular exercise can help reduce your risk of heart disease and other health conditions, such as diabetes.
To keep your heart healthy, you should aim to do 150 minutes of low to moderate intensity exercise a week. If you have a heart condition, talk to your doctor about what exercise and target heart rates are safe for you.
One way to measure the intensity of your exercise is by using your heart rate. To exercise at a low to moderate intensity your heart rate should be at 50 to 70% of your approximate maximum heart rate.
The easiest way to get an approximate maximum heart rate is to calculate 220 your age. You then need to calculate 50 to 70% of your MHR.
For example, if you’re 40-years-old:
- your approximate maximum heart rate is: 220 40 = 180 beats per minute
- 50% of your MHR is 180 X 0.5 = 90 bpm
- 70% of your MHF is 180 X 0.7 = 126 bpm.
Alternatively, you can use our heart rate chart below to get a rough idea.
Remember if you’re on medications to slow your heart rate down, you may not be able to meet these upper heart rates and the aim should be to exercise at a rate that makes you lightly puff.
Which Is The Best Way To Measure Your Resting Heart Rate
You can measure your heart rate manually, and the procedure is very simple. The most convenient place to measure it is on your wrist. First, you have to locate the pulse or beat by pressing the side of your wrist below the thumb. Press gently on that place for exactly 30 seconds and double the beats. This gives you your heart rate in beats per minute . If you feel your beat is a bit irregular, count it till 60 seconds.
The best time to measure your resting heart rate is as soon as you get up in the morning, preferably after a good nights sleep.
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Why Does A Good Resting Heart Rate Matter
It’s important to know what heart rate is healthy and normal at every age in your life. Your heart rate, or pulse, can guide you to discover dangerous health conditions that need expert care, such as some heart problems. But your normal resting heart rate changes throughout your life as you age. Read this guide to learn more about your pulse through every step of your life.
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
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How To Take Your Pulse: Step
The American Heart Associations simple method for taking your pulse is the following:
Consult your doctor if your resting heart rate is consistently fast or irregular.
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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