Causes Of Low Heart Rate Variability
The causes of low heart rate variability as said above is due to many reasons and usually, it is due to the below situations
- External stressors
- Internal stressors
Generally, when in resting-state a low HRV is unfavorable however when the body is in the active state a low HRV is favorable.
Even low heart rate variability can also be due to stress as heart rate variability and stress are linked to each other. Often, heart rate variability decreases in stress no matter where it comes from and how it is.
Similar interlinks between HRV and stress anxiety and heart rate variability are also related. Studies have found that anxiety leads to reduced HRV.
What Your Heart Rate Is Telling You
Your pulse, both at rest and during exercise, can reveal your risk for heart attack and your aerobic capacity.
Your grandmother may have referred to your heart as “your ticker,” but that nickname has proved to be a misnomer. A healthy heart doesn’t beat with the regularity of clockwork. It speeds up and slows down to accommodate your changing need for oxygen as your activities vary throughout the day. What is a “normal” heart rate varies from person to person. However, an unusually high resting heart rate or low maximum heart rate may signify an increased risk of heart attack and death.
One simple thing people can do is to check their resting heart rate. It’s a fairly easy to do and having the information can help down the road. It’s a good idea to take your pulse occasionally to get a sense of what’s normal for you and to identify unusual changes in rate or regularity that may warrant medical attention.
What Are Vital Signs
Vital signs are measurements of the body’s most basic functions. The four main vital signs routinely monitored by medical professionals and health care providers include the following:
Vital signs are useful in detecting or monitoring medical problems. Vital signs can be measured in a medical setting, at home, at the site of a medical emergency, or elsewhere.
Recommended Reading: Can Dehydration Cause Increased Heart Rate
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.
When To Call Your Pediatrician
A very fast or slow heart rate can be a medical emergency, especially if your child has any symptoms associated with it, such as:
Seek medical attention right away in this situation.
It’s also important to talk to your pediatrician if your child always seems to be at either the upper or lower limits of normal. For example, tell your child’s doctor if:
- Your child is at the low end of the age range for their pulse rate, even when running around and playing.
- They are always at the upper end of normal for their pulse rate, even when sleeping.
A heart rate above the upper limit of normal may be a sign of an underlying heart condition. It could also be a clue to other problems in the body, such as an infection or a metabolic condition.
In addition to the pulse rate , the rhythm of the pulse can also be regular or irregular. An irregular heart rate can signal a heart problem.
It’s a good idea to contact your pediatrician if you think your child’s pulse feels erratic or unsteady, especially if it happens often or lasts a long time.
Any type of abnormal heart ratewhether in the rate or rhythmis called arrhythmia. Not all arrhythmias are a cause for concern. Some are harmless, but others may require medical treatment.
Read Also: Can Tylenol Cause Heart Palpitations
What’s A Normal Heart Rate
Most adults have a resting heart rate between 60 and 100bpm.
The fitter you are, the lower your resting heart rate is likely to be. For example, athletes may have a resting heart rate of 40 to 60bpm, or lower.
See a GP to get checked if you think your heart rate is continuously above 120bpm or below 40bpm, although it may simply be that this is normal for you.
Visit the British Heart Foundation for more information on checking your pulse.
How Are Arrhythmias Treated
Many arrhythmias don’t need treatment. For those that do, these options might be used:
- Medicines. Many types of prescription anti-arrhythmic medicines are available to treat arrhythmia. Sometimes, these can increase symptoms and cause side effects, so the patient will be closely watched by the doctor.
- Pacemakers. A pacemaker is a small battery-operated device implanted into the body through a surgical procedure. Connected to the heart by a wire, a pacemaker can detect if the heart rate is too slow and send electrical signals to speed up the heartbeat.
- Defibrillators. A small battery-operated implantable cardioverter defibrillator is surgically placed near the left collarbone. Wires run from the defibrillator to the heart. The ICD senses if the heart has a dangerously fast or irregular rhythm and sends an electrical signal to restore a normal heartbeat.
- Catheter ablation. A catheter is guided through a vein in the leg to the heart. Arrhythmias often are caused by microscopic defects in the heart muscle. Once the problem area of the heart is pinpointed, the catheter heats or freezes the defective muscle cells and destroys them.
- Surgery. Surgery is usually the treatment recommended only if all other options have failed. In this case, a person is put under anesthesia and a surgeon removes the tissue causing the arrhythmia.
Read Also: Unsafe Heart Rate Resting
When Should I Worry About My Heart Rate
Before you become worried over your heart rate, it is important to know the things that can increase or decrease your heart rate.
Your heart rate might be increased
- Soon after you consume coffee or smoke
- Whenever you feel scared, anxious, or stressed out
- If the climate is hot and humid
- If you are obese
- If you are on certain medicines like decongestants
- If you indulge in binge drinking frequently
Health conditions that may increase your heart rate and could be improved upon by treatment
Some conditions like supraventricular tachycardia may cause a sudden increase in your heart rate at rest. This is a medical emergency and needs immediate medical attention. This condition may lead to sudden death.
Consuming heavy amounts of alcohol frequently can lead to a fast and irregular heart rate . This again is a medical emergency.
A persistent high heart rate can also mean that the heart muscle is weakened, which forces it to pump harder to deliver the same amount of blood.
You may have a lower resting heart rate due to
- Exercising regularly
- Low levels of thyroid hormones in the body
You should also be concerned about your heart rate if you notice your heart beating on an irregular rhythm frequently. This can be a serious condition known as arrhythmia for which you should see your doctor right away.
How To Measure Heart Rate
Measuring your heart rate is as simple as checking your pulse. You can find your pulse over your wrist or neck. Try measuring your radial artery pulse, which is felt over the lateral part your wrist, just below the thumb side of your hand.
To measure your heart rate, gently press the tips of your index and middle fingers over this blood vessel in your wrist. Make sure not to use your thumb, because it has its own pulse and may cause you to miscount. Count the beats you feel for a full minute.
You can also count for 30 seconds and multiply the count by two, or count for 10 seconds and multiply by six.
Recommended Reading: What Causes Left Ventricular Systolic Dysfunction
What Is A Normal Heart Rate
A normal heart rate, when you’re not being active, is between 60 100 beats per minute. This is called your resting heart rate. If you’ve been active, you’ll need to wait at least five minutes before taking your pulse.
When you’re active, your heart beats faster to get more oxygen to your working muscles. The harder your body is working, the faster your heart will beat. For example, your heart rate when you’re sprinting will be much faster than your heart rate when you’re walking. If you’re exercising hard it’s normal for your heart rate to get up to 160 beats per minute or more.
There are other things that can make your heart beat faster, like caffeine, nicotine, recreational drugs and some kinds of medications. Your heart will also beat faster when you feel strong emotions, like anxiety or fear.
Athletes or people who are very fit may have resting heart beats of less than 60 bpm.
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 .
Recommended Reading: Bottom Part Of Heart Not Working
How Do I Find My Pulse
Your wrist is the easiest place to find your pulse. Follow the steps below to find your pulse:
Your Resting Heart Rate
When you are at rest, your heart is pumping the lowest amount of blood to supply the oxygen your body’s needs. For most healthy adult women and men, resting heart rates range from 60 to 100 beats per minute. However, a 2010 report from the Women’s Health Initiative indicated that a resting heart rate at the low end of that spectrum may offer some protection against heart attacks. When WHI researchers examined data on 129,135 postmenopausal women, they found that those with the highest resting heart ratesmore than 76 beats per minutewere 26% more likely to have a heart attack or die from one than those with the lowest resting heart rates62 beats per minute or less. If your resting heart rate is consistently above 80 beats per minute, you might want to talk to your doctor about how your heart rate and other personal factors influence your risk for cardiovascular disease.
Recommended Reading: Does Tylenol Reduce Blood Pressure
What Is A Normal Heart Rate During Normal Activity
Your heart rate will vary depending on your age, stress and anxiety levels, hormones, the type of activity you’re doing, and if you’re taking any medications that increase or decrease heart rate .
That said, one good heart rate number to know is your normal resting heart rate. Your resting heart rate is how many times your heart beats per minute while you’re at rest.
For most men and women, 60 to 100 beats per minute is normal, according to the American Heart Association .
In general, having a lower resting heart rate is generally healthier. Higher resting heart rates have been linked to poorer physical fitness, higher blood pressure, and higher body weight, according to a long-term study published in Heart.
To find your resting heart rate, press the tips of your first two fingers lightly over the artery on the inside of your wrist, on the side of your thumb.
Count the beats of your pulse for 30 seconds. Then, multiply that number by two to get your total beats per minute.
For the best results, take this measurement first thing in the morning, before you get up and before you drink your morning cup of coffee, says the AHA.
Once you have a sense of your normal resting heart rate, expect this number to increase a bit as you start moving around.
Read more:6 Ways to Burn More Calories by Walking
Charts Of Normal Resting And Exercising Heart Rate
The heart is an organ located just behind and slightly to the left of the breastbone, and pumps blood through a network of veins and arteries known as the circulatory system. The right atrium is sent blood from the veins, and delivers it to the right ventricle. It’s then pumped into the lungs where it is oxygenated. The left atrium is sent oxygen enriched blood from the lungs and delivers it to the left ventricle, where it’s then pumped throughout the body, and the ventricular contractions create blood pressure.
A pulse is the beating of the heart as it’s felt through the walls of an artery, such as the radial artery at the wrist. Pulse rates can also be felt and measured at the carotid artery located on the side of the neck, the temporal artery at the temple, or the femoral artery on the anterior side of the hip, and a chart showing normal heart rate can be used to check on your heart rate.
Also Check: Can Acid Reflux Cause Heart Palpitations
Why You Should Take Precautions
Exercise is vital in helping to prevent heart disease. Its generally safe for most people, but you should take precautions, especially if:
- your doctor has told you that you have one or more of the risk factors for heart disease
- youve recently experienced a heart attack or other heart problem
- youve been inactive previously
People with heart disease can almost always exercise safely if theyre evaluated beforehand. However, exercise isnt appropriate for all people with heart disease. If youre new to exercise, the key is to start off slow to prevent adverse effects. Talk to your doctor before beginning a new exercise program. You also may need to begin your workout under medical supervision.
Despite these precautions, it can be difficult for your doctor to predict health problems that you might experience while exercising. To be safe, familiarize yourself with symptoms that may suggest harmful complications. Becoming aware of some typical warning signs of a heart-related problem could be lifesaving.
Even if youve previously had a heart attack, another one could have entirely different symptoms. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms.
What Is The Pulse Rate
The pulse rate is a measurement of the heart rate, or the number of times the heart beats per minute. As the heart pushes blood through the arteries, the arteries expand and contract with the flow of the blood. Taking a pulse not only measures the heart rate, but also can indicate the following:
Strength of the pulse
The normal pulse for healthy adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute. The pulse rate may fluctuate and increase with exercise, illness, injury, and emotions. Females ages 12 and older, in general, tend to have faster heart rates than do males. Athletes, such as runners, who do a lot of cardiovascular conditioning, may have heart rates near 40 beats per minute and experience no problems.
Recommended Reading: Can Tylenol Raise Blood Pressure
When To Call Your Doctor
If youre on a beta blocker to decrease your heart rate or to control an abnormal rhythm , your doctor may ask you to monitor and log your heart rate. Keeping tabs on your heart rate can help your doctor determine whether to change the dosage or switch to a different medication.
If your pulse is very low or if you have frequent episodes of unexplained fast heart rates, especially if they cause you to feel weak or dizzy or faint, tell your doctor, who can decide if its an emergency. Your pulse is one tool to help get a picture of your health.
How To Measure Your Heart Rate While Walking
The easiest way to monitor your heart rate is by checking it with a monitor. However, if you have no heart monitor, you can check it in the old fashioned way by counting your pulse.
1. Heart Rate Monitor
Before using a heart rate monitor, you should set up your goal at what heart rate you wish to work out. Once you have determined your goals, walk to reach your targets. Different monitors work in different ways. Read the manual carefully before starting to use it in order to know and understand how the heart monitor really works.
You can choose a typical chest strap heart rate monitor which has a wrist display. When using a chest strap transmitter, it needs to be in close contact to your skin. You can use water, spit or electrolyte gel to moisten the skin to provide a better contact of the transmitter to your skin. Adjust the strap so it does not interfere with your breathing. Women should place the transmitter under the breast and bra.
You can also choose to monitor your heart rate with the help of a smartphone. Buy a Bluetooth chest strap which will transmit data to your smartphone app. Some types of smart watches have a LED-based monitor integrated.
Don’t Miss: Fitbit 2 Heart Rate