All About The Beating Heart:
The adult human heart is divided into 4 chambers. The chambers are of two types.
The Atria and the Ventricle. The atria are also known as the upper chambers, and the ventricles are the lower chambers of the heart.
The heart is divided into right and left sides, each side consisting of an atrium and ventricle.
The heart also consists of valves that prevent the backflow of the blood.
Arteries and veins carry out the blood along with the heart and throughout the body.
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 .
Estimated Target Heart Rates
This table shows estimated target normal heart rates for different ages. Your maximum heart rate is about 220 minus your age.
In the age category closest to yours, read across to find your target heart rate. Heart rate during moderately intense activities is about 50-69 percent of your maximum heart rate, whereas heart rate during hard physical activity is about 70 percent to less than 90 percent of the maximum heart rate.
The figures are averages, so use them as general guidelines.
» Learn how to use a heart rate monitor while youre exercising.Table provided by the American Heart Association
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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.
How To Calculate Resting Heart Rate
To check your normal resting heart rate, you can use a heart rate monitor, or use this 10-second pulse count method:
- Take your pulse at either the base of your thumb on the palm side of your wrist, or the base of your neck on either side of your windpipe.
- Using two or three fingers, press lightly on your skin until you can feel your blood moving underneath.
- Count the beats for 10 seconds, then multiply that number by six.
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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.
Correlation With Cardiovascular Mortality Risk
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A number of investigations indicate that faster resting heart rate has emerged as a new risk factor for mortality in homeothermic mammals, particularly cardiovascular mortality in human beings. Faster heart rate may accompany increased production of inflammation molecules and increased production of reactive oxygen species in cardiovascular system, in addition to increased mechanical stress to the heart. There is a correlation between increased resting rate and cardiovascular risk. This is not seen to be “using an allotment of heart beats” but rather an increased risk to the system from the increased rate.
Given these data, heart rate should be considered in the assessment of cardiovascular risk, even in apparently healthy individuals. Heart rate has many advantages as a clinical parameter: It is inexpensive and quick to measure and is easily understandable. Although the accepted limits of heart rate are between 60 and 100 beats per minute, this was based for convenience on the scale of the squares on electrocardiogram paper a better definition of normal sinus heart rate may be between 50 and 90 beats per minute.
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Benefits Of Sleep For Heart Health
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , getting enough sleep is very important for heart health. During sleep, both your heart rate and your blood pressure go down. Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep to allow the body to rest and repair.
The CDC says that lack of sleep may raise your risk for heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Lack of sleep is also linked to health problems, such as type 2 diabetes and obesity, which can contribute to heart disease.
You’re Dehydrated Or Too Hydrated
Minerals in your body with an electric charge are called electrolytes. If you drink too much water or not enough, it can throw off the ratio of electrolytes to water in your system, which messes with your body chemistry.
“If your potassium, calcium, or magnesium levels are very low, that can induce arrhythmias , which can manifest as a higher heart rate,” says Taub.
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How Do You Check Your Pulse
You can measure your heart rate manually by checking your pulse. Follow these three steps.
- Find your pulse in your wrist .
- Count each beat for a total time of 30 seconds.
- Double the number of beats you counted. This is your heart rate or pulse, measured in beats per minute.
Also make a note of whether your heart beats at an even or uneven rhythm. A normal heart beats at a steady rhythm like a clock, tick tock tick tock.
Some people like to use a heart rate monitor to measure their heart rate. These monitors are often included in fitness trackers, which are now widely available in sports stores and other retail outlets. However, their accuracy depends on the quality of the device.
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.
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About Heart And Vascular Institute
The UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute has long been a leader in cardiovascular care, with a rich history in clinical research and innovation. As one of the first heart transplant centers in the country and as the developer of one of the first heart-assist devices, UPMC has contributed to advancing the field of cardiovascular medicine.
How To Measure The Normal Heart Rate
The heart rate can be calculated or measured easily at home without any device.
Step 1- Sit in a comfortable position with your arm supported.
Step 2- Now place your index finger and middle finger on the radial artery. This artery can be easily located near the thumb on the ventral aspect of the forearm.
Step 3- Press lightly, and you will feel upbeat, which indicates that you have placed your finger on the radial artery.
Step 4- When the rhythm of the pulse feels constant, set a timer of one minute and begin counting. Count the number of beats that occur in one minute.
Step 5- The calculated value which is a number, is known as Pulse Rate.
The pulse rate is nothing but the heart rate.
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Where Is It And What Is A Normal Heart Rate
The best places to find your pulse are the:
- side of your neck
- top of the foot
To get the most accurate reading, put your finger over your pulse and count the number of beats in 60 seconds.
Your resting heart rate is the heart pumping the lowest amount of blood you need because youre not exercising. If youre sitting or lying and youre calm, relaxed and arent ill, your heart rate is normally between 60 and 100 .
But a heart rate lower than 60 doesnt necessarily signal a medical problem. It could be the result of taking a drug such as a beta blocker. A lower heart rate is also common for people who get a lot of physical activity or are very athletic. Active people often have a lower resting heart rate because their heart muscle is in better condition and doesnt need to work as hard to maintain a steady beat. A low or moderate amount of physical activity doesnt usually change the resting pulse much.
What Things Affect Heart Rate
Other than exercise, things that can affect your heart rate include:
- Weather. Your pulse may go up a bit in higher temperatures and humidity levels.
- Standing up. It might spike for about 20 seconds after you first stand up from sitting.
- Emotions. Stress and anxiety can raise your heart rate. It may also go up when youâre very happy or sad.
- Body size. People who have severe obesity can have a slightly faster pulse.
- Medications. Beta-blockers slow your heart rate. Too much thyroid medicine can speed it up.
- Caffeine and nicotine. Coffee, tea, and soda raise your heart rate. So does tobacco.
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Influencers Of Heart Rate For The Long
- Hyperthyroidism – This disorder of the thyroid causes the heart to increase its rate as long as the condition is untreated. Medication, surgery and other treatments can treat hyperthyroidism and the heart rate will return to normal ranges.
- Congestive heart failure – This heart problem is one wherein the heart must work extra hard to pump blood. This eventually will lead to heart attack.
- Arrhythmias – These “irregular heartbeats” are inconsistencies in the speed of the heart’s activity. The condition is usually due to salt imbalance in the body, heart attack or other problems.
- Nerve damage – Often occurring in the peripheral nervous system branching into arms and legs, this condition affects nerves attached to the heart. Diabetes is sometimes a cause of this problem. The underlying condition must be treated.
- Anemia – Low red blood cell count due to lack of enough iron or excessive bleeding can increase the heart rate as the heart works to supply less healthy blood throughout the body. This can be treated through medication or procedures such as infusion.
Pulse Rate Analysis
What Is The Heart Rate
The heart rate is the number of times the heart beats in the space of a minute.
The heart is a muscular organ in the center of the chest. When it beats, the heart pumps blood containing oxygen and nutrients around the body and brings back waste products.
A healthy heart supplies the body with just the right amount of blood at the right rate for whatever the body is doing at that time.
For example, being frightened or surprised automatically releases adrenaline, a hormone, to make the heart rate faster. This prepares the body to use more oxygen and energy to escape or confront potential danger.
The pulse is often confused with the heart rate but refers instead to how many times per minute the arteries expand and contract in response to the pumping action of the heart.
The pulse rate is exactly equal to the heartbeat, as the contractions of the heart cause the increases in blood pressure in the arteries that lead to a noticeable pulse.
Taking the pulse is, therefore, a direct measure of heart rate.
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What To Expect At The Doctors
Your doctor may use a variety of diagnostic tools to help diagnose your condition, including:
- Electrocardiogram. Also referred to as an ECG or EKG, this diagnostic tool uses small electrodes to record the electrical activity of your heart. Your doctor can use the information collected to determine if heart abnormalities are contributing to your condition.
- Imaging tests. Imaging can be used to assess if there are any structural abnormalities in your heart that may be contributing to your condition. Possible imaging tests can include echocardiogram, CT scan, and MRI scan.
- Laboratory tests. Your doctor may order blood tests to determine if your condition is caused by something such as an electrolyte imbalance or thyroid disease.
Once a diagnosis is made, your doctor will work with you to develop a plan to treat and manage your condition.
Depending on the findings from the diagnostic tests, your doctor may refer you to a cardiologist. A cardiologist specializes in treating and preventing diseases of the heart and circulatory system.
Arrhythmia Tachycardia And Other Conditions
A variety of conditions can influence your heart rate. An arrhythmia causes the heart to beat too quickly, too sluggish or with an irregular rhythm.
Tachycardia is usually considered to be a resting heart rate of over 100 beats per minute, according to the National Institutes of Health, and typically caused when electrical signals in the hearts upper chambers fire abnormally. If the heart rate is closer to 150 bpm or higher, it is a condition called supraventricular tachycardia . In SVT, your hearts electrical system, which controls the heart rate, is out of whack. This normally needs medical attention.
Bradycardia is a condition where the heart rate is too low, usually less than 60 bpm. This can be the result of problems with the sinoatrial node, which acts as the pacemaker, or damage to the heart as an outcome of a heart attack or heart disease.
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Lowering A Rapid Heart Rate
Pulse rates can spike due to nervousness, stress, dehydration and overexertion. Sitting down and taking slow, deep breaths can generally lower your heart rate. Exercising and getting fitter will usually lower heart rate, too.
Cooling down after a workout is important, according to the AHA. Because your heart is beating faster, your body temperature is higher and your blood vessels are dilated, stopping too fast could make you feel sick or even pass out.
The AHA recommends stretching and walking. Stretching helps reduce the buildup of lactic acid, which cause cramps and stiff muscles. Follow these tips:
- Walk for about 5 minutes, or until your heart rate gets below 120 beats per minute.
- Stretch, and hold each stretch 10 to 30 seconds. If you feel you need more, stretch the other side and return for another set of stretching.
- The stretch should be strong, but not painful.
- Do not bounce.
- Breathe while youre stretching. Exhale as you stretch, inhale while holding the stretch.
A Healthy Diet To Regularise Pulse Rate
On an average, pregnant women are recommended to consume about 2,200 – 2,900 calories daily. Of course, this figure varies as per a womans body shape, weight, size, and dietary preferences. Hence, make sure to consult your gynaecologist regarding the perfect diet for you. Eating protein-rich foods, fruits and vegetables is always a good idea.
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How To Check Your Pulse Rate
You can measure your pulse rate anywhere an artery comes close to the skin, such as in your wrist, neck, temple area, groin, behind the knee, or top of your foot.
- Wrist: You can check your pulse rate by placing tips of your index, second and third fingers on the palm side of your other wrist, below the base of the thumb or on your lower neck, on either side of your windpipe. Do not use your thumb because it has its own pulse that you may feel.
- Carotid Artery: This is located in your neck, on either side of your windpipe. Be careful when checking your pulse in this location, especially if you are older than 65. If you press too hard, you may become lightheaded and dizzy.
- Heart Beat: Your pulse can also be measured by listening to the heart beat directly , traditionally using a stethoscope.
- Pulse Meter: Electronic pulse meters automatically check your pulse in your finger, wrist, or chest. These devices are helpful if you have trouble measuring your pulse or if you wish to check your pulse while you exercise. Some exercise machines such as treadmills have a pulse meter built into the device.
- Beats Per Minute: Count the beats for 15 seconds and multiply this number by 4 to get your pulse per minute. Checking your pulse rates when resting, during exercises or after it, provides general information about your overall fitness level.
The chart below shows target heart rates for different ages. An adults maximum heart rate is around 220 bpm minus your age.