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.
How Do I Check My Pulse
You can check your heart rate by taking your pulse and counting how many times your heart beats in 1 minute .
Your heart rate varies depending on what you’re doing for example, it will be slower if you’re sleeping and faster if you’re exercising.
To get your resting heart rate, you need to have been sitting still before checking your pulse.
Resting Heart Rate The Daily Variation
Many wearables like the Fitbit Charge and other wearables provide heartrate tracking. However, it is hard to comprehend 24 hours of HR-data. Therefore, many of these trackers only provide you with feedback on your resting heartrate. Jawbone up 4, Fitbit Charge 2, Beddit, Emfit and other healthtrackers, like Mybasis B1 use this tactic. Resting heart rate is a well know healthfactor, but whats it worth? A study among 2798 males showed that a lower resting heart rate is related to a higher degree of physical fitness . On the other side, an increasing RHR was highly associated with mortality in a graded manner after adjusting for physical fitness, leisure-time physical activity and other cardiovascular risk factors. With every 10 beats per minute increase for RHR, risk of mortality increased with 16%. Thus, it seems that RHR is quite important for health. However, my RHR varies over the days. And it does for everyone. Everyone who has a HR-tracker knows that. This changing RHR might have important implications for our health. But how come does it vary over the days? To find out the reasons why my resting heart rate varies, I am going to analyze which factors of my life influence my resting heart rate the next morning.
High resting heart ratesOn the other hand, I had also very high resting heart rates with a high-score of 78 bpm. The cases where my heart rate was higher than 60 bpm , I was ill, or close to being ill.
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How To Check Your Pulse
You can check your pulse at your neck or at your wrist. For most people, checking your pulse is easiest at your wrist.
- Simply take your index and middle finger just under the fat pad of your thumb area.
- Gently move your fingers around until you feel the throb of your heart beat.
- Count your pulse for 15 seconds then multiply that number by 4.
You can also take your pulse for 30 seconds and multiply by 2 to get your RHR. Either method will give you your RHR which is based on number of beats per minute.
Heart Rate Zone : 8090% Of Hrmax
Heart rate zone 4 is where the going gets tough. Youll be breathing hard and working aerobically.
If you train at this intensity, youll improve your speed endurance. Your body will get better at using carbohydrates for energy and youll be able to withstand higher levels of lactic acid in your blood for longer.
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How To Take Your Heart Rate
You can measure your resting heart rate by finding your pulse. The pulsating rhythm of your bloodyour pulsematches the movements of your heart and indicates your resting 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.
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 needs time to adapt to the changes you make. These adaptations 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 until its a habit. Your resting heart rate will slow more quickly in response to stress or exercise.
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Start With Resting Heart Rate
You should test your resting heart rate before measuring your training heart rate. The best time to test your resting heart rate is first thing in the morning, before youve gotten out of bed ideally after a good nights sleep.
Using the technique described above, determine your resting heart rate and record this number to share with your doctor. You might try checking your resting heart rate for a few days in a row to confirm that your measurement is accurate.
According to the American Heart Association , the average resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. However, this number may rise with age and is usually lower for people with higher physical fitness levels. The AHA notes that physically active people, such as athletes, may have a resting heart rate as low as 40 beats per minute.
Two Caveats To Keep In Mind
If you notice a change in your resting heart rate but none of the scenarios above seem plausible, there are two other factors that may be playing a part: age and medication.
Resting Heart Rate Increases With AgeMost of the time your RHR can be modified. Unfortunately, as you get older, your RHR tends to increase. To reduce the impact that aging can have on your cardiovascular system, you can help maximize your results by exercising within your target HR zone to help lower your resting heart rate.
Medication Affects Resting Heart RateChanges in your resting heart rate can also result from over-the-counter or prescription medications. Medications to treat asthma, depression, obesity, and attention deficit disorder tend to increase your RHR. However, medications prescribed for hypertension and heart conditions typically decrease your resting heart rate.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.
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How Can You Measure Your Sleeping Heart Rate
To measure your sleeping heart rate at home, you can use a smart watch. Some companies are also starting to offer smart sensors that integrate into the bed. If your doctor suspects you may have a sleep disorder, they may order an in-lab or at-home sleep study with professional equipment that delivers a more accurate heart rate reading.
To calculate your resting heart rate during the day, lightly press the tips of your index and middle finger over the artery on your neck, your chest, or the inside of your wrist. Count your heartbeats for the next 30 seconds and multiply by two.
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.
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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, neck or 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.
Which Factors Can Influence Heart Rate
Many things can affect your heart rate.
- Age as you get older the rate and regularity of your pulse can change. This can be a sign of a heart problem.
- Sex heart rate is generally higher in females than males.
- Physical activity if you’ve been moving around a lot, your heart rate will increase.
- Fitness level your resting heart rate may be lower if you’re very fit.
- Air and body temperature on hot days, your heart needs to pump more quickly.
- Emotions when you feel stressed or overly excited your heart beats faster.
- Medicines some medicines can decrease your resting heart rate , While other medicines can increase it .
- Substance use alcohol, caffeine and smoking can all affect your heart rate.
- Time of day your heart rate tends to be lower at night.
- Body position for example, whether you are sitting up or lying down.
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How Does Heart Rate Change During Sleep
In general, heart rate is slower during sleep than when a person is awake. However, heart rate also changes as a sleeper cycles through the different stages of sleep. In the first stages of light sleep, heart rate begins to slow. During deep sleep, the heart rate reaches its lowest levels. In rapid eye movement sleep, heart rate may speed up to a heart rate similar to when you are awake.
Most people experience a more relaxed heart rate during non-rapid eye movement sleep, which helps protect against cardiovascular events. By contrast, REM sleep is often marked by periods of higher activity. While this is considered normal, researchers believe that the surge in activity during REM sleep could explain why already vulnerable people often experience heart attacks and other events in the early morning hours, which is typically spent more in REM sleep.
Sleep problems can have negative impacts on your heart and cardiovascular health, increasing your heart rate and contributing to higher blood pressure. Disorders such as sleep apnea, periodic limb movements, or shift work disorder that interfere with sleep have been linked to a higher chance of developing cardiovascular disease.
Why Does My Resting Heart Rate Fluctuate
You now know that there are many factors that can cause resting heart rate fluctuations. Its important to think about all of these if you observe any resting heart rate changes, as its likely to be a short term change. Its relatively normal if your RHR fluctuates a lot and, for example, you are having a varied sleep pattern, experiencing stress, taking medication, changing your training schedule, or are affected by hot weather.
There is a wide range of normal when it comes to your RHR so yours fluctuate, it wont often be cause for concern. However, if your RHR is consistently over 100 beats per minute, then you could have tachycardia, which could be caused by a heart rhythm disorder. Alternatively, if youre not a trained athlete and your RHR is below 60 beats per minute and you are dizzy or short of breath, you could have bradycardia. In either of these cases, its important to speak to a doctor so they can look at why your RHR fluctuates.
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What You Can Do For Your Heart Rate
Additionally, you should visit your doctor regularly for physicals. Not only is it good practice, but it can also help with the early detection of 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.
Other heart health tips include:
- Find ways to reduce stress. Examples include things like yoga or meditation.
- Limit your caffeine intake when possible. Using too much caffeine can increase heart rate.
- Limit intake of energy drinks.
- Moderate your intake of alcohol. Women should only have one drink or less per day while men should have two or fewer drinks per day.
- Quit smoking. Smoking increases your heart rate, and quitting can help bring it back down.
- Avoid cannabis. Cannabis use
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.
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Resting Heart Rate And Health
Why should you care what your RHR level is?
Having an elevated RHR may be associated with an increased risk for overall mortality. A 2013 study gathered data from 2,798 male adults for 16 years.
Researchers found increasing RHR was associated with all cause mortality independent of physical fitness level.
According to Harvard Health , research from a 2010 study with about 129,000 women concluded a lower RHR may offer some protection against having a heart attack.
Why is having a higher RHR an increased risk?
A high RHR means your heart is working harder than normal to move the blood through your body. Over time, this can put extra stress on your heart which can increase risk for a heart attack.
What Is A Normal Sleeping Heart Rate
Dr. Abhinav Singh, Sleep Physician
Our team of writers, editors, and medical experts rigorously evaluates each article to ensure the information is accurate and exclusively cites reputable sources. Learn More
We regularly assess how the content in this article aligns with current scientific literature and expert recommendations in order to provide the most up-to-date research.
Your heart rate fluctuates throughout the day, based on activity levels and emotions. Stress and exercise can raise heart rate, while sleeping can lower it. A normal heart rate while sleeping is often between 40 to 50 beats per minute , though there is variability between individuals.
We discuss what is considered a normal sleeping heart rate for each age range, as well as share signs to look out for that may indicate an underlying condition.
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Female Resting Heart Rate Chart: Average Bpm By Age
Normal resting heart rate for women increases slightly with age, and is also generally a few BPM higher than the average for men.
The graphic above shows the average resting heart rate of female and male WHOOP members ages 20-50. As you can clearly see, women normally have a slightly higher RHR than men do .
There is also usually a minor increase in RHR with age between a persons 20s and 50s . The normal bpm for women in their 20s is about 58, but by their 40s its closer to 60.
Keep Your Doctor Informed Of Your Resting Heart Rate
This article is not meant to diagnose or treat you. Its intended to help you understand one aspect of your health, your resting heart rate. This article is based on scientific research, but science is continually changing. Thus, this information is subject to change.
Everyone is different and has unique circumstances. Consult with your medical provider before making any changes in your health, diet, and exercise.
Read my full medical disclaimer here.
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