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What’s My Resting Heart Rate

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Normal Resting Heart Rate

What should my resting heart rate be?

The heart rate measures how many times the heart beats in 60 seconds.

It is important to identify whether your heart rate sits within the normal range. If disease or injury weakens the heart, the organs will not receive enough blood to function normally.

The United States National Institutes of Health have published a list of normal resting heart rates.

The heart rate gets progressively slower as a person moves through childhood toward adolescence.

The normal resting heart rate for adults over the age of 10 years, including older adults, is .

Highly trained athletes may have a resting heart rate below 60 bpm, sometimes reaching 40 bpm.

The following is a table of normal resting heart rates at different ages according to the NIH:

Age
Over 10 years 60 to 100

The resting heart rate can vary within this normal range. It will increase in response to a variety of changes, including exercise, body temperature, emotional triggers, and body position, such as for a short while after standing up quickly.

Resting Heart Rate : Everything You Need To Know

Originally published July 6, 2016 3:58 pm, updated August 18, 2021

One of the easiest and maybe most effective ways to gauge your health and aerobic fitness level is via your resting heart rate . By measuring it regularly, you can see both your long-term progress and daily fluctuations, which can indicate whether youre fit for training, overtrained, or stressed. Heres everything you need to know to understand what affects RHR and why it matters.

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.

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How Will You Spend Your Heartbeats

  • Your resting heart rate appears to determine how long you live. And what lowers your resting heart rate is also good for your overall health.
  • Theres at least one risk factor of having a very low RHR, but there seems to be a higher risk of overall disease at higher heart rates.
  • Stress, physical or emotional, seems to be the most important factor in determining your heart rate.
  • Exercise allows your body to adapt to stressful situations better. Additionally, it will enable your body to reach a deeper relaxed state as your heart muscle becomes stronger and your circulation becomes more efficient.
  • How do you compare with your age group? I am in the athlete range, but I exercise regularly.
  • If youre going to exercise, build up slowly so your body can adapt.
  • The simplest exercises are the most effective. Theyre the ones you can do at home every day without going to the gym.
  • High-intensity interval training is one of the quickest and most effective workouts for resting heart rate, HRV, muscle building, and weight loss. Why not give it a try?
  • You have a maximum number of lifetime heartbeats, use them well.

What Is Resting Heart Rate

Resting Heart Rate Chart

Your resting heart rate is how many times your heart beats in one minute while youre at rest. Its both a gauge of your heart health and a biomarker of aging.

RHR changes as you age and varies from person to person. Its important to know your RHR as it can help you assess your heart health over time. Being aware of changes in your RHR can help you uncover a heart condition early.

Resting Heart Rate Versus HRV and Blood Pressure

Resting heart rate, heart rate variability, and blood pressure are all important measures of heart health.

  • Resting heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute.
  • Heart rate variability is a measure of the variation in the time between consecutive heartbeats.
  • Blood pressure is the force of blood flowing through your blood vessels .

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Whats A Normal Heart Rate

A heart rate is a measurement of the number of times the heart muscle beats per minute. Healthy kids and adults will have hearts that beat at different speeds because of their age and body size. If the heart is beating too fast or too slow, this could mean you have an underlying health problem. Your resting heart rate will also allow you to gauge your current heart health.

In general, a lower resting heart rate means the heart is beating less per minute, which likely means its more efficient. Your resting heart rate tells you how fast your heart is beating when youre in a relaxed state, like sitting or laying down. If your resting heart rate is too high, this might mean you have lower physical fitness, or that youre at risk of developing a heart condition.

Knowing what your target heart rate should be for your age can help you recognize if and when your heart rate is abnormal, which may be an indication that its time to go to the doctor.

Normal heart rate by age
Age
18 and older 60-100 bpm

As we get older, the range of whats considered to be a healthy normal resting heart rate will change.

The average healthy adult will have a resting heart rate of 60 bpm or higher. Although in clinical practice, the resting heart rate between 60 and 100 bpm is considered to be normal, people with a resting heart rate higher than 80 bpm could have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

RELATED: Heart disease statistics

Average Sleeping Heart Rate By Age: Why It Matters

August 10, 2020// by Terry Cralle//

Your heart rate is one of the bodys most essential biomarkers, and can often be a key indicator of your health levels. Coincidentally, it can also be one of the easiest to measure.

So, should you measure your heart rate and begin parading your relatively normal scores as a testament to your bill of health? The reality surrounding your heart rate and what it implies is significantly more nuanced than that.

First off, when the importance of heart rate of overall well being comes up in conversation, the discussion often centers around improving your maximum heart rate .

Your maximum heart rate indicates how fast your heart is beating when you face your highest levels of stress or exertion. This marker is one of the critical determinants of how much oxygen you can consume when your body is at the highest needyour aerobic capacity. Several studies show a strong relationship between higher aerobic capacity levels and a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks. So, the focus on the maximum heart rate is not unwarranted.

However, your heart rate when youre sleeping or at rest can be equally as important.

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Your Pulse And Target Heart Rate

Your heart is a muscle that pumps blood throughout your body. Your pulse is your heart rate, or the number of times your heart beats in one minute. This varies from person to person, and it might also vary throughout the day. Your pulse is lower when you are at rest, and it increases when you exercise.

Target Heart Rates Chart

Resting heart rate and heart rate variability: What’s optimal?

What should your heart rate be when working out, and how can you keep track of it? Our simple chart will help keep you in the target training zone, whether you want to lose weight or just maximize your workout. Find out what normal resting and maximum heart rates are for your age and how exercise intensity and other factors affect heart rate.

Read Also: What Causes Left Sided Heart Failure

What Affects Resting Heart Rate

  • Temperature: When temperature and humidity rise, your heart needs to pump more blood. Your pulse may increase up to 5 to 10 bpm.
  • Body position: Your pulse is usually the same when youre resting, whether youre sitting or standing. However, it may go up for a couple of minutes after you sit or stand.
  • Emotions: Being stressed, excited, or upset can raise your pulse.
  • Body Size: If youre obese your heart rate could be higher than average as your heart needs to work harder to circulate throughout your body.
  • Medications: Drugs that block your adrenaline can slow your heart rate. Conversely, high doses of thyroid medication can raise it.
  • Water: Being dehydrated raises your RHR .
  • Type 2 Diabetes is associated with resting heart rate .

What Is A High Heart Rate

A high heart rate, called tachycardia , means your heart beats too fast. Generally, for adults, a heart rate over 100 bpm is considered too fast . But whats too fast for you depends on your age and physical condition. Generally, having a high heart rate is only dangerous when there isnt an obvious cause.

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How You Can Calculate A Resting Heart Rate

Calculate Your Average Resting Heart Rate Find your pulse with your fingers, not your thumb, while lying in bed before you get up in the morning. Count your pulse for 15 seconds and multiply by four, or 30 seconds and multiply by two. Record your heart rate for five days. Add the five days resting heart rates together and divide by five to find your average resting heart rate.

What’s A Normal Resting Heart Rate

Whats Your Resting Heart Rate?

Resting heart rate — the number of times your heart beats per minute at rest — is a quick way to gauge how efficiently your heart is working. What’s considered normal can vary widely from person to person, but in general, your RHR should fall between 60 and 100 beats per minute.

If your RHR is consistently above 100 beats per minute , you should consult a doctor, especially if you’re experiencing other symptoms, such as chest tightness, fatigue or shortness of breath.

A high resting heart can mean many things,” says cardiologist Jennifer Haythe, MD, co-director of Columbia Women’s Heart Center. “You may be dehydrated, have a poor level of physical fitness, or it could be a sign of something more serious with your heart or lungs.”

If you’re not particularly fit and your RHR is consistently below 60 beats per minute, you may have bradycardia, which can be accompanied by lightheadedness, dizziness, or chest discomfort.

“A slow heart rate can likewise mean many different things,” says Haythe. “It could be completely normal, a sign of excellent physical fitness, or it could signify a heart problem. If your resting heart rate is significantly below 60 and you don’t feel well, you should go to the doctor and get an EKG.”

Read more: How to get the most out of the Apple Watch heart rate features

Read Also: Heart Attack Frequency

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.

Why Is My Resting Heart Rate Important

Your resting heart rate is just as it sounds: its how fast your heart beats when you arent doing anything. It is the heart rate required to pump the minimal amount of blood your body needs because it is at rest, Nachiket Patel, MD, a board-certified interventional cardiologist in Arizona, told POPSUGAR.

Why does it matter? Your resting heart rate is an excellent way to gauge your cardiovascular health. A lower resting heart rate usually means better physical fitness, Dr. Patel explained. Your heart muscle is more efficient and in better condition and does not have to work as hard to maintain adequate blood circulation throughout your body.

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If You Slow Your Resting Heart Rate Can You Slow Down Aging

Having a lower resting heart rate is associated with having a longer lifespan.

Athletes generally have a lower resting heart rate due to their physical fitness.

One study found that the more physically fit you are, the lower the resting pulse. The same study found that even controlling for physical fitness, people with a higher resting heart rate had a shorter life expectancy compared to those with a lower resting heart rate.

So a high resting heart rate is not just a marker of risk, but a risk factor for premature death. The difference between a risk marker and a risk factor is that if you can control the risk factor, you can control the risk.

Why Is A High Resting Heart Rate Dangerous?

If your heart is beating fast 24 hours a day, all that circulatory stress can damage the elastic fibers supporting your arterial walls making them stiff. Your arteries do not have enough time to relax between beats.

Your Maximum Heart Rate

How to lower a resting heart rate in the 80s or 90s.

The rate at which your heart is beating when it is working its hardest to meet your body’s oxygen needs is your maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate plays a major role in setting your aerobic capacitythe amount of oxygen you are able to consume. Several large observational studies have indicated that a high aerobic capacity is associated with a lower risk of heart attack and death. And a small controlled trial demonstrated that men and women with mild cognitive impairment who raised their aerobic capacity also improved their performance on tests of memory and reasoning.

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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 60bpm, although it may simply be that this is normal for you.

Find out more about how to check your pulse on the British Heart Foundation website.

What Is Maximum Heart Rate

The maximum heart rate is the highest heart rate achieved during maximal exercise. One simple method to calculate your predicted maximum heart rate, uses this formula:

220 – your age = predicted maximum heart rate

Example: a 40-year-old’s predicted maximum heart rate is 180 beats/minute.

There are other formulas that take into account the variations in maximal heart rate with age and gender. If you are interested in learning more about these more accurate but slightly more complicated formulas please see these resources:

  • Gellish RL, Goslin BR, Olson RE, McDonald A, Russi GD, Moudgil VK. Longitudinal modeling of the relationship between age and maximal heart rate. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007 May 39:822-9. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17468581
  • Gulati M, Shaw LJ, Thisted RA, Black HR, Bairey Merz CN, Arnsdorf MF. Heart rate response to exercise stress testing in asymptomatic women: the st. James women take heart project. Circulation. 2010 Jul 13 122:130-7. Epub 2010 Jun 28. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20585008

Your actual maximum heart rate is most accurately determined by a medically supervised maximal graded exercise test.

Please note that some medications and medical conditions may affect your heart rate. If you are taking medications or have a medical condition , always ask your doctor if your maximum heart rate/target heart rate will be affected. If so, your heart rate ranges for exercise should be prescribed by your doctor or an exercise specialist.

Recommended Reading: What Happens Inside The Heart To Cause A Heart Attack

Factors That Can Affect Resting Heart Rate

In addition to age, there are a few other factors that can affect your resting heart rate.

  • Temperature. Your heart rate may increase slightly when youre exposed to hot temperatures.
  • Medication side effects. For example, medications such as beta-blockers can lower your resting heart rate.
  • Emotions. If youre anxious or excited, your heart rate may increase.
  • Weight. People who are living with obesity may have a higher resting heart rate. This is because the heart has to work harder to supply the body with blood.
  • Cardiovascular conditioning or deconditioning
  • Anemia
  • Endocrine or hormonal abnormalities.
  • Postural tachycardia syndrome . This syndrome produces an abnormal increase in heart rate after sitting up or standing. In addition to heart palpitations, some typical symptoms of PoTS include dizziness and fainting.
  • Body positioning. Heart rate can increase temporarily when you move from a sitting to a standing position.
  • Smoking. Smokers tend to have a higher resting heart rate. Quitting smoking can help bring it back down.

How Long Does It Take To Lower Resting Heart Rate

Heart Rate Chart

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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