Why Is My Resting Heart Rate Decreasing
As mentioned above, a low resting heart rate is often a sign that youre in peak physical fitness. However, in some cases, a low RHR could cause you to feel dizzy or exhausted. If youre experiencing these symptoms and are wondering why is my resting heart rate going down, then you should speak to a doctor. Its also good to remember that medications like beta-blockers are designed to slow your pulse down as they block adrenaline. So always be mindful of what prescription drugs you are taking and how they could be affecting your RHR.
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.
How To Lower Your Heart Rate With Exercise
High-Intensity Interval Training is a training method where you give 100% effort in a quick, intense burst of exercise, followed by a short resting period. HIIT increases your maximum heart rate and lowers your RHR.
HIIT is as simple as doing one exercise, like sprinting, as fast as you can safely run for 30 seconds, then resting for 90 seconds.
Warm-up first and start with one rep.
Rest for several days in between HIIT days. Build up slowly to a workout of several reps that only takes about 15 minutes. Then try adding new exercises.
For the best results, dont set an arbitrary time. Instead, push yourself to your max. And then rest and recover until youre ready to give 100% again. For instance, give 100% effort for 15 seconds and rest for five minutes.
Learn more about the health benefits of HIIT and how to do it the right way in this short HIIT video from Thomas DeLauer.
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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|
|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.
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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.
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What Is A Dangerous Resting Heart Rate
A resting heart rate can be dangerous if its too fast, tachycardia, or too slow, bradycardia. Tachycardia is generally over 100 bpm and bradycardia is generally below 60 bpm . A resting heart rate that is too fast or too slow could be the result of a more serious underlying health problem.
What Is Tachycardia?
Tachycardia is a resting heart rate that is too fast . It can be caused by congenital heart disease, poor circulation, anemia, hypertension, or injury to the heart, such as a heart attack . Tachycardia is also associated with a shorter life expectancy .
What Is Bradycardia?
Bradycardia is a slow resting heart rate . It can be caused by hypotension, congenital heart disease, damage to the heart , chronic inflammation, or myocarditis .
If you have a resting heart rate that is too high or too low for an extended period of time, it can cause dangerous health conditions such as heart failure, blood clots, fainting, and sudden cardiac arrest.
if your resting heart rate is consistently above 100 bpm or below 60 bpm , you should see your doctor or medical provider. Additionally, you should watch for symptoms such as fainting, shortness of breath, feeling dizzy or light-headed, chest pain, or feeling discomfort or fluttering in your chest.
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 causing them to become stiff. Your arteries do not have enough time to relax between beats.
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What Are The Factors That May Affect Resting Heart Rate
Several factors may affect resting heart rate:
- Age:;RHR can change with age, according to some;studies.
- Gender:;On average, women’s RHR tends to be 2-7 bpm higher than mens.
- Air temperature:;RHR can increase during hot weather, but usually not more than 10 bpm.
- Emotions:;Strong feelings of;stress, anxiety, or even happiness can raise the RHR.
- Body position:;RHR can be 3 bpm higher when sitting versus lying down. Similarly, RHR tends to increase a bit upon standing.
- Medication:;Prescription drugs, such as antidepressants and beta-blockers, can cause the RHR to be lower than it would without the medication.
- Meditation: Yoga and pranayama if done regularly can cause reduced resting heart rate.
How Is Resting Heart Rate Calculated
Measuring your resting heart rate is as easy as checking your pulse, which can be felt on the side of your neck or the underside of your wrist .
While sitting down and once you feel your pulse count the number of beats you feel over the span of 30 seconds . Multiply this number by two to calculate your heart beats per minute.
“To get an accurate representation of your resting heart rate, repeat this process a few times and over the course of a few days,” adds Dr. Chebrolu.
She also advises against checking your heart rate immediately after a stressful event, strenuous activity or consuming caffeine, which can lead to temporary elevation in your heart rate.
Additionally, most wearable fitness trackers and smart watches provide insights into your heart rate. And since these devices collect measurements throughout the day, they’re a simple way to effortlessly monitor your average resting heart rate.
“The heart rate measurements taken by wearable devices may not be as reliable as checking your pulse by hand, but they can help you track general trends and spot changes in your resting heart rate,” says Dr. Chebrolu.
And while some smartwatches now come with an ECG feature that can help monitor for heart rhythm issues, these devices alone cannot detect a life-threatening arrhythmia, such as atrial fibrillation .
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What Can Resting Heart Rate Readings Indicate
Resting heart rate is an indicator of fitness and general health. They are:
- In adults, a lower heart rate is correlated with a higher degree of fitness and a lower incidence of cardiac events, such as heart attacks.
- Highly trained athletes can have an RHR as low as 40. This may be because the lower rate translates to a heart muscle that is stronger and can pump blood more efficiently. Another explanation is that with vigorous exercise, there is the release of nitrous oxide in the hearts blood vessels, which increases the blood supply to the heart.
- However, a consistently higher heart rate has been associated with cardiovascular issues and premature death.
- A 2013 research that studied 3000 men for 16 years found that men with RHR greater than 90 were associated with triple the risk of death when compared to men with RHR below 80.
- An observational study conducted in Norway that looked at 20,000 participants found similar results, even when controlled for factors, such as body mass index and life.
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.
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High Resting Heart Rate: Should You Worry
In general, a slower resting heart rate is a sign of good health. Some athletes and people who are very active even have heart rates that dip below 60 when theyre at rest.
A high resting heart rate, on the other hand, can be an indicator of problems such as:
- Poor physical condition.
- Thyroid problems.
Often, a high resting heart rate is a sign that your heart is working harder than it needs to. Like any muscle, the heart doesnt work as well when its out of shape. In people who arent very active, the heart isnt as efficient. It has to work harder to pump blood through your body, Dr. Singh says.
When To Call Your Doctor
The heart is arguably the most important organ in the body. If something goes wrong, the consequences are sometimes fatal. Some heart problems may not be as detrimental as a heart attack, but this doesnt mean they shouldnt be taken seriously.;
You should go to the doctor if your heart rate has been within a normal range and suddenly is not. This might indicate you have a heart problem like arrhythmia which is an abnormal heart rhythm, tachycardia which is when the heart beats consistently at over 100 bpm, or bradycardia which is a low heart rate thats less than 60 bpm.;;;;
You should seek emergency care if your rapid heart rate is resulting in symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitations, or dizziness,; says Evan Jacobs, MD, the Regional Medical Director in Cardiovascular Services atConviva Care Centers. In general, a sustained heart rate above 130 beats per minute, regardless of symptoms, should prompt urgent evaluation. Your primary care doctor or cardiologist should be alerted to rates between 100 and 130 beats per minute and can decide on the need for emergency care on a case-by-case basis.
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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.
What Is A Normal Heart Rate
A normal heart rate for adults is typically 60 to 100 beats per minute. A heart rate that is slower than 60 beats per minute is considered bradycardia and a rate that is faster than 100 beats per minutes is termed tachycardia . There are some experts who believe that an ideal resting heart rate is closer to 50 to 70 beats per minute. Regardless of what is considered normal, it’s important to recognize that a healthy heart rate will vary depending on the situation.
Among healthy people, a slower heart rate can be due to being physically fit, a medication, or sleep patterns. However, a slower heart rate can indicate a sign of disease including heart disease, certain infections, high levels of potassium in the blood, or an underactive thyroid.
On the reverse side, a fast rate in healthy people can be because they are exercising, nervous or excited, using a stimulant or are pregnant. The health conditions that are associated with a fast heart rate include most infections or just about any cause of fever, heart problems, certain medications, low levels of potassium in the blood, an overactive thyroid gland or too much thyroid medication, anemia, or asthma or other breathing trouble.
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What Does Your Heart Rate Tell You
Heart rate or pulse rate is the number of times your heart beats in a minute. It tells you how hard your heart must work every minute to pump blood all throughout the body.;
When you are at rest, the heart rate is slower, as the heart pumps blood to cover a minimal amount of body functions. Your heart rate increases when you exercise and your muscles need more oxygen and energy and return to normal within an hour or so afterward.;
Although daily activities may change your heart rate, certain medical conditions also cause the heart rate to change beyond normal exertion and may indicate underlying health problems that need medical attention.;;
What Is Your Activity Level
Your target heart rate depends on how physically fit you are. For example, if you are not active and not physically fit, your target heart rate is a little lower than the target heart rate of someone who exercises every day. This tool gives you a range of what your target heart rate is, based on how much you usually exercise.
To find your target heart rate range, you will choose the category that best matches your level of physical activity. The categories are:
- Not active. You do less than 30 minutes of light activity no more than 2 times a week. Cleaning house, slow walking, and playing golf are examples of light activity.
- Moderately active. You do up to 30 minutes of light to moderate activity 3 to 5 times a week. Brisk walking, jogging, riding a bike, swimming, and playing tennis are examples of moderate activity.
- Very active. You do more than 30 minutes of moderate activity at least 5 times a week.
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