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Do You Know Your Resting Heart Rate?

August 27th, 2011 · No Comments ·
 
 

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Your resting heart rate is how fast your heart beats when you are sitting still.  Yes, your heart is still pumping blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout your entire body even when you are resting or sleeping.  Resting heart rate is often a good indicator how fit you are.

Here are few interesting facts about resting heart rate:

  • If you are alive kicking with perfect health, your resting heart rate will be between 60 and 90 beats per minute.
  • When resting, the adult human heart beats at about 70 beats per minute (bpm) for males and 75 bpm for females, but this rate varies among people.  Woman has slightly higher resting heart rate than man.
  • Toddler’s heart rate is about 100 to 130 bpm, the older child’s about 90 to 110 bpm, and the adolescent is about 60 to 90 bpm.
  • Your heart rate can be faster if you are nervous, angry, upset or in some way stressed. If you drink lots of tea, coffee or medication with high contents of caffeine, your heart rate may be higher too.
  • If your resting heart rate is more than 80 bpm, you may need to check with your doctor.  It must be a reason your heart has to work so hard even when you are resting and not doing anything.

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How To Determine Your Resting Heart Rate?

  1. One of the best moments to determine your resting heart rate is to take your heart rate each morning (assuming you have a good night sleep), just after you wake up.  Walking around your bedroom will cause your heart rate to rise.  So, do it while you are still lying on the bed.
  2. The pulse is the most straightforward way of measuring the heart rate. For most people, the pulse rate is identical to the heart rate. It can be measured at any point on the body where an artery is close to the surface. Such places are wrist, neck, elbow and even groin.  I prefer neck.
  3. As of which finger to use, I recommend you to use your index finger and middle finger together.  Your thumb has a light pulse and can create some confusion when you are counting your beats.
  4. Grab a stopwatch, or a clock or watch with a second-hand, then find your pulse.
  5. After you find the beat, you need to count how many beats take place within 60 seconds.
  6. Remember to take your resting heart rate for at least 3 days. The average of those readings should give you a good idea of your resting heart rate.

Tips: Instead of counting the beat for the entire 60 second, you can count the number of beats in 20 seconds, and then to multiply that number by 3. This method gives you a 60-second count.  For example, you count 14 beats in 20 seconds: 14 x 3 = 52 beats per minute.

If you are on medication, say cold medications, you will not be able to get accurate reading because drug will normally raise the heart rate.

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Is It Good To Have Lower Resting Heart Rate?
The lower it is, supposedly, the fitter you are.  Your heart does not have to beat many times to pump the blood with oxygen.  This is usually an indicator that your heart has become stronger and more efficient. Therefore, resting heart rates can be significantly lower in athletes.  I was told that Lance Armstrong beats 32 times per minute for his resting heart rate.  That figure probably is the lowest I ever know.  Even as a layman, if you have exercise regularly, after two to three months, your resting heart rate should decrease slightly.  My resting heart rate is about 48 bpm.

In fact, if you watch your diet by cutting down fatty food, with reduction of plaque (fatty deposits) within your arteries, your resting heart rate will drop.

In addition to physical fitness, many other variables affect heart rate, including age, gender, stress level and genetics factor.  You do not have to feel bad if yours ticker few times harder than your peer.

Heart rate monitor watch from Omron:

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Category: Health


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