Did you know? The number of times your heart beats in a minute says a lot about your level of fitness and is an indicator of impending health problems.
The heart rate at rest also called the resting heart rate is the number of times our heart beats per minute while it’s at rest. We can check it in the morning after good night’s sleep and before we get out of bed.
According to the National Institute of Health, the average resting heart rate:
- For children 10 years and older, and adults (including seniors) is 60 – 100 beats per minute
- For well-trained athletes is 40 – 60 beats per minute.
Spot the Heart Rate/ pulse
The best places to find your pulse are the:
- Inside of your elbow
- 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
Which are the other factors that affect the heart rate?
- Air temperature: When temperatures (and the humidity) soar, the heart pumps a little more blood, so your pulse rate may increase, but usually no more than 5 to 10 beats a minute.
- Body position: Resting, sitting or standing, your pulse is usually the same. Sometimes as you stand for the first 15 to 20 seconds, your pulse may go up a little bit, but after a couple of minutes it should settle down. Emotions: If you’re stressed, anxious or “extraordinarily happy or sad” your emotions can raise your pulse.
- Body size: Body size usually doesn’t usually change pulse. If you’re very obese, you might see a higher resting pulse than normal, but usually not more than 100.
- Medication use: Medicines that block your adrenaline (beta blockers) tend to slow your pulse, while too much thyroid medication or too high of a dosage will raise it.
A lower heart rate is an indication of better level of fitness since it indicate that the heart muscle are in good condition and need not work very hard to pump blood
A higher heart rate (between 60 & 100) in turn signifies poor level of fitness and higher effort required by the heart muscle.
In the subsequent post we’ll look at the issue of abnormal heart and explore it in more detail.
Stay healthy with eKincare – your personal health manager!