It is a common misperception that monitoring your heart rate is only necessary or beneficial during physical exercise. But regularly checking your resting heart rate can help assess your current fitness level and identify any potential health issues. Your resting heart rate, or pulse, is measured by the number of times your heart beats per minute.
Your heart rate when resting is the lowest amount of blood your body needs when you are not being physically active. On average, adults will have a resting heart rate of 60–100 beats per minute.
This number range is a percentage of your maximum heart rate. It is considered the safe range that you can work your heart during aerobic exercise. Calculate your target heart rate using this calculator.
There are many factors that can affect your heart rate, which is why it is important to measure your pulse on multiple occasions and in different environments. Some common factors that impact your heart rate are:
Individuals who participate in regular aerobic exercise and are physically fit oftentimes exhibit a lower resting heart rate, as their heart muscles are in better condition and don’t need to work as hard to pump blood through the body.
When the temperature rises, so can your heart rate. As the heart pumps a little more blood, your heart rate can increase up to 10 beats per minute.
There are certain medications that can either increase your pulse, such as a high of a dose of thyroid medication, or decrease your heart rate, such as beta-blockers. It is important when on any medication to monitor your heart rate and notify your doctor of any significant changes.
Oftentimes your mood could impact your blood pressure. For example, individuals who are anxious or nervous experience an increase in heartbeats per minute.
Understanding your heart rate and changes in what is normal for your body can potentially help determine a heart condition that needs to be addressed. If you experience significant changes in your heart rate on a regular basis, contact your physician.
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