The number of heartbeats that a person has, while he is not performing any physical activity is called resting heart rate.
A resting heart rate that is considered normal is anything between 60 to 100 heartbeats per minutes. In cases when there is a lowered heart rate, the cardiovascular system and the heart function with increased efficiency.
In most of the cases athletes have a resting heart rate below 60. This is not something that is abnormal or bad. You can improve the overall function of your heart, just by improving your resting heart rate.
Studies suggest that high resting rate is related to a higher risk of death. This can even happen to people that are healthy. These studies, based their findings on the health of approximately 3000 men, in a 16-year period. The lifestyle and the health of all the participants were evaluated by the doctors.
Additional checkups were made to some of the participants after nearly 15 years. 16 years since the studies began, the researchers started checking on the people that were participating in the study, and they found out that 4 out of every 10 participants were dead.
High resting rate of the heart can be linked with obesity, low physical activity, high level of fats and high blood pressure. This means that the higher the resting heart rate is, the risk of mortality becomes higher.
Heart rate chart
The healthy ranges of resting heart rate can be seen on the charts below:
What are the factors that can influence resting heart rate?
Body position, activity level, stress, medications, illness, drink, food, body size, emotions level and air temperature can significantly contribute to higher or lower resting heart rate. In order to measure it with a great accuracy, you need to be at a complete rest.
If you decide to measure your resting heart rate during or after some activity, please know that those results will probably be inaccurate.
How to do the measurement?
The first thing that you are going to need to do, is to be comfortable and relaxed. Sit or lie down and try not to move for around 5 to 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, place your middle and index fingers on the pulse on the inside of your wrist. This point is where the radial artery can be found.
Count the beats that you feel for 10 seconds. Do this test up to three times, so you can accurately find your average number, and then multiply the number that you get by 6. For example, if the number that you counted is 10, multiplied by 6 equals 60.
How to improve your resting heart rate?
- Reduce the stress levels
- Keep a weight that is healthy
- Sleep well
- Reduce caffeine intake
- Quit smoking
- Exercise regularly
It is important to maintain a lower resting heart rate, because this will improve its function and will also reduce the risk of some heart related diseases.