How is your heart? Does it beat right? Heart rate is important in determining your cardiovascular fitness.
How do you know if you heart rate is normal? A healthy heart rate depends on your age, physical activity, lifestyle and other factors. To help you determine if your heart rate is normal, here is a useful healthy heart rate chart to guide you.
Generally, the normal heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute. If it is below 60 this is considered to be healthier. In fact, the lower the heart rate the healthier the heart functions is and the better cardiovascular fitness.
Athletes can have heart rates as low as 40 beats per minute, which is very healthy. On the other hand, a higher heart rate can be a sign of poor physical fitness, being overweight or having high blood pressure and a high level of circulating fat.
The healthy heart rate chart
Heart rate is measured by observing the number of heartbeats in a minute during rest. The healthy heart rate chart below reveals the ranges of healthy heart rates based on age and sex.
The heart rate chart shows the difference between the heart rate of men and of women. For men, a heart rate from 56-61 is excellent, 62-65 is good, 66-69 is above average, 70-73 is average, 74-81 is below average, and 80 or above is poor. For male athletes, 49-55 is normal.
For women, a heart rate from 61-65 is excellent, 66-69 is good, 70-73 is above average, 74 -78 is average, 79-84 is below average, and 85 or above is poor. For female athletes, 54-60 is normal.
Factors affecting heart rate
There are many factors that affect heart rate. The Mayo Clinic lists these factors as the following:
- Body size
- Physical activity
- Air temperature
- Body position
- Fitness level
To get the most accurate information about your heart rate, you should measure it when you’re completely at rest. Measuring your heart rate during or right after activity will render a higher number and you might think your heart is in trouble.
How to measure your heart rate
While there are machines accurately measure blood pressure and heart rate, you can actually measure your heart rate by yourself. Here are simple, easy-to-follow instructions for measuring your resting heart rate:
- Be in a relaxed and comfortable position. Be seated and still for about 10 minutes until you are fully relaxed.
- Find your pulse. You can find by applying pressure on your neck on the windpipe. You can also find it at your wrist on the side of the thumb.
- Once you have located your pulse, count the number of beats in 10 seconds. Do it for two to three times until you get the average number of beats. Then, multiply the average number by 6. For instance, if you counted 11 beats within that 10 second span, your heart rate is 66 per minute.
People who have a higher heart rate at rest are at risk of death even when physically fit. One study shows that regardless of physical fitness, people with higher heart rates are less healthy than people with lower heart rates.
How to have a healthy heart rate
If you find that your heart rate is poor, you can improve it by doing the following:
- Getting enough sleep
- Reducing stress
- Working out regularly
- Increasing physical activity
- Quitting smoking
- Maintaining desirable weight
- Reducing caffeine intake
In worse conditions, it is highly recommended to seek medical advice. A higher rate usually indicates an underlying heart condition such as high blood pressure, heart disease, etc. Consulting a doctor will help you get a proper diagnosis and suggest necessary treatments such as a change in lifestyle or surgery.
It is important that the heart is healthy because it is responsible for the circulation of blood. The lifestyle of a person may dictate the condition of the heart. If they has poor lifestyle such as smoking, eating too much fat, stressing out regularly, taking too much caffeine, etc., there is a high change of heart disease.
The health of the heart can be first diagnosed by measuring the resting heart rate. It can be simply done by locating your pulse at your neck or on your wrists, counting the beats for 10 seconds, and multiplying these beats by 6.