Your Resting Heart Rate: When Is It Normal & Healthy?
2 min reading time
Your resting heart rate, when is it normal and healthy?
There's a great emphasis on the condition of the heart and the dangers of heart disease. A fairly easy way to check your health is to measure and analyse your resting heart rate (RHR). Good knowledge now can make a huge difference later.
The heart rate, also known as pulse, is the rate of your heartbeat. In other words the number of beats per minute (BPM). The rate of your heartbeat depends on the physical needs of your body at a certain point and on other factors in your daily life.
Factors that affect the rate of your heartbeat are, amongst others: - Your level of activity (sleeping, resting, exercising) - Your fitness level - Your body posture (standing up or lying down) - Your emotional feelings and level of stress - Your height and weight - If you're on meds - Your diet and drinking pattern - If you're suffering from disease
Measuring your resting heart beat (RHR) gives you a good impression of your cardiovascular health. If your heart is in good shape it pumps enough blood and oxygen into the body. If you know how to measure your resting heart beat you're able to understand the results and information provided to you by an activity monitor or chest strap during your training. Keep in mind that a low resting heart beat doesn't necessarily means you're in good shape. It could mean that your resting heart beat is too low. This normally isn't dangerous but a low resting heart beat could lead to physical complaints such as dizziness, fainting, fatigue, problems with your concentration and amnesia.
How to measure your resting heart beat
Measuring your resting heart beat is very easy to do. Find yourself a nice and comfortable chair and relax a bit. Stay in this chair for abut 5 to 10 minutes and move as little as you can so your body can relax. Now locate your radial artery at the bottom of your wrist by slowly and softly applying pressure with your index finger and middle finger. Use a normal watch or a stopwatch to count the number of heart beats for sen seconds. Repeat this two or three times and determine the average number or heart beats. Multiply this number by six and you'll know your resting heart rate. For example, if you count 12 heart beats within 10 seconds your resting heart rate is 72 BPM (12 x 6 = 72). It's important to measure your heart rate with a chest strap on a regular basis because your heart rate always fluctuates, due to excitement, stress, effort, emotions and other factors. You should therefore also measure your resting heart beat regularly to ensure yourself your resting heart beat fits your lifestyle.
Resting heart rate graph
The resting heart graph below (heart rate graph) shows the normal resting heart beat (RHR) based on age and physical condition. You should keep in mind there's a lot of factors that can cause fluctuations in your regular heart beat, such as age, level of activity and time of day.