Your heart is one of the most vital organs that keep you alive. But how often do you pay attention to your heart rate? Specialists have indicated that the way it beats is an indication of your general health. When your pulse is high, it means your heart is working hard, perhaps due to activity. But when you’re relaxing, your resting heart rate should be low and steady.
What’s the Normal Heart Rate?
Well-conditioned athletes have a resting heart rate of 40 to 60 beats per minute (bpm). On the other hand, average people have a higher rate, which could be between 60 to 100 bpm. Your heart rate can vary from time to time and go up between 130 to 150 bpm when you perform physical activities, like exercise.
Knowing your resting heart rate is crucial because it gives you insight into your fitness level. When your usual resting heart rate significantly goes up or down, then you know there’s something wrong with your health.
What Does Your Resting Heart Rate Tell?
The following are some of the things your resting heart rate could tell you about your body:
1. You Need to Exercise
If your resting heart rate lingers around or exceeds 100 bpm, that could mean you’re sedentary most of the time. Also, it may mean your heart is not as efficient as it needs to be. An efficient heart is said to pump rhythmically and steadily.
By exercising regularly, you could help your heart to become more efficient at pumping blood.
2. You Need A Break
While exercise is good for your health, it could be a hazard if overdone. If your resting heart rate goes up, even though you routinely exercise, it may mean that you need to take it easy with the training. Allowing your body to rest and recuperate is believed to be great for muscle recovery. Some studies have explored some natural ways of reducing your heart rate. Here are the findings.
3. You Need Some Sleep
A high resting heart rate could also mean you’re exhausted from chronic sleep deprivation. Studies show that sleep deprivation is one of the reasons you could experience fatigue, stress, and reduced metabolism. It’s recommended that you spare at least seven hours per day for sleep.
The perturbation of sleep homeostasis is usually accompanied by an increase in hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis activity, leading to a rise in circulating levels of stress hormones.
4. You’re Stressed
Mental and emotional stress have been reported to cause an increase in your resting heart rate. When you’re stressed, your body is said to release a hormone called adrenaline, which causes your heart to beat faster. This could result in high blood pressure, which could be harmful to your health. If not treated, high blood pressure may lead to a stroke or a heart attack. If you think you’re stressed, try to relax and do things that help to relax, such as reading, meeting friends, taking a walk, or meditating.
5. You Need Some Water
If your resting heart rate goes higher than average during a hot day, it could mean you’re thirsty or dehydrated. When you’re thirsty, your heart pumps faster to try and cool the body.
Dehydration could cause strain on your heart because the volume of your blood decreases, causing the heart to pump faster. This results in an increased heart rate.
6. Age is Catching Up
An increased resting heart rate could come with age. As you get older, studies show that your heart efficiency decreases. This could naturally result in an increased heart rate. Some experts have suggested that regular exercise might help reduce heart deterioration, which comes with age.
7. Check Your Meds
Some prescription and over-the-counter medications could also increase your general resting heart rate. These include medications used for conditions like depression, attention deficit disorder, asthma, and weight management.
If you’ve experienced a decreased resting heart rate, it might be because of medications like beta-blockers used for heart conditions and hypertension.
8. You Need to See A Doctor
An increased resting heart rate can mean that something more serious is happening to your body. If your pulse increase is combined with either fatigue, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, confusion, or extreme thirst, then you need to see a doctor. You could be developing conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or hyperthyroidism. Always discuss changes to your regular resting heart rate with a doctor if you’re ever concerned.
Knowing your normal resting heart rate is essential. Try to monitor your heart rate for any changes regularly. Significant variations could mean one of many things. It’s encouraged to consult medical practitioners when you’re not sure of the causes. For a healthy heart, experts have recommended daily exercise. After all, it’s better safe than sorry.