What should my heart rate be?

One of the things that are used to measure human health is the human heart rate. The heart rate depends on the physical activities and emotions of a person. A relaxed person has a stable heartbeat.  A stable heart rate is not just an indicator that a person does not have any health problems. Heart rate […]

One of the things that are used to measure human health is the human heart rate. The heart rate depends on the physical activities and emotions of a person. A relaxed person has a stable heartbeat.  A stable heart rate is not just an indicator that a person does not have any health problems. Heart rate is an important method to identify many health issues.

Basic facts on the heart rate

  • The heart rate indicates the number of times the heart beats in a minute.
  • The heart rate of a person above 10 years of age should be between 60 and 100 beats per minute.
  • The heart rate increases during intense physical activities. The average heart rate depends on the age of a person.
  • The way in which a heartbeat occurs is important too. An irregular heartbeat rhythm means a bad health condition.
  • One out of 4 people in the USA dies because of heart-related issues. Monitoring your heart rate can help prevent heart complications.

What is the heart rate?

Heart rate symbol
The heart rate examines the number of times the heart beats in one minute.  The heart is present in the middle of the chest. It pumps the blood to the body when it beats and send the important nutrients and oxygen to the other parts of the body. It relaxes and pumps back the blood containing waste materials.

 

A healthy heart rate provides the right amount of blood according to the needs of the body at a time. The heart rate increases in a situation of fear and provides oxygen to the body to have intense physical activity. Pulse is confused with heart rate and means times per minute in which arteries expand and contract. Pulse and heartbeat rate are equal to each other, and measuring the pulse is, therefore, a direct measure of heart rate.

Normal heart rate while resting:

It is needed to note if your heart rate lies in the average range. In case of a disease or injury, the heart is weakened, and the other body parts do not receive enough blood to properly function.

The heart rate gets slower with the passage of time when the age of a person increases.

The normal resting heart rate for adults over the age of 10 years, including older adults, is between 60 and 100 beats per minute (bpm). Athletes who are highly trained have a resting heart rate below 60 bpm, sometimes reaching 40 bpm.

The following is a table of normal resting heart rates at different ages according to the NIH:

Age Normal heart rate (bpm)
Up to 1 month 70 to 190
From 1 to 11 months 80 to 160
From 1 to 2 years 80 to 130
From 3 to 4 years 80 to 120
From 5 to 6 years 75 to 115
From 7 to 9 years 70 to 110
Over 10 years 60 to 100

 

The resting heart rate is different within this normal range. It tends to increase in response to a variety of changes, including exercise, body temperature, emotional triggers, and body position, such as for a short while after standing up quickly.

Target heart rates during exercise

During the exercise, the heart rate increases. During fitness training, it is important not to put much pressure on the heart. A person needs a high heart rate to supply enough oxygen to the body.

As the heart rate increases during physical activity, an overall decrease in target heart rate is possible over time. It means that the heart is not working properly to give the necessary nutrients and oxygen to different parts of the body, making it more efficient.

Cardiovascular training is meant to lessen the target heart rate. The standard target heart rate reduces with age. It is also important to note the maximum heart rate. This shows the full ability of the heart, and it is normally reached through high-intensity exercise.

Old man on exercise bike
Exercise can bring down the overall heart rate.

The table below shows the normal target heart rate zone for several age groups. A person’s heart rate should be in this range during the exercise at the intensity of 50 to 80 percent, also known as exertion.

Age (years) Target heart rate zone at 50 to 85 percent exertion (bpm) Average maximum heart rate at 100 percent exertion (bpm)
20 100 to 170 200
30 95 to 162 190
35 93 to 157 185
40 90 to 153 180
45 88 to 149 175
50 85 to 145 170
55 83 to 140 165
60 80 to 136 160
65 78 to 132 155
70 75 to 128 150

It is recommended that people exercise regularly to work towards a healthy target heart rate. The AHA recommends the following amounts and levels of exercise per week:

Exercise Example Minutes Regularity Total minutes per week
Moderate-intensity aerobic activity Walking, aerobics class At least 30 5 days per week Over 150
Vigorous aerobic activity Running, step-aerobics At least 25 3 days per week Over 75
Moderate to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity Weights, body pump N/A 2 days per week N/A
Moderate to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity Ball sport, cycling Average of 40 3 to 4 days per week N/A
Abnormal heart rhythms:

The heart rate alone cannot determine the state of health of a person. The rhythm of the heartbeat is important too. The heartbeat should have a steady rhythm, and there should be a regular gap between beats.

Man holds chest
Extra beat at some time should not be a cause for the problem. Consult a doctor if you are worried about a continuously irregular heartbeat. Muscles of a human body contain an electrical system that informs it when to beat and supply the blood to the body. A problematic electrical system can cause an abnormal heartbeat. 

It is fine for the heart rate to change in a day as a response to exercise, anxiety, excitement, and fear. But, a person should not normally be aware of their resting heartbeat.

If a person feels that his heart is beating with an irregular rhythm, with a high speed, or too low speed, then he should speak to his doctor about your symptoms.

A person can also feel the feeling of having missed a beat, or it may feel like there has been an extra beat. An extra beat is called an ectopic beat. Ectopic beats are very common, usually harmless, and do not often need treatment.

People concerned about palpitations or ectopic beats should speak to the doctors who will be able to conduct an electrocardiogram (ECG) to know about the heart rate and its rhythm.

There are many types of abnormal heart rhythms. The type is dependent on where in the heart the abnormal rhythm begins to happen, and if it makes the heart to beat with too high or low speed. The most common abnormal rhythm is atrial fibrillation. This replaces the normal heartbeat with an erratic pattern.

Fast heart rhythm is also known as tachycardia, and can include:

  • Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT)
  • Inappropriate sinus tachycardia
  • Atrial flutter
  • Atrial fibrillation (AF)
  • Ventricular tachycardia (VT)
  • Ventricular fibrillation (VF).
Maintaining a normal heart rate

Maintaining a healthy heartbeat is required to maintain healthy cardiac health.

During the exercise it is important to promote a low and healthy heart rate, there are several other steps a person can adopt to improve his heart’s condition:

  • Preventing stress if you are having stress can cause an increased heart rate and blood pressure too. Methods to avoid stress include deep breathing, yoga, mindfulness training, and meditation.
  • Preventing tobacco avoid smoking which can cause an increased heart rate, and preventing it can reduce it to a normal level.
  • Losing weight an increased body weight means that the heart has to work harder to provide all areas of the body with oxygen and nutrients.
Conclusion:

Maintaining a normal heart rate is one of the easiest ways to protect the heart.  Some products to manage the heart rate are like;  wearable heart rate monitors. It is important to compare the benefits and features of different brands and speak to a doctor about the use of these products.

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