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.
What is the heart rate?
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.
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.
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|
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.
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 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.
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.