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If you’re feeling great, there’s no need to worry about your heart rate, right? Unfortunately, that isn’t the case at all. While your resting heart rate (the number of times your heart beats per minute while you are at rest) provides important information about your health, it might not be as helpful as it seems. Your heart rate while exercising can give you much more valuable insight into what your body is experiencing. After all, how could you know if you are being overworked by your training if you don’t have some way to measure how hard it is on your body? Do you know what your heart rate is telling you?
Table of contents [Show]
- Understanding resting heart rate
- Tracking your resting pulse
- Why it’s important to monitor your pulse
- The five things this tells you about yourself
- How does stress affect my pulse?
- How does caffeine affect my pulse?
- How does exercise affect my pulse?
- When should I get worried about high pulse rates?
- Ways to bring down a high pulse rate
Understanding resting heart rate
When it comes to measuring one’s health and fitness, monitoring one’s resting heart rate can reveal a lot about overall well-being and longevity. While typically taken at rest, a normal resting heart rate is usually between 60 and 100 beats per minute (BPM), according to Mayo Clinic. More specifically, a person’s normal resting heart should fall within his or her personal target zone based on age: less than 50 BPM for adults ages 20 to 39; less than 60 BPM for those 40 years old or older. Those who discover their pulse falls outside of these ranges should contact their physician as soon as possible for further information about how best to treat their condition.
Tracking your resting pulse
If you’re just not getting enough sleep and are feeling constantly fatigued, consider tracking your resting pulse for a few days (it's easiest in the morning, after waking up). If it’s higher than 60 bpm for more than a few days, it could indicate that your fitness level isn't where it should be. Maybe take some free tips from a personal trainer on how to get stronger or check out some high-intensity interval training classes in your area. If all else fails, give us a call: we can help point you in the right direction so that within six weeks, you'll look and feel better than ever!
Why it’s important to monitor your pulse
Noticing changes in your pulse can help you better understand how healthy your body is. For example, a high resting heart rate can indicate that someone has high blood pressure or a disease of some kind (the normal range for healthy adults falls between 60 and 100 beats per minute). Monitoring your pulse over time can help ensure that any changes are noted quickly and adjustments are made before things get worse. A simple resting pulse check at home or work can tell you if something needs attention without requiring a trip to see a doctor.
The five things this tells you about yourself
Your resting heart rate can offer a lot of information about how healthy and fit you are, especially if it’s regularly being tracked over an extended period. On average, a resting heartbeat of between 60 and 100 beats per minute (bpm) indicates ideal cardiovascular health; anything below that—especially in those who aren’t highly active—may mean something else: You may have been exercising consistently for too long and your body isn’t getting enough oxygen to burn calories efficiently or it may indicate medical issues such as thyroid disease or congestive heart failure.
How does stress affect my pulse?
Your pulse goes up when you feel stressed, fearful, or excited – but only if your sympathetic nervous system has been activated. Stressful situations can cause physical changes in your body such as increased breathing and heartbeat, dilation of pupils, and cold sweating, which are all signs that blood flow will also change as part of a fight or flight response to protect us from danger or harm. When these things happen we’re usually working in an autonomic mode without being consciously aware of our reactions, which helps us survive dangerous situations by allowing us to react quickly without having time for complicated thought processes; it happens without any conscious effort of our part.
How does caffeine affect my pulse?
Everyone has a different tolerance for caffeine and that's why there's no set number for how much of it is too much for one person and not enough for another. But, according to research from Johns Hopkins University, there's some good news: moderate caffeine consumption (about 300mg or 3 cups) won't increase your pulse in any way that would require medical attention; however, drinking more than that can cause irregular heartbeats in those who are predisposed to arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat). So, drink up, but be mindful of how much your body can handle!
How does exercise affect my pulse?
Exercise typically raises your pulse while resting, but how high it goes depends on how much exertion you’re putting in. An average pulse rate for a healthy individual who isn’t exercising at all falls around 60 beats per minute (bpm). The American Heart Association suggests that adults get their pulse up to 140 bpm during exercise, though many athletes and fitness buffs strive for even higher numbers. If you’re aiming for 140, however, you won’t necessarily hit that point every time—your body adapts, so don’t panic if you have a lower reading one day than another.
When should I get worried about high pulse rates?
If your pulse regularly stays above a resting rate of 80, or if it stays above 120 for extended periods during exercise, and especially if it continues to stay high even when you're at rest, then you should see a doctor. That may be an indication of something more serious such as atherosclerosis or an arrhythmia. Another thing that could cause a high pulse, according to WebMD, is stress hormones from nervousness and excitement (like when watching sports). For most people with regular pulses below these levels, their body just has efficient blood circulation that keeps everything going normally and efficiently.
Ways to bring down a high pulse rate
You may have a high pulse rate if you feel like your heart beats faster than normal for a long period or if you are frequently aware of its fast-beating in general. A high pulse, also known as tachycardia, could be caused by multiple factors including physical stress (i.e., exercise), anxiety, dieting or eating too little food, caffeine intake, and other stimulants, and pre-existing conditions such as anemia and hyperthyroidism (which is when there's an overproduction of thyroid hormone). Each of these can cause different things to happen in terms of what's happening in your body and how it affects your health going forward. Here are ways to bring down a high pulse