Resting heart rate is a person’s heart rate when they are not performing any physical activity – they are at rest. A normal resting heart rate is between 60 to 100 beats per minute. Essentially, the lower the resting heart rate is the more efficient your heart functions. A low resting heart rate is also a signifier of better cardiovascular fitness. A resting heart rate below 60 bpm is often seen in athletes, and it’s not abnormal for their resting heart rate to be as low as 40.
The good news is, no matter what your resting heart rate is, you can improve it and in turn improve your heart function. Below you will find normal ranges for resting heart rate based on age, the contributing factors for a higher resting heart rate, along with tips on how to improve your resting heart rate.
High heart rate at rest linked to a higher risk of death even in physically fit healthy people: Study
High heart rate at rest is linked to a higher risk of death even in physically fit healthy people, according to research findings. The researchers tracked the health of almost 3,000 men for 16 years.
At the start of the study, all participants were interviewed by a doctor to evaluate their health and lifestyle. Cardiorespiratory fitness was also assessed using a cycling test.
About 15 years later, the researchers followed up with some of the participants for additional check-up. Sixteen years after, the researchers checked to see if the participants were still alive. Nearly four of 10 of the men had died by then. LSS 481091 Talking Bil... Check Amazon for Pricing.
High resting heart rate was associated with lower physical fitness, high blood pressure and weight, and higher levels of circulating fats. Men who were more physically active had lower resting heart rates.
The study showed that the higher the resting heart rate, the higher the risk of mortality, regardless of physical fitness level.
The researchers concluded, “We found that irrespective of level of physical fitness, subjects with high resting heart rates fare worse than subjects with lower heart rates. This suggests that a high resting heart rate is not a mere marker of poor physical fitness, but is an independent risk factor.”
Resting heart rate chart
The below charts reveal healthy ranges for resting heart rate based on sex and age.
Factors that may influence healthy resting heart rate
There are many different factors that can contribute to a higher or lower heart rate, including activity level, fitness level, air temperature, body position, emotions and stress level, body size, medications, food and drink, and illness. Depending on these factors, you may find you have a higher or lower heart rate. To get the most accurate resting heart rate measurement, you should be at complete rest. Measuring your heart rate during activity will render higher numbers, and if you go by those readings you may think your heart is at risk.
How to measure resting heart rate
To measure your resting heart rate, ensure you are relaxed and comfortable. Stay seated and motionless between five to 10 minutes to fully relax. Once well relaxed, locate your pulse, which can be easily done by applying pressure with your index and middle fingers on the inside of your wrist – there is your radial artery.
Use a watch with a second hand and count how many beats you feel within 10 seconds. Complete this test two to three times to find your average number and multiply that number by six. For example, if you count 12 beats within the ten-second span, your resting heart rate is 72 beats per minute (12×6 = 72).
Tips to have a healthier resting heart rate
There are many natural ways for improving your resting heart rate. Here’s what you can do:
- Exercise regularly
- Reduce stress
- Quit smoking
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Reduce your intake of caffeine
- Sleep well
By ensuring your resting heart rate is in a healthy range, you can reduce the risk of heart-related complications and improve your heart function.
Reprinted with permission from Bel Marra Health.