In response to the overwhelming popularity of our previous post on heart rates I have decided to take a look at a few more aspects of healthy and normal heart rates.
How to measure your heart rate
Before we look at all the different types of heart rates we should take a look at the best way to measure it.
The most reliable way is to tilt your head back slightly and place your index and middle fingers over the carotid artery on your neck. This is found just below the outer jaw line. You should never use your thumb to measure your heart rate as it has a pulse of its own which can cause you to double count.
What is a heart rate?
A heart rate is an important measurement and is calculated as the number of contractions or beats the heart makes in a minute.
What does resting heart rate mean?
A resting heart rate is simply your heart rate measured while you are at rest. The best time to measure is in the morning before breakfast so the rate isn’t influenced by walking, eating or any exercise.
What is a NORMAL resting heart rate
Heart rates differ for many people depending on:
- body weight
- health (diabetes, illness, medication, etc)
However, a normal heart rate is said to be about 70 beats per minute for males and about 75 beats per minute for females.
What is a HEALTHY resting heart rate
An interesting thing about heart rates is that they are significantly lower in people who do a lot of physical exercise. Professional athletes, for example, have been known to have resting heart rates of as low as 35 beats per minute. As the resting heart rate is lower in fit people there is the belief that the resting heart rate is a good way to measure fitness. While this has some truth to it a better measurement is the recovery rate.
What is the recovery rate?
The recovery heart rate is a measurement of how well your heart recovers after exercise. It is measured one minute after exercise and is the rate at which your heart beats drop each minute. People who are very fit will see that their heart rate drops very quckly after exercise. It recovers well. This is a much better measurement of one’s fitness.
What is a NORMAL recovery heart rate?
It is said that your heart should slow down by about 30 beats in the first minute. If your heart does not slow down by this much then you are pretty out of shape. People who are very fit will see their heart slow down by 50-60 beats in the first minute.
Do not use the web to determine your heart’s health
I get so many emails and comments on this blog alone from people asking me if they have a healthy heart. I don’t know! The internet is not a suitable means for disgnosing ANY health problems. As most heart related problems are very serious if one has any doubt whatsoever about their heart’s health they should book a visit to the doctor today. Only they can tell you for sure.