Heart rate is the speed of the heartbeat measured by the number of contractions of the heart per minute (bpm).
Our heart rate alters regularly, depending on whether standing or lying, moving around or sitting still, stressed or relaxed. Our resting heart rate tends to be stable from day to day. (The common range for resting heart rate is between 60 and 90 beats per minute. Above 90 is considered high.)
A normal resting heart rate for adults vary from 60 to 100 beats a minute
Formula culculating maximum heart rate
220 minus our age approx.
During moderately intense activities our heart rate is about 50-69% of our maximum heart rate. However during hard physical activity the heart rate is about 70% to less than 90% of the maximum heart rate.
The main factors influencing heart rate include:
- Activity level
- Air temperature
- Body position (e.g. standing up or lying down)
- Body size
- Fitness level
Following Factors influence the resting heart rate;
- 1. Aging – tending to speed it up
- 2. Genes playing an important role
- 3. Regular exercise – tending to slow it down
- 4. Stress, medications, and medical conditions also influence the heart rate.
We don’t need visiting doctor to keep track of our resting heart rate. The best time to measure heart rate is in the morning before jumping out of bed. Measure our heart rate at wrist or neck by placing one or two fingers over a pulse point, ccounting the number of beats in 15 seconds, and multiplying the counts by four.
By doing following 5 things we can slow our resting heart rate and also assist maintaining an healthy heart:
1. Avoid tobacco products
2. More exercise
3. Lose weight if necessary
4. Reduce stress by performing the relaxation response, meditation, tai chi (太極), and other stress-busting techniques.
5. Listening to relaxing music
Normally, adult’s heart rate is between 60 to 100 beats per minute. Occasionally we may experience a sudden increase in heart rate resolved within a few minutes which is termed as a heart palpitation. Usually it is not harmful. But if the palpitations are persistent, recurring or along with other symptoms, you should see your doctor promptly.
Many things can cause palpitations such as;
- Dietary supplements such as ephedra, goldenseal, motherwort or oleander
- Thyroid disorders