Do You Know Your Resting Heart Rate?
Studies are now finding that your Resting Heart Rate (RHR) is a strong predictor of cardiovascular health as well as a good indicator of your basic fitness level. A strong heart is able to pump more blood with every beat, so you want to have a low resting heart rate.
It is very easy to figure out your resting heart rate; you just need to be able to count and have a watch with a second hand. Try taking your RHR first thing in the morning, as you will have a more accurate reading compared to any other time during the day.
Here’s how to do the test:
- Find your pulse at your wrist (the radial artery) or at your carotid artery in your neck.
- Using your index and middle finger, count the number of beats you feel in 10 seconds. Make sure not to use your thumb because it has a faint pulse that may confuse you while counting.
- Multiply the number of beats you count in 10 seconds by six to find the number of beats per minute. If you want to be super accurate try taking your pulse three times, then take the average rate of all three.
See what your results mean:
- 60 or less = Good
- 61 to 80 = Average
- 81 to 100 = High, but acceptable
- 101 or more = Abnormally high and not very good. This can indicate atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and also restrictions in the diameter of your blood vessels. Consult with your doctor for a RHR over 80.
Your RHR tells you lots about your cardiovascular health. Having a high RHR is a risk factor independent of other risk factors such as; hypertension, diabetes, and smoking. So paying attention to our RHR while effortless in determining; is important. Remember, the better shape you are in the fewer beats per minute.
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