What does your heart rate tell you?

Resting Heart Rate
Having a resting heart rate of 80 is not bad because it falls within the normal range.

Heart rate or pulse rate is the number of times your heart beats in a minute. It tells you how hard your heart must work every minute to pump blood all throughout the body. 

When you are at rest, the heart rate is slower, as the heart pumps blood to cover a minimal amount of body functions. Your heart rate increases when you exercise and your muscles need more oxygen and energy and return to normal within an hour or so afterward. 

Although daily activities may change your heart rate, certain medical conditions also cause the heart rate to change beyond normal exertion and may indicate underlying health problems that need medical attention.  

What is a resting heart rate?

A resting heart rate is the number of times your heart beats in a minute when you are lying down or sitting down.

The best time to take your resting heart rate is after a good night’s sleep, right before getting up from your bed when the average resting heart rate is usually 60 to 80 beats per minute.

What is a good heart rate for my age?

The American Heart Association (AHA) says that the normal heart rate for adults (18 years and older) is anywhere between 60 and 100 beats per minute, whereas, for children aged 6 to 15 years, it can be anywhere between 70 and 100 beats per minute.

As you grow older, your pulse rate is almost the same as before. But there are two differences as you age:

  • When you exercise, your pulse takes a longer time to reach its maximum level than it was before and after rest. Your pulse takes a longer time to slow down as well. 
  • Your maximum heart rate after exercise is also lower than it was when you were younger.

Is a resting heart rate of 80 bad?

Having a resting heart rate of 80 is not bad because it falls within the normal range. 

Research says that having a lower resting heart is much better than having one on the higher side.

A study conducted on a large group of people in China found that those who had a high-normal resting heart rate of 80 beats per minute to 90 beats per minute had a 40 percent shorter lifespan than those with a resting heart rate of 60 beats per minute to 69 beats per minute.

According to research, having a lower heart rate of 40 to 60 per minute is, in fact, beneficial for your heart unless you feel dizzy or suffer from shortness of breath.

Athletes have a heart rate as low as 40 beats per minute.

What conditions affect your heart rate?

  • If you are stressed, scared, excited, or suffer from anxiety, your heart rate might increase.
  • If the climate is hot and humid, your heart rate increases slightly.
  • If you are obese, your heart rate may be on the higher side.
  • If you are on medications like beta-blockers you may have a lower heart rate.
  • Your resting heart rate may be high if you suffer from hyperthyroidism and low if you have hypothyroidism.
  • Infections, which cause fever, can increase your heart rate.
  • Low hemoglobin levels (anemia) might increase your heart rate.
  • If you have smoked or consumed coffee, your heart rate may be increased.

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Medically Reviewed on 6/26/2020
References
References:

Resting heart rate. Available at: https://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Encyclopedia/Heart-Encyclopedia_UCM_445084_ContentIndex.jsp?title=resting%20heart%20rate

Busting 6 Myths About Blood Pressure and Heart Rate. Available at: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/busting-6-myths-about-blood-pressure-and-heart-rate/

Increase in resting heart rate is a signal worth watching. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/increase-in-resting-heart-rate-is-a-signal-worth-watching-201112214013#:~:text=By%20doing%20these%204%20things,slows%20the%20resting%20heart%20rate.

Aging changes in vital signs. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/004019.htm

Your Heart Rate. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/heart-failure/watching-rate-monitor?tex=vb3&prop16=vb3
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