How do you know your heart rate?
Your heart rate is a measure of how fast your heart beats and is also an important indicator of good health. Your doctor will always make it a point to measure your heart rate whenever you visit him for your routine health checkup or any health-related problem.
While the heart rate is routinely examined by your doctor, you can also measure your heart rate. With the help of your middle finger and index finger, you have to first try to feel and locate your pulse at any of the following places
- The inner side of your elbow
- The base of the toe
- The side of your neck
The wrist is the most commonly used and convenient place to check your heart rate. Once you locate the pulse on your wrist, you have to gently press on it for 60 seconds and count the beats. This is how you will know your heart rate, which will be in beats per minute.
What is a good heart rate for my age?
A good heart rate differs from individual to individual, and it depends upon your age and the kind of physical work you do.
Given below is the chart showing normal heart rates by age.
|Approximate Age Range||Heart Rate (beats per min)|
|15 years or older||60-100|
However, a heart rate that is lower than 60 per minute does not necessarily mean that it is abnormal. If you are an athlete or someone who is engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity, you may have your heart rate between 40 and 60 per minute.
When should I worry about my heart rate?
Before you become worried over your heart rate, it is important to know the things that can increase or decrease your heart rate.
Your heart rate might be increased
- Soon after you consume coffee or smoke
- Whenever you feel scared, anxious, or stressed out
- If the climate is hot and humid
- If you are obese
- If you are on certain medicines like decongestants
- If you indulge in binge drinking frequently
Health conditions that may increase your heart rate and could be improved upon by treatment
Some conditions like supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) may cause a sudden increase in your heart rate at rest. This is a medical emergency and needs immediate medical attention. This condition may lead to sudden death.
A persistent high heart rate can also mean that the heart muscle is weakened, which forces it to pump harder to deliver the same amount of blood.
You may have a lower resting heart rate due to
- Exercising regularly
- Low levels of thyroid hormones in the body (hypothyroidism)
You should also be concerned about your heart rate if you notice your heart beating on an irregular rhythm frequently. This can be a serious condition known as arrhythmia for which you should see your doctor right away.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
All About Heart Rate (Pulse). Available at: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/the-facts-about-high-blood-pressure/all-about-heart-rate-pulse
Normal Vital Signs. Available at: https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/2172054-overview#a2
Your Heart Rate. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/heart-failure/watching-rate-monitor?tex=vb3&prop16=vb3.
What is Supraventricular Tachycardia?. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/atrial-fibrillation/what-is-supraventricular-tachycardia
Are OTC Allergy and Cold Medications Making Your Heart Race?. Available at: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/otc-allergy-and-cold-medications-may-be-bad-for-your-heart/#:~:text=A%20decongestant%20eases%20congestion%20by,heart%20rate%2C%20or%20skipped%20beats.
Does Alcohol Cause AFib?. https://www.webmd.com/hase/atrial-fibrillation/atrial-fibrillation-alcoholeart-dise
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