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Know Your Heart Rate And What It Should Be

When we think of heart rates, we always associate it with motion such as what is the heart rate during exercise, or after exercise etc. But it is also important to know what our resting heart rates are, and what the normal resting heart rate should be, to know whether we have heart beat problems or not.
A normal adult should have an average of 60-100 beats per minute. The lower the heart rate is within this normal range, the more efficiently the heart is working. It is not unheard of for well conditioned athletes to have a resting heart rate of only 40 beats per minute, it’s because their hearts are so well conditioned that it doesn’t need to work as hard to pump blood into the system.

It is however not good for average people to consistently have heart beats that are lower than 60 beats per minute. This is a condition called bradycardia may be present, a type of arrhythmia that may cause the body not to receive as much oxygen that it needs. Some people may not experience symptoms associated with bradycardia, but some may experience fainting episodes or near fainting, dizziness, weakness, fatigue, chest pain and confusion. Serious complications include frequent fainting, cardiac arrest or even death.

It is also not good for people to continually have heart rates that are higher than 100, a condition called tachycardia. Tachycardia can increase the risk of stroke (because of the formation of blood clots), or even cause cardiac arrest and death. People with tachycardia may experience no symptoms, but some may experience dizziness, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, heart palpitations, chest pains and fainting episodes.

To measure your own heart rate, find a pulse point around your wrist or neck and count the beats for 10 seconds. Multiply this number by six and you will get your heart beat per minute. Some factors may affect your heart beat rate such as:

  • Consumption of coffee or alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Fitness level
  • Range of emotions
  • Body position
  • Body frame
  • Certain medications
  • Medical conditions such as hypertension or obesity

For heart health, individuals must practice a healthy lifestyle such as eating healthy foods that include much fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. They should also avoid smoking and consumption of too much alcohol. Exercise is also an important component of staying heart healthy, particularly aerobic exercise which makes the heart and lungs work harder in every session, making it stronger.