Your resting heart rate is a good indicator not just of your heart health, but also of your general health and fitness levels. It’s also particularly important to fitness enthusiasts as it allows us to keep a check on intensity levels and gives you a better insight into the calories that your body is actually burning.
While fitness trackers seem like a blessing, experts find that the accuracy of most of these products is poor, which means that they could mislead you and defeat their very purpose. So, instead of spending a fortune on fitness bands, try using the old fashioned method of calculating heart rate.
What Is Resting Heart Rate (RHR)?
“Resting heart rate refers to the number of heart beats recorded per minute when your body is at rest”
Resting heart rate describes the number of heart beats recorded per minute, while you are sedentary or at rest. The higher your fitness levels, the lower your RHR will be, as your heart has higher efficiency. To measure your RHR, you will need to check your pulse as soon as you wake up.
How To Calculate Your Pulse Rate
For millennials, who can barely write with pens and pencils this may seem tricky, but it’s not. Turn either one of your hands over, so that the palm’s facing upwards, while with your other hand you gently place two fingertips beneath the wrist, as indicated below.
You may need to keep adjusting your finger placement to detect the pulse, so be patient. Just make sure that you only use gentle pressure, or the technique won’t work.
How To Calculate Your Resting Heart Rate (RHR)
“Measure your pulse as soon as you wake up or whenever completely relaxed – either measure for 6 seconds & extrapolate by multiplying with 10 or measure for a full 60 seconds”
As you need to measure your resting pulse it is best to take a pulse a soon as you wake up, unless you wake up with a nightmare or sudden fright, in which case your heart rate would be elevated. Once you’re completely calm and relaxed, measure your pulse rate to calculate RHR.
– Count the pulse for 6 seconds and multiply the figure with 10
– For greater accuracy, count for 15 seconds and multiply by 4, or better still count to 30 seconds and multiply by 2
– The most accurate measurement would be if you count for a full 60 seconds, but this requires greater focus
– Keep this up for at least 3 days and then take an average of the measurement for all 3 days
If you’re normally too rushed in the mornings, you can also take your pulse later in the day – just make sure to lie down and relax before measuring. You will also need to avoid consuming any caffeine or other stimulants that can alter heart rate.
What’s The Normal Resting Heart Rate?
Resting heart rates differ for men and women, also varying with fitness levels. In men, the average RHR is around 70 to 72 beats per minute, while in women it’s around 72 to 80. In women, RHR is typically higher than in men because women have a lower volume of blood that is circulated in the body, lower hemoglobin levels, and smaller hearts.
Healthy heart rates can vary considerably, so you don’t need to panic if your RHR is higher or lower than the average. Anything in the range of 60 to 100 beats per minute is actually considered normal. If your RHR is less than 60 bpm or over 100 bpm you should visit your health care provider, as this could be indicative of a problem.
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