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Heart Rate and Health: What’s Normal and Why It Matters?

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Our heart functions very much like the earth, we tend to forget about its presence until it does something unusual. We are totally ignorant about what our heart is doing, and when it comes to ‘heart rate’ it can be paralleled with the speed of a car. It must not be too slow, or too high; it should be just right. The same is with the heart rate, it must not be erratic, fast or slow; the heart rhythm must be maintained for the good of your health.

How Your Heart Rate Affects Your Health?

If you are still wondering as to why is maintaining heart rate important, in that case, let us unveil to you the fact that, the heart is central to every action taking place in the body. The function of the heart, that is, cardiac output, is directly proportional to the stroke volume, in simpler language; it directly affects the amount of blood pumped with each beat. Before making it any more complicated for you, let us simplify the concept.

What is Your Ideal Heart Rate?

heart rate

The key is to maintain the heart rate to a healthy line, but how do you know what is the ideal heart rate. According to experts, a usual heart rate is stated to be normal when it ranges from 60 to 100. When the heartbeat is less than 60, the situation is termed as bradycardia in medical language, generally known as a “slow heart”; and when the heartbeat is faster than 100, the situation is termed as tachycardia, normally called as a “fast heart”.

How to Measure Your Heart Rate?

The easiest way to check your heart rate is by spotting the nerves on your neck as well as the wrist. Count the number of beats that can be felt for a minute. Also calculate the pulse to get an approx of the rhythm of the heart being in regular, irregular or mix condition. Alternatively, you can use a heart rate monitor, which determines your heart rate automatically. You can program it to tell you when you’re above or below your target range.

Resting Heart Rate

You should test your resting heart rate before you measure your training heart rate. The ideal time to test your resting heart rate is first thing in the morning, ideally after a good night’s sleep. Using the technique described above, determine your resting heart rate and record this number. The average resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. However, this number may increase with age and is usually lower for people with higher physical fitness levels.

Ideal Heart Rate for Exerciseheart rate

According to the American Heart Association, moderate-intensity workouts should be closer to the low end of these ranges. The higher end of the range should be reserved only for high-intensity, vigorous workouts.

  • 25 years: 100 to 170 beats per minute
  • 30 years: 95 to 162 beats per minute
  • 35 years: 93 to 157 beats per minute
  • 40 years: 90 to 153 beats per minute
  • 45 years: 88 to 149 beats per minute
  • 50 years: 85 to 145 beats per minute
  • 55 years: 83 to 140 beats per minute
  • 60 years: 80 to 136 beats per minute
  • 65 years: 78 to 132 beats per minute
  • 70 years and above: 75 to 128 beats per minute

If you’re taking medication for any heart condition, consult your doctor whether you should use a lower target zone rate for exercising.

How to Recognize a Potential Emergency Situation?

It is easy to recognize the condition of the heart if we know the symptoms of the otherwise conditions beforehand.

Symptoms of Slow Heart Rate or Bradycardia

  • Dizziness
  • Loss of Consciousness
  • Chest Pain
  • Confusion
  • Passing Out or Fainting
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Weakness
  • Arm Pain
  • Jaw Pain
  • A Severe Headache
  • Blindness or Visual change
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Pale Skin

Symptoms of Fast Heart Rate or Tachycardia

  • Sudden Pounding Sensation in the Chest
  • Shortness in Breath
  • Chest Pain
  • Tightness in Chest
  • Feeling of a Racing Heart
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue

Many of these symptoms overlap each other in two different cases and can lead to major problems. The health issues can be more than just an unhealthy heart rate. Therefore, it is recommended to consult a doctor as soon as any of the following symptoms are observed in repetitive form.
A slow heart as well as a fast heart can lead to a number of diseases which can be harmful for the body. Some of these diseases are listed below by us that should be taken care of.

Possible Conditions for Slow Heart Rate

  • Heart Attack
  • Hypothyroidism
  • High Potassium
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy
  • Hemorrhage
  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Autonomic Hyperreflexia
  • Autonomic Neuropathy

Possible Conditions for Fast Heart Rate

  • Bleeding
  • Panic Disorder
  • Low Blood Sugar
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Dehydration
  • Blood Clot in lungs
  • Phobias
  • Night Terrors
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Hernia
  • Beriberi
  • Cholera
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Asthma

It is highly advised to take the heart issues seriously and pay proper attention towards them by consulting a Nutritionists as well as a Cardiologist.

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