Resting Heart Rate
For an adult, a normal resting heart rate (RHR) is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. In athletes a lower RHR can indicate that your heart is working more efficiently for less effort and is a good sign of physical fitness. Some people naturally have a higher RHR (tachycardia) while others have a RHR (bradycardia).
How to Measure
When you wake up in the morning, lay in bed for a further 5 minutes as simply waking up can increase your heart rate. Use the bathroom if you need to, then return to bed and lay still for 5 minutes. Measure your pulse for a full minute and you will have your true resting heart rate.
As mentioned previously, RHR can reflect heart health. It is true that some people naturally have a RHR rate, but they can still influence this through improving their physical fitness and exercise tolerance. A 2013 study in the journal Heart found that a higher resting heart rate was associated with higher cholesterol, blood pressure, and body weight, and lower physical fitness. The researchers also found that a RHR between 81 and 90 doubled the risk of premature death, while a RHR higher 90 tripled it!
For some tips on how to reduce your resting heart rate, get in touch with an exercise physiologist today.