Heart Rate Monitors….they are everywhere. They are on your medical equipment such as blood pressure monitors, fitness equipments like your treadmills and lately, even on your smartwatches. So, what’s the big fuss about heart rate tracking?
Unbeknownst to most, monitoring your own heart rate variability as well as resting heart rate could give you a surprisingly good gauge of your own heart health!
Your heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute. I’m sure most of you know that when you exercise, your heart rate increases as your heart works harder to pump blood around your body to supply more oxygen and nutrients to support strenuous activities. So for the sake of this article, we shall discuss the topic concerning “Resting Heart Rate” which is the number of beats per minute your heart pounds at at rest.
Now, they are many different reasons why heart rate varies amongst individuals. The most common being:
Your heart muscle becomes weaker as you age, and has to pump more frequently to get the job of delivering oxygen and nutrients around your body done.
Anxiety, worry and frustration often produce stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline that keeps us on edge and “on alert”. This forces your heart to pump blood more quickly in response to a “threat”.
Well-trained athletes often have lower resting heart rate than sedentary individuals. For every heart beat an athlete with a stronger heart will be able to pump more blood from the heart to the working muscles. This means that the heart does not have to work as hard to provide the oxygen required. So it has to pump less frequently to supply us with the necessary oxygen and nutrients to survive.
Normally, an overweight person usually has a high resting heart rate. This can occur for several reasons. It may be because your heart needs to supply more nutrients to a larger body but may also be because it needs to work harder to pump blood through your clogged blood vessels lined with cholesterol that limits efficient blood flow.
Most people have a resting heart rate between 60-100bpm. Of course, being near the lower range would point towards an awesome and healthy heart whereas edging closer to the upper range might not be ideal
Most athletes in good aerobic condition would have a heart rate between 40-60bpm.
Miguel Indurain (Cyclist) – 28 bpm
Michael Phelps (Swimmer) – Low 30-s bpm
Lance Armstrong (Cyclist) – 32 bpm
When you are resting or have just woken up, place two fingers to the inside of the wrist and applying pressure. When a pulse is found, use a timer to time out 15 seconds while counting the beats. Multiply that 4x and you get your resting heart rate!
Alternatively, get a fitness tracker like the Striiv Bio Fusion that has optical heart-rate monitoring to keep an eye on your heart-rate throughout the entire day and watch it drop over the weeks as you get fitter! Another plus point for the Striiv Bio Fusion is its ability to track stress levels. Considering that stress levels are directly correlated to your health, it would be worthwhile to note the correlation between your heart rate and stress levels.
You don’t need a fancy full body checkup to get a picture of your holistic health. Your heart is perhaps the most vital organ in your entire body. Stop moving to its beat and well….
So, keep an eye on that pulse of yours as an indicator of your overall fitness. Invest in a fitness tracker with HR monitoring and aim to keep it at an all-time low (but hopefully over 0 of course). We would recommend the newly released Striiv Fusion Bio which retails for S$189
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