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Normal Resting Heart Rate

Yash Gode May 10, 2019
The importance of normal resting heart rate has, slowly but surely, been rising as it is being used to judge the fitness level of a person. Provided here is some information on the same.
A normal resting heart rate has been included in the most vital heart performance parameters. It is being associated with fitness levels and most fit people are considered to have below average resting heart rate. Heart rate is defined as the number of times the heart beats in one minute. The unit of measurement is beats per minute (bpm).
The normal resting heart for adults can be anywhere between 50 and 100 beats per minute, depending on activity level. As the heart pumps or supplies oxygenated blood to all parts of the body, the rate of pumping or beating depends on the demand for blood in body. The heart rate is high, while working out, and at its lowest, in resting or sleeping condition.
Heart rate that is normal is the minimum possible rate of heartbeat. It can be compared to the idling of a vehicle. The average heart rate in kids ranges from 65 to 80 beats per minute (bpm). Whereas, the same for adults can be anywhere between 60 to 70 bpm.

The Importance of Resting Heart Rate to be Normal

Slowly but steadily, fitness enthusiasts throughout the world have accepted the importance of the heart rate to be normal. Fitness trainers press on monitoring it to help the clients achieve fitness targets. The resting heart rate denotes how efficiently your heart and lungs work. Athletes have been known to record less than 50 bpm in resting conditions.
The racing cyclist Lance Armstrong regularly records a stunning 30 to 35 bpm. As fitness levels rise, the heart becomes more efficient in pumping blood to all parts of the body. Rise in efficiency means the heart has to beat less number of times per minute, especially, when you're resting.
The higher your resting heart rate, harder is the level of work done by your heart. Use a resting heart rate calculator and then take a look at a resting heart rate chart to get an idea of your fitness level.
Apart from the fitness levels, there are a number of factors that affect the resting heart rate:
  • The body position is an important factor. Resting heart rate is higher while standing as compared to when lying down, as standing requires higher levels of blood circulation.
  • Resting heart rate is directly proportional to the air temperature and is inversely proportional to pressure. In areas, where air pressure is low, there is a rise in the resting heart rate. This is because the respiratory system functions overtime to inhale enough oxygen from the air, which is less dense than normal.
  • Exposure to loud noise levels can increase the resting heart rate.
  • Body size is also a determinant - those with bulkier bodies have higher resting heart rate, as compared to the skinny lot; the reason being rising workload of the heart.
  • Sex of the individual is also a determining factor; the normal heart rate for males is lower when compared to females. The main reason being that hormonal effects and high fat percentage in the female body causes their resting heart rate to be higher.
  • External triggers like drug abuse, alcohol, medication, etc., can cause resting heart rates to soar.

Heart Rate during Pregnancy

The normal resting heart rate for women is around 70 bpm. However, during pregnancy, this can increase by 10-15 bpm, simply because the pregnant woman's body has to support the growth and metabolism in the fetus and that is additional work for the heart. Resting heart rate during pregnancy is a very vital parameter that needs to be monitored.
This is because, if the mother's heart is beating at a very fast rate, then there is a possibility that the baby's heart also beats at an accelerated rate, which is not a good sign.
Another factor that affects the resting heart rate, is the number of children that the pregnant woman is carrying. If she is carrying twins, then the heart pumps double amount of blood to the babies. Borg's Rating of Perceived Exertion Scale (RPE) is a method that can be implemented, to monitor exercise intensity in pregnant women.
The normal resting heart rate for infants and children is fairly high. Newborns and infants have resting heart rates from 100 to 160 bpm. While sleeping, the rates may drop to a low of 90 bpm. As the child grows, the heart rate gradually decreases, and by the age of 12 to 15 years, the rate touches the one for adults.
The mentioned information should surely help clear any doubts that you might have regarding the topic. Your resting heart rate reflects on the health of your heart. So, remember to keep your heart rate slow and steady, while you take rest.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.