It is important to remember that your heart rate is not a static thing and throughout the day it can change, even if there is no reason for this to happen. But what should your resting heart rate be and how can you tell if this is a bad sign about your overall health?
How can you find out your resting heart rate?
It is easy to take your own resting heart rate, you can do this using your wrist or neck to find your pulse. Rather than simply taking your resting heart rate once and being done with it, you need to check your pulse at the same time everyday, as this will give you an accurate representation of your own resting heart rate.
It is best to try and check your pulse first thing in the morning as this will be the most accurate representation, without any caffeine, exercise or simply moving around to change things.
In order to take our pulse you need to take your index and middle finger, never your thumb and place it in an area where you have a heartbeat, it is easiest to find this on your wrist, however, you can also do this in your neck too.
You need to count your pulse for 15 seconds (or 30 seconds if you prefer) before multiplying it by 4 (or 2 if you opt for 30 seconds). This will be your heart rate for a minute.
What can your resting heart rate tell you about your health?
It is thought that having an elevated resting heart rate may put you at a greater risk of developing illnesses and disorders that can affect your life span. Particularly for things such as heart attacks. The reason for this is because a higher resting heart rate means that your heart has to work so much harder to pump blood around, even if you are at rest. This additional effort and stress can make you at a much higher risk of a heart attack compared to those who have a lower resting heart rate.
As well as this, if you are the type of person who regularly exercises, then you are likely to have a much lower heart rate when at rest. Your body (in particular your heart) is much more used to exertion as it is made to work hard when you exercise, which means that it is less likely to feel shocked by having to pump blood hard, compared to a heart which may not be quite as used to this.
What is a good resting heart rate?
The thing to remember about resting heart rate is that it can really vary from person to person and what could be normal for one is definitely not normal for others. A typical resting heat rate for an adult is anywhere between 60 and 100 beats per minute.
Of course, if you are on the higher end of the scale this means that you have an increased health risk, whereas those that are lower down will have a reduced one. In fact, the risk rises when your heart rate heads over the 80 beats per minute mark and is much better to stay nearer the 60 beats per minute mark.
That said, if your resting heart rate is under the 60 beats per minute mark, then this can also have some negative impacts on your health. A heart rate this low puts you at risk of fatigue and dizziness.
You should also remember that not only does your physical fitness have an influence on your resting heart rate, but so does your mental wellbeing too. If you are stressed out, or have a lot on your mind, then this can cause your heart rate to increase.
If you think that you should be working at reducing your resting heart rate then one thing is for sure, you should try out a spot of exercise. Not only is exercise great for your overall health and wellbeing, but it is also proven to help with resting heart rate and ensuring that your heart can work the best it can, without putting itself under too much pressure.