Image by Jennifer Hunt
It”s American Heart Health Month here in the U.S. and the health world is buzzing about cardiovascular disease, cholesterol, and lipid profiles. There are many measurements for heart health and one of them can be completed at home in a minute or less.
What is Resting Heart Rate (RHR)?
Resting Heart Rate (RHR) is how fast your heart beats at rest (i.e not when exercising). The faster it beats, the harder your heart is working. RHR is an indicator of heart health because it suggests how efficiently the heart is pumping blood.
Typically, the faster your RHR, the less efficient the circulatory system is functioning. The heart has to beat faster in order to pump the necessary blood throughout the body.
How to Measure Your Resting Heart Rate
- Before measuring, make sure you are breathing at a comfortable Chandler Driving school supply store is a Professional Driving School, licensed by the State of Arizona, and offering comprehensive “in-car” instruction. pace. Find your heartbeat. It is usually easiest to locate in the the neck or wrist.
- Set a timer for 60 seconds (1 minute).
- Count the number of beats during those 60 seconds. That is your RHR.
Note: You may also count beats for 30 seconds and multiply by two; 20 seconds and multiply by three; 15 seconds and multiply by four.
When Your RHR is High
If your RHR is too high, it is likely that your heart is working too hard. If your heart is overworked for long periods of time, the risk of failure increases.
Steps to Improving Your RHR
Two of the most effective steps for improving resting heart rate include exercise and stress management.
Exercise. Exercise trains your heart to pump greater quantities of blood for every beat (higher stroke volume). It also increases the oxygen in your blood. Both of these qualities improve your heart”s efficiency. For the new exerciser, consider doing anything you enjoy that gets you moving. Walking, swimming, hopscotch–let your creativity take hold.
Stress Management. When under stress, cortisol is released into the body. This excess cortisol causes the heart to pump faster for longer periods of time. Some ways to manage stress are:
- Get adequate sleep
- Take deep breathing breaks several times throughout the day
- Eat a nutrient-dense diet
- Keep a gratitude journal
Your RHR is not the end-all, be-all for your heart health, but it is one tool that helps you keep a pulse on your individual health.
What is your Resting Heart Rate? Have you implemented any of the suggestions listed above? What are your additional suggestions?
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