Resting heart rate, as the phrase suggests, indicates the number of times your heart beats in a minute when you’re at rest. Your heart pumps the lowest amount of blood when your body is at rest.
Ideal resting heart rate
50 to 100 beats per minute, while you are at rest, is regarded as normal. Does it mean that a resting heart rate lower than 50 is abnormal or dangerous? Absolutely no. A lower heart rate is quite common in people who are athletic or who indulge in a lot of physical activities. Yet another reason people experience a lower resting heart rate is the result of taking certain drugs such as a beta-blocker.
People who are quite active physically tend to have a lower resting heart rate, sometimes as low as 40 per minute. The reason for this is that their heart muscle is in better condition and doesn’t require working hard to maintain a steady beat.
How to gauge your resting heart rate
Gauging your resting heart rate is easy. But then, how can you do it? By placing your palm on your heart? No. There are multiple ways to gauge your resting heart rate; however, placing your palm on your heart is not one of them. Let’s have a look at two of the most common methods to gauge your resting heart rate.
Your middle and index finger are your tools to measure your resting heart rate. Place them on your wrist, just below the thumb. The other way to feel your pulse is to place your middle and index fingers on both sides of the neck. Use your watch or the stopwatch on your mobile to count the number of beats per minute. Repeat the exercise a couple of times to get the accurate numbers.
How does measuring your resting heartbeat help you?
Your resting heartbeat along with other parameters such as your blood pressure and cholesterol can give you a picture of your heart health. As has already been mentioned above, a lower heart rate per minute is an indication of having a healthy heart. But on the other side, if your resting heart rate is near the top of the 50 – 100 range, it shows that you’re at an increased risk for cardiac diseases. Studies suggest that a resting heart rate between 81 and 90 double the chance of premature death. If it is above 90, the risk of premature death is tripled.
While the statistics can be a bit alarming, it reminds us about the importance of physical activities. Amidst the global pandemic, a vast majority of the population is spending time indoors, be it working from home or just staying put in an attempt to avoid the risk of the coronavirus. Make sure that you don’t fall prey to a sedentary lifestyle. Exercise regularly, eat healthy and find ways to beat stress. In general, simply stay hale and hearty!