Understanding Normal Adult Heart Rates
The normal heart rate for any adult depends on whether or not the person is at rest or engaged in physical activity. If a person is at rest, the normal heart rate is 60 to 100 beats per minute, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, heart rates vary based on several factors, including the person’s fitness level and body size. It is widely considered that the lower the heart rate is at rest, the better the heart functions and it usually indicates the person is in good physical condition. For example, the heart rates for many well-conditioned athletes is closer to 40 beats per minute while at rest.
People who experience higher heart rates while at rest may be at risk of suffering a heart attack during midlife, especially in women, according to Harvard Health Publications. The report suggests that despite a person’s lifestyle, including smoking or lack of physical activity, a high heart rate at rest indicates that a cardiac event will occur at some point during midlife. The report suggests that anyone that has a resting heart rate above 76 should consult with their doctor or a cardiologist.
Measuring Resting Heart Rates
The best way to measure resting heart rates is to place the middle finger and index finger on the opposite wrist’s pulse point, then count the number of beats that occur in 15 seconds. After counting the beats, multiply that number by four and that figure is a person’s heart rate. The best time to determine the resting heart rate is to take the measurement before getting out of bed in the morning.
Monitoring Heart Rates- Other Factors that Affect Rates
Several factors that are not common knowledge impact a person’s heart rate, whether they are at rest or engaged in physical activity. The air temperature of a room can affect a person’s heart rate, especially when the humidity rises causing the heart to pump more blood. A person’s body position, body size and even their emotions have an impact on heart rates. A person who suffers from depression or anxiety is more likely to see higher resting heart rates than people who can maintain their emotional states.
Heart Rates and Medications
Doctors often prescribe medications know as beta blockers that help keep heart rates in the normal range. Anyone who suffers from high-blood pressure or is at risk of developing heart-related issues should consult with their doctors about the use of beta blockers and how they can return heart rates to normal levels.