Don’t Underestimate the Effect of Your Heartbeat on Your Body

Your heart rate is the number of times your heart beats in a minute and every beat of your heart gives an indication of your age, health, and fitness level. Although there are not numbers set in stone that can definitely tell you whether you are healthy or not, you can get some indication of the state of your body by getting to know your heartbeat. 

Preventative heart care

Your heart is the muscle that keeps you alive and never stops working. An increase in your resting heart rate over time is a signal you shouldn’t ignore, as it could be a sign of heart trouble ahead. 

There are various ways to lower your heart rate. Exercising every day gradually lowers your resting heart rate. Losing weight helps as the more weight you carry, the more work the heart has to do to supply your body with blood. Various stress-busting techniques, such as meditation or prayer, can lower the heart rate. Quitting smoking can also bring it down. 

Preventative healthcare is encouraged by many healthshare programs because when a whole community is healthier, it reduces costs for everyone. Find out more about healthshare programs at https://www.ushealthshare.com/health-share-programs/.

Resting heart rate

One of the simplest ways to keep track of your health and fitness is to keep track of your resting heart rate. You can easily do this by taking your pulse in the morning before you get out of bed. Place your index and middle finger on your neck or wrist over a pulse point, count the number of beats in thirty seconds and multiply the number by two to count the beats per minute (bpm).

A healthy resting heart rate can be anything from 60 to 70 bpm, going down to 50 or 60 bpm when you’re fitter. Generally, a heart rate of over 100 bpm is considered as high.

Recovery rate

As your resting heart rate can vary quite a lot, a more accurate gauge of your fitness is to monitor the time it takes for your heartbeat to recover after exercising. When you exercise, your heart has to work harder, and this increases your heart rate. As soon as you rest, your heart rate decreases gradually and returns to its normal level.

Make sure your exercise is always the same intensity, wait 60 seconds and then take your heart rate. You will find that your heart recovers more quickly as you get fitter.

Maximum heart rate

If you want to pace your exercise regime according to your heart rate, you need to know your maximum heart rate. Going beyond your maximum heart rate is not healthy for you. 

You can work out your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. For example, a 60-year-old’s maximum heart rate would be 220 – 50 = 170. Once you have this number, you know that when your heart rate is above 170, this can be bad for you. Your target heart rate zone is the range you need to aim for if you want to become physically fit and this is calculated as 60% to 80% of your maximum heart rate.

Monitor yourself with a heart rate monitor

Without a heart rate monitor, the only way to keep track of your heart rate is by stopping and taking your heart rate manually. Fortunately, there are many fitness trackers available today that test your heart rate and they are generally quite affordable and easy to use. Monitoring your heart rate gives you a way to measure your heart rate objectively and to engage in a more structured fitness routine. 

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