What Your Heart Rate Is Trying to Tell You

Understanding your heart rate.

We all know that our heart rate is something that is important to watch, but do we really know how to read it? Do we really know what our heart rate is trying to tell us? The truth is that while many of us know that our heart rate is important, we really don’t know how to read it or what it means.

Well, worry not! I’m Heart Healthy Henry and I’m going to tell you how to understand your heart rate and what to expect when you take your heart rate readings.

Taking Your Heart Rate

The first step to understanding your heart rate is knowing how to take your heart rate readings.

Your heart rate is the number of times that your heart beats per minute. To take your heart rate, you’ll want to find a place on your body where your pulse is strong, such as your jugular vein or your wrist. Count the beat for 30 seconds and then multiply that rate by two. That is your heart rate.

Different Types of Heart Rates

There are different heart rates that you will want to monitor. You’ll want to take your heart rate in the morning when you wake up (your morning heart rate), your heart rate when you’re at rest (your resting heart rate) and your average heart rate during exercise.

The Right Heart Rate During Exercise

Heart rates are different for everyone, so there isn’t just one right heart rate. If your heart rate is normally lower, your target heart rate during exercise will usually be lower. Normal heart rates range anywhere from 40 beats per minute to 100 beats per minute, so finding out where your heart rate should be during exercise is more of a mathematical equation than it is a direct answer.

Resting heart Rate

As mentioned, your resting heart rate should be anywhere from 40 to 100 beats per minute. If your resting heart rate is usually 70 beats per minute and you suddenly are at 80 beats per minute while you’re resting, you may want to consult your doctor. A change of 10 or more heartbeats per minute without any apparent reason could be signs of trouble.

Maximum Heart Rate

Your maximum heart rate is the maximum that you want to let your heart rate get to during exercise. A general rule of thumb to determine your maximum heart rate is to deduct your age from the number 220. The result of the equation is the maximum number of beats per minute you should let your heart get to during exercise.

By knowing what to look for and how to read your heart rate, you’ll be well on your way to monitoring your heart rate regularly and responsibly.

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