Understand your heart rate to help monitor your health

Understanding your heart rate lets you monitor your fitness level, and also can help you spot any potential health problems.

The number of times your heart beats per minute is known as your heart rate, or pulse. The normal range will vary from person to person.

The best places to find your pulse are:

  • wrists
  • inside of your elbow
  • side of your neck
  • top of the foot

Generally a resting heart rate is between 60-100 beats per minute. If your heart rate is lower than 60 beats per minute, it does not necessarily signify a medical issue. A lower heart rate is common for people who exercise fairly vigorously or who are very athletic. It can also be the result of medication such as a beta blocker.

Other Factors That Can Affect Heart Rate:

  • Air temperature – A rise in temperature might cause your heart to pump more blood, increasing your pulse.
  • Emotions – Your heart rate can rise If you’re emotions are at an extreme (extremely happy or sad), or if you’re stressed or anxious.
  • Medication use – Beta blockers can slow your pulse, while too much thyroid medication will raise it.

Keeping track of your heart rate is not only beneficial for your own records, but it can actually aid your doctor. In a lot of situations when a person visits the doctor their heart rate and blood pressure are higher than usual due to the anxiety of the doctor visit. Logging these measurements at home can show the doctor how your heart is performing on a daily basis.

Information from this post was found via the American Heart Association.

About Sherman Health

Sherman Health has provided medical care to Northern IL since 1888, and is currently home to a network of over 600 physicians. The Sherman blogs are edited by me, Luke. Questions? Comments? Links? Email address is luke at shermanhealth dot com.
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