You know how your heart rate explodes during Burpees, or when a text "We need to talk" appears on your phone (and if you I'm serious about fitness, maybe even training according to your heart rate.)
But how often do you pay attention to your resting heart rate (RHR), what is your heart rate when you chill 100 percent? Here's what you should know about this very important (hopefully small) number.
Healthy Resting Heart Rate 1
Here's a little refresher: Your resting heart rate is a measure of how often your heart beats per minute, if you do so you're completely at rest. (Remember, if you wake up in the morning for the first time before you go out of bed, that's an important number because it's a good indicator of your overall health and fitness, especially your cardiovascular health Basically, the lower your resting heart rate, the more efficient your heart is, says Scott McLean, director researcher at Fitbit, the company for fitness "You need to pump a certain amount of blood around the body every minute," McLean says, "If your heart is bigger and stronger and your arteries are working well and well, you'll pump more blood into the body every time you hit it that you need less beats per minute to achieve this, "he says.
A normal resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute for most people American Heart Association. However, a lower RHR generally means better health. According to Mayo Clinic, well-trained athletes may even have heart rhythms up to 40 beats per minute.
The average resting heart rate in the US
Bad news: The research by Fitbit shows that the average resting heart rate of the United States lies rate is not good for the general health of the country. The wearables company used its vast user database with more than 108 billion hours of heart rate data to analyze resting heart rate around the world. Of the 15 countries surveyed, the USA and Singapore had the highest resting heartbeat at 65.9 bpm (BPM), while Italy was the lowest at 61.8 bpm.
"When you think about it, the US also seems to be rated high for many of the variables that affect resting heart rate: general stress, work-related stress, overweight, poor diet, inactivity, etc.," McLean says ,
The few points between the US (65.9) and Italy's (61.8) values do not seem to make much of a difference, but these few Bpms are important in the course of life: "We've pulled out so much data "Although the difference is small, it is actually statistically significant, and this may be of clinical relevance," says McLean, which essentially means the difference is important for both research and IRL health. "Even a difference of 3 or 4 beats per minute in resting heart rate can significantly affect a person's overall health, well-being and morbidity over time." In fact, the resting heart rate was directly linked to your risk of death. Watch out now
Why you have a high resting heart rate – and how you can lower it
The biggest culprits that increase the resting heart rate: Lack of sleep, tobacco use, overweight or obesity, dehydration and stress says McLean.
The simplest way to improve your resting heart rate (ie lower it) is literally blood pumping. Your heart is a muscle, and if you want to get it in good shape, you need to find out. (Yes, that means making cardio – even if it's not required for weight loss or your specific fitness goals.)
But you do not have to go crazy: McLean says you can see significant improvements in your RHR Total activity every day – no marathon training required. However, you may want to try HIIT training sessions: a study published in the Journal of Human Hypertension found that 55-year-old adults completed high-intensity aerobic exercise only one hour per week, 66 percent of maximum effort) more efficiently than their resting heart rate a low intensity effort (33 percent of maximum effort).
Fitbit's research also produced other interesting results. The resting heart rate gradually increased with age until the 40- to 49-year-old (who had the highest RHR for both genders) and then decreased again. Since Fitbit's large selection of RHR data is the first of its kind, this finding is fairly new. The researchers are not sure why your RHR is going down to a high in their 40s, even though McLean is dealing with age-related changes in heart mechanics.
The health-tech company also found that female users had a higher average RHR overall than male users at 3 BPM. Before panicking, listen: this has no health information, but is due to anatomical differences in heart size and hormone levels. (Really, do not worry: women live longer than men permanently.)
How to measure your resting heart rate
The best way to achieve your RHR is to wear a heart rate monitor (such as a Fitbit or another Activity Tracker) while you sleep. No device? To measure it yourself:
- Find your wrist in the morning (without an alarm or any other stimulation or distraction).
- Count the number of strokes in 30 seconds.
- Multiply this number by two.
Consider recording your RHR on two or three separate mornings and averaging the results, says Cary Raffle, a certified personal trainer and sports scientist in NYC, as we reported in How to Find Your Personal Heart Rate Zones (and Exercise you there). This will ensure that you do not record a number just on a busy day or after a hard night's sleep.
Keep track of your RHR value over time to find out what is normal and abnormal to you, said Harley Pasternak, star trainer and Fitbit ambassador in a press release on the Fitbit study. In this way you can monitor how your health is changing and know if you are ever in a situation where you need to ask your doctor for advice.