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What Your Heart Rate Is Trying to Tell You About Your Health

What Your Heart Rate Is Trying to Tell You About Your Health

A rapid heart rate can be triggered by exercise, fear, anxiety, stress, anger, and yes—the poets don’t lie—even love. However, a consistently high heart rate could indicate that your heart is working extra hard to pump blood, pointing to more serious cardiovascular concerns such as coronary heart disease and/or hypertension. If your heart rate is consistently greater than 100 beats per minute at rest, a condition known as tachycardia, you should contact your healthcare provider.

Regularly monitoring your heart rate score can help you identify abnormal heartbeats, such as high variability (HRV), without an ECG. Abnormal heartbeats can be a sign of atrial fibrillation, or AFib, the leading cause of stroke and an early indicator of underlying cardiovascular disease and other health issues. 

Your resting pulse rate measures how many times your heart beats per minute when the body is completely at rest. A normal resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute, according to the Mayo Clinic. In addition to transient factors like fear and stress, your resting pulse rate can also be affected by things like your age, physical activity, hormones, lifestyle factors, and various medications. Serious athletes can have a resting heart rate as low as 40 beats per minute. A low resting heart rate may offer some protection against heart attacks, according to a 2010 report from the Women’s Health Initiative. Examining data from 129,135 postmenopausal women, WHI researchers found that those with the highest resting heart rates—more than 76 beats per minute—were 26% more likely to suffer from a heart attack or die from one than women with the lowest resting heart rates (62 beats per minute or less).

20 years100-170 bpm200 bpm
30 years95-162 bpm190 bpm
35 years93-157 bpm185 bpm
40 years90-153 bpm180 bpm
45 years88-149 bpm175 bpm
50 years85-145 bpm170 bpm
55 years83-140 bpm165 bpm
60 years80-136 bpm160 bpm
65 years78-132 bpm155 bpm
70 years75-128 bpm 150 bpm
Source: American Heart Association

How is Heart Rate Measured?

The CONNEQT Pulse uses high quality recordings that can detect and measure the entire cardiac pulse period from beginning to end. This gives users the same accurate, medical grade heart rate measurements they would get in a doctor’s office.

Types of Tachycardia (Rapid Heart Beat Over 100 bpm)

A rapid heart beat that starts in the upper chambers of the heart is known as Atrial or Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT). If you suffer from this condition, electrical signals in the heart fire abnormally. Structural abnormalities can interfere with signals coming from the sinus mode, the body’s natural pacemaker. This may prevent the heart from filling completely between contractions, compromising its ability to supply blood adequately to the rest of the body.

Risk Factors for Atrial Tachycardia or Supraventicular Tachycardia (SVT)

  • Stress/anxiety
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Smoking or use of illegal drugs like amphetamines or cocaine
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Use of OTC cough medicines or prescriptions known to cause an SVT event
  • Obstructive sleep apnea

Signs of SVT

While some people suffering from tachycardia may have no symptoms, others may experience the following:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Palpitations
  • Chest Fluttering
  • Rapid pulse
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest discomfort
  • Fatigue

How to Naturally Lower Your Resting Heart Beat

If your Pulse device notifies you that have a high resting pulse, don’t wait to take action. You may be able to prevent it from evolving to a more serious cardiovascular condition by making the following lifestyle changes.

1. Increase exercise.

If you are not exercising already, talk to your healthcare provider about starting an aerobics and resistance exercise program. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate-level aerobic exercise per week (e.g., walking, jogging, swimming, biking, rowing) and resistance exercise (hand weights, resistance bands, weight machines, and bodyweight exercises such as pull-ups and push-ups) twice a week. Exercising daily can help gradually lower your resting heart rate.

2. Avoid tobacco.

And yes, that includes cigars! If you smoke, quitting will gradually bring your heart rate down.

3. Reduce stress.

Adopt stress-reduction techniques into your daily life. Suggestions are meditation, deep breathing exercises, tai chi, yoga, and visualization.

4. Lose weight.

Carrying extra weight places more stress on the heart. Losing weight can help slow a high resting heart rate.

5. Consume omega-3 fatty acids.

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are healthy fats found in cold-water fish such as salmon and tuna. Eating fish twice a week and/or taking fish oil supplements can help reduce heart rate. Be sure to consume wild varieties as farm raised fish is often contaminated with toxins like PCBs, dioxins and mercury.  

Frequently Asked Questions

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