Shruti is very intrigued by the human body. She has spent countless hours learning about the muscles, bones, skin, brain, and heart. Today, she has set a new goal for herself. She wants to learn about the normal heart rate.
That is a very good aim to have. Were you also thinking of learning about the normal heart rate? If yes, then you are in the right place as we’ll talk about everything that you need to know about the normal heart rate.
Your pulse is your heart rate. It can be defined as the number of times your heart beats in a minute. Pulse rates can vary from one individual to another. Usually, when somebody is resting, then their pulse rate is lower. On the other hand, if one is exercising, then their pulse rate is higher than the normal heart rate.
To understand the normal heart rate, let’s first learn how to take your own pulse. Follow the steps mentioned below to take your pulse.
- Place the tips of your index, second, and third fingers on the palm side of your other wrist. Make sure that your fingers are placed below the base of the thumb
- You can also place the tips of your index and second fingers on the lower neck on either side of the windpipe
- Press lightly with your fingers until you can feel the blood pulsing beneath the fingers. You might be required to move your fingers around slightly to be able to feel the pulse
- Use a watch with a second hand or look at any clock with a second hand
- Count the beats that you feel for 10 seconds and multiply this number with six. This will give you the value of heart rate per minute or your pulse. This means that pulse = number of beats in 10 seconds x 6. This value is presented in beats/minute
What is the Normal Heart Rate?
Normal heart rate or normal pulse rate for children between the ages of 6 years to 15 years who are at rest should be between 70 to 100 beats per minute. Similarly, the normal heart rate for adults who are over the age of 18 years should be 60 to 100 beats per minute.
One must remember that the normal heart rate value can differ from one individual to another. This heart rate value can also change from one situation to another. For example, when an individual is sleeping, then the heart rate will be lower in comparison to when one is running.
Target Heart Rate
Shruti has heard about several studies in which it has been concluded that individuals gain the most and lessen the risks when they exercise in their target heart rate zone. Usually, this means that the exercise heart rate should be 60% to 80% of the maximum heart rate.
There are also some cases in which the healthcare provider might decrease the target heart rate zone to 50%. There are also some cases in which it might be beneficial for an individual to engage in High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). However, one must discuss this with his or her healthcare practitioner before beginning.
There are many experts who recommend that one should check with their healthcare provider before starting any exercise program. This is because a healthcare provider can help you find a program and target a heart rate zone that is suitable to the needs, goals, and physical condition of the individual.
It is also important to build up the intensity of the exercise regime with time. This is specifically true if an individual hasn’t exercised a lot previously. However, if you think that you are going too hard, then you should slow down. This will help in reducing the risk of injury and will make sure that exercising is an enjoyable experience for you.
Identifying the Different Target Zones
Shruti is very interested in learning what the target zone is for her. Let’s her and you with that now.
|Target Heart Rate (HR) Zone (60% – 80%)||Predicted Maximum Heart Rate (HR)|
|20||120 – 170||
|117 – 166||195|
|30||114 – 162||
|111 – 157||185|
|40||108 – 153||
|105 – 149||175|
|50||102 – 145||
|99 – 140||165|
|60||96 – 136||
|93 – 132||155|
|70||90 – 123||
Factors Affecting Your Heart Rate
Till now we have gone over the meaning of heart rate, how one can measure their pulse, what is the target heart rate, and what should be your target heart rate. But the one thing that Shruti really wants to learn before wrapping up for the day is about the factors that affect an individual’s heart rate. Let’s not keep her waiting anymore. The factors that affect the heart rate of an individual apart from exercise are mentioned below.
- Weather: The pulse rate tends to go up during weather with higher temperature and humidity levels
- Standing Up: Your heart rate will spike up for about 20 seconds after you first stand up from sitting
- Role of Emotions: Factors like stress and anxiety can raise your heart rate. The heart rate is also affected when one is sad or happy
- Medications: Medications like beta-blockers have been known to slow down the heart rate. On the other hand, thyroid medicine can speed the heart rate
- Caffeine and Nicotine: Consumption of soda, coffee, tea, and tobacco can raise your heart rate
- Fitness: People who are more fitter and less stressed tend to have a lower resting heart rate. One can achieve this by exercising regularly, eating right, not smoking, and tackling any stress that comes their way
Shruti is very happy today as she has been able to learn about the normal heart rate. Are you happy too with your newly acquired knowledge?