As we go about our daily activities, our heart rate changes. It is higher during periods of intense activity and lowest when a person is relaxing or sleeping.
In addition, the heart rate changes during pregnancy, fever, and during panic attacks. People who know the pattern of their normal heart rate can better comprehend what is a dangerous heart rate for them.
The purpose of this article is to explain ideal heart rates, taking into consideration factors such as medication usage and age. This article will also discuss how to raise or lower a person’s heart rate.
Normal resting heart rate
A resting heart rate is when your heart is pumping the minimal amount of blood that you’re body needs when you are at rest.
Even though certain ages and activities could affect the heart rate, the “normal” range should be given separate importance.
The normal heart rate range differs between adults and children, such as:
For adults and senior adults – the heart rate range is between 60 and 100 beats per minute
For children – the heart rate range is classified as follows –
- Newborns to 1-month-old: 70 to 190 beats per minute
- Infants 1 to 11 months old: 80 to 160 beats per minute
- Children 1 to 2 years old: 80 to 130 beats per minute
- Children 3 to 4 years old: 80 to 120 beats per minute
- Children 5 to 6 years old: 75 to 115 beats per minute
- Children 7 to 9 years old: 70 to 110 beats per minute
- Children 10 years and older: 60 to 100 beats per minute
Apart from other activities, various factors could affect your heart rate. These may include:
- Hot Temperature– There are chances that your heart rate may increase slightly when you are in hot temperatures.
- Side effects due to certain medications– For example, medications used to control abnormal heart rhythms (beta-blockers) may show certain side effects like lowering your resting heart rate.
- Emotions– If you’re anxious or excited, your heart rate may increase.
- Weight– Obese people have a higher resting heart rate. Due to the excess weight, the heart has to work harder to supply the body with blood.
- Postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTS)– When you have PoTS, your heart rate may have an abnormal increase after sitting up or standing. You may also face dizziness and fainting.
- Body posture– Heart rate can spike up when you move your posture all of a sudden
- Smoking– Regular smoking can increase your heart rate. However, you can try to quit smoking to bring your heart rate levels down.
The dangerous range
The dangerous range is when your heart rate is too fast (Tachycardia) or too slow (Bradycardia).
Heart rate which is too fast – Specifically, for adults, a heart rate over 100 beats per minute is considered dangerous. Tachycardia is caused due to various factors, such as:
- An existing health condition
- Stress or anxiety
- Excess alcohol consumption
- Frequent caffeine intake
- Hormonal problems
- Drug usage
- Side effects due to certain medications
Heart rate which is too slow – If you’re heart rate is less than 60 beats per minute, then it is considered to be too slow. However, according to medical experts, bradycardia is said to be common and normal in athletes and people for regularly doing physical workouts. Some of the major causes of bradycardia include:
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Side effects due to certain medications
- Existing health condition
- Older age
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Cardiac conduction defect
Borderline bradycardia may not need treatment. However, if it is a prolonged condition, you need to seek medical help right away.
How to check your heart rate?
There are various devices today to check your heartbeat. However, you can also do it manually all by yourself.
According to the American Heart Association, checking heart rate is so simple:
- Find the pulse on the inside of your wrist
- Use the tips of your fingers and touch them lightly over the artery
- Count your heartbeat for 30 seconds and then multiply it by 2 to get your exact heart rate.
In case you notice any abnormal change in your heartbeat followed by shortness of breath, chest pain and dizziness you must immediately consult a doctor.
An individual’s resting heart rate can vary from person to person depending on a variety of factors. Adults (who are not athletes) usually have a resting heart rate between 60 and 100 beats per minute. Children’s heart rates change as they grow.
A fast heart rate (tachycardia) and a low heart rate (bradycardia) are usually indicators of other health problems. Both conditions can be dangerous if left untreated.
It’s important to consult your doctor if your heart rate is consistently too high or too low, as there can be a variety of reasons why this is occurring. Although not all of these reasons are dangerous, some may be symptoms of serious health problems.
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