Resting( minimum) heart rate:calculation/meaning
Resting or minimum heart rate can be a very reliable indicator of your fitness level.
Resting heart rate or RHR is the number of your heart beats per minute measured when you are inactive.
The best time to calculate your RHR is when you are awake first thing in the morning.
You can place your index and middle fingers either on your carotid or on your radial arteries and count your pulse for 20". Multiply by 3 and you are OK.
I won't recommend this methodology. I prefer a heart rate monitor.
Relax and count your pulse for about 60". Your RHR is the lower number on the dial. For a more reliable measurement you can use the average indication of three consecutive days.
Â The RHR is dependent on various parameters. Some of the most important are:
Â - Age: A 20 years old man should have a RHR reduced by 3-4 beats/min from a 50 years old man (for the same fitness level).
- Sex: Women have RHRs higher by 3-5 beats/min when compared with men of the same age and fitness level.
- Stress: If you are stressed, your RHR will be higher up to 10%.
- Fitness level: The lower your RHR the more fit you are. Average, healthy men in their thirties have RHRs in the range of 70-75.
If their RHR is 85+ beats, they will have to do something because their heart overworks.
Conversely if their RHR is less than 60 beats/min, they are in an excellent form!
Â - Overtraining: Overtrained people can have their RHRs increased by 10% or even more compared to their normal measurements.
Â You can lower your RHR with systematic aerobic activities. This will make you heart a more efficient pump with a higher stroke volume. In other words it will be capable of sending more blood around the body with each beat.
Â Compare an athlete with a RHR of 50 beats to an unfit man, same age, with a RHR of 100 beats: The second man's heart has to do double job for the same result!
Â RHR is used to determine the training heart rate zones. This is an issue we will address very soon.
Â Chris Strogilis
Civ. Eng. - MBA - DipM