Is Your Resting Heart Rate A Gauge Of Your Fitness?

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Personal/Fitness Training Blog

Your resting heart rate (RHR) refers to the number of times that your heart beats per minute (bpm) while you are at complete rest. It is a marker of your physical fitness. Your heart rate at rest will become lower as your heart becomes stronger via aerobic exercise training.

A low resting heart rate shows up more in people who are in athletic training or a workout programme, however it can have other health benefits for people who are not physically fit (which is often called bradycardia).

What Is A Good Resting Heart Rate?

A resting heart rate that is between 60 and 100 BPM is considered to be normal, however, 60 to 80 is optimal. Generally, a lower resting heart rate shows more efficient heart function as well as greater cardiovascular health. Research has connected a higher resting heart rate with a higher risk of cardiac events such as stroke or a heart attack.

The best time of day which you should be checking your resting heart rate (HR) is right in the morning just after you’ve woken up. During the day, changes in your level of activity, body position, emotional state, caffeine intake as well as hydration levels will all affect your HR.

Many factors influence what’s a normal heart rate for any one person. Genetics, age, and gender all have an impact on your baseline HR. In addition, these play a part in determining your normal range. Those aren’t really things that you can change however there’s one factor you can: your fitness level.

Even small amounts of exercise can cause a change with a high resting heart rate. However, the intensity of the exercise is super important. One study which involved 55-year-old adults found that only one hour per week of high-intensity aerobic training (about 66% of maximum effort) lowered RHR more efficiently as opposed to a low-intensity effort (33% of max effort).

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Why Athletes Need To Monitor Their Resting Heart Rate

Athletes sometimes monitor their RHR in order to help them to determine when they have fully recovered from a hard workout or, alternatively, a race. As they already know their usual RHR, they can check it and see when it returns to normal (which is sometimes even after a day or more following a workout or event).

A resting heart rate which is 5 bpm above your usual RHR shows that you could need more recovery time.

Also, a high resting heart rate can be a sign of overtraining. Your resting heart rate could be elevated for one or more days after an energetic endurance workout, such as running a marathon or walking a half-marathon. You may want to delay an addition hard workout until your resting heart rate has gone back to its usual value.

Fitness monitors and apps which record resting heart rate daily can utilise that data in order to give you a notification when you are ready for another strenuous workout. If you aren’t fully recovered, the app might recommend a light intensity workout instead.

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A fundamental task of a personal trainer is measuring your heart rate. Learn what other tasks this type of fitness professional does by studying our Personal Training Diploma. Read more here.

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