If you’re worried that your resting heart rate and/or blood pressure is too high, check out this great report on how to lower both.
But, to understand more about heart rate and what factors can affect your beats per minute, let’s look at how the heart works.
Whether you’re Lance Armstrong or Larry Buttbig or simply a Wii Fitness game expert, your heart is constantly pumping blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout your entire body.
Theoretically, the higher your resting heart rate, or the more times it beats per minute, the harder and more often your heart has to work to do its job.
Conversely, a lower heart rate implies that it’s more efficient and doesn’t need to pump as often. Lance Armstrong’s is said to be about 30-35 beats per minute!
There are several other variables that affect your heart rate, so don’t feel bad if you’re ticker is working two or more times harder than Lance’s. Physical fitness, exercise intensity, training frequency, and of course — the uncontrollable — genetics.
How to Measure Your Heart Rate
You may have no point of reference for the above BPM numbers, so to give you an idea, try measuring your own resting heart rate now.
For an optimal measurement, you should check it first thing in the morning while still lying in bed. This will provide you with the truest “resting” rate, but as long as you haven’t been overly active in the last hour or so, the number shouldn’t vary by more than 5 or 10 beats.
- Find a pulse point, either on the inside of your wrist or your neck.
- Stand in front of a clock with a second hand, or use a stopwatch.
- Count your pulses for 60 seconds (this number is your BPM, or normal resting heart rate).
- Repeat 2-3 more times, and take the average for more accurate results.
So, what’s your normal resting heart rate? Leave your BPM numbers below in the comments!