Heart rate is the speed of the heartbeat measured by the number of contractions beats of the heart per minute bpm. The heart rate can vary according to the body's physical needs, including the need to absorb oxygen and excrete carbon dioxide. It is usually equal or close to the pulse measured at any peripheral point. Activities that can provoke change include physical exercise , sleep , anxiety , stress , illness , and ingestion of drugs. The American Heart Association states the normal resting adult human heart rate is 60— bpm. During sleep a slow heartbeat with rates around 40—50 bpm is common and is considered normal. When the heart is not beating in a regular pattern, this is referred to as an arrhythmia. Abnormalities of heart rate sometimes indicate disease. While heart rhythm is regulated entirely by the sinoatrial node under normal conditions, heart rate is regulated by sympathetic and parasympathetic input to the sinoatrial node.
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How to measure heart rate
If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission. How this works. It measures the number of times per minute that the heart contracts or beats. The speed of the heartbeat varies as a result of physical activity, threats to safety, and emotional responses. The resting heart rate refers to the heart rate when a person is relaxed. While a normal heart rate does not guarantee that a person is free of health problems, it is a useful benchmark for identifying a range of health issues.
Blood pressure vs. heart rate
But he noted that having resting heart rate RHR information can be useful—especially for the patient, who can use their digital data to monitor their heart health and alert doctors to changes. Tracking your real-time heart data, including changes in your resting heart rate, just might save your life. Here are seven resting heart rate facts and stats:.
Generally, a lower heart rate at rest implies more efficient heart function and better cardiovascular fitness. For example, a well-trained athlete might have a normal resting heart rate closer to 40 beats per minute. To measure your heart rate, simply check your pulse. Place your index and third fingers on your neck to the side of your windpipe.