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What's The Ideal Heart Rate For Your Age?

    What's The Ideal Heart Rate For Your Age?

    How fast should your heart rate be? It depends on age, among other factors. Here’s what to know about your heart rate.

    How Fast is Your Heart Beating?

    Your heart rate, also known as your pulse, is the number of times your heart beats in a minute. Your heart rate may vary, but a normal resting heart rate is typically between 60 and 100 beats per minute for adults. Children typically have higher resting heart rates than adults. Highly trained athletes may have a resting heart rate below 60 bpm, occasionally reaching 40 bpm.

    Early in the morning, before you move around or drink any caffeine, is the optimum time to check your resting heart rate.

    According to Cleveland Clinic, the expected heart rates per age range are: 98 to 140 for toddlers (1 to 3 years), 80 to 120 beats per minute for preschool age (3 to 5 years), 75 to 118 for school age (5 to 12 years), and 60 to 100 for adolescents (13 to 18 years). For adults, it’s 60 to 100.

    If you take heart medications, keeping a daily pulse diary and share the results with your doctor. They can determine what is normal and acceptable for you case and whether your treatment is effective.

    What is the Safest Heart Rate Range?

    The maximum rate is determined by your age, as deducted from 220. For example, for a 50-year-old, the maximum heart rate is 220 minus 50, or 170 beats per minute. The target heart rate is typically reported as a percentage (typically between 50 percent and 85 percent) of your maximum safe heart rate.

    How to Check Your Pulse

    It’s easier to take your pulse in a few locations on your body:

    • Inside your wrists
    • Inside of your elbows
    • Side of your neck, below your jawbone
    • Your feet’s toes

    You may need to move your fingers around to feel the blood pulsating beneath your fingers. Place the tips of your index and middle fingers on your skin and apply light pressure until you detect your pulse.

    To get your heart rate (or pulse) per minute, count the number of beats you feel for 10 seconds and then multiply that number by six.

    What Factors Influence Pulse?

    Other than exercise, the following variables can also affect your heart rate:

    • Weather. Higher temperatures and humidity levels may cause a slight increase in heart rate
    • When you first get up from sitting, it can spike for around 20 seconds.
    • Your heart rate may increase as a result of emotions, tension, and worry, as well as when you’re extremely happy or unhappy.
    • Persons with significant obesity may have a somewhat faster heartbeat
    • Your heart rate can be slowed by drugs, beta-blockers, and too much thyroid medication.
    • Nicotine and caffeine in coffee, tea, and soda all cause an increase in heart rate.

    The following medical conditions also commonly influence a person’s heart rate: thyroid disease, anemia, infection, heart rhythm disturbance, electrolyte imbalance, coronary artery disease, and congenital heart disease. Dehydration and fever can also affect the heart rate.

    How to Reduce Your Heart Rate During Rest?

    A resting heart rate (RHR) under 60 can be a sign of greater physical fitness and may be linked to better heart health. On the other hand, RHR that is greater than 100 beats per minute may signify illness, high caffeine use, or stress exposure. For concerns, it’s best to consult your doctor.

    While it’s true that fitter and less stressed people tend to have lower resting heart rates, you can lower yours by making the following changes to your lifestyle:

    • Regular exercise temporarily elevates your heart rate, but over time, it strengthens your heart and improves how well it functions.
    • Eat sensibly. Your heart rate may drop if you lose weight, and studies have shown that males who eat more fish have lower heart rates.
    • Reducing stress, scheduling daily downtime without technological devices, breathing exercises, tai chi, and meditation can also be beneficial.
    • One of the best things you can do for your general health is to stop smoking.

    What is a Heart Rate that is Not Safe?

    Your maximum heart rate can be calculated by subtracting your age from 220. For example, if you are 45 years old, divide 220 by 45 to get a maximum heart rate of 175. This is the highest average number of beats per minute your heart should have while exercising.

    If you do not have coronary artery disease or are at risk for a heart attack, you can exercise beyond your zone’s upper limit without experiencing any negative effects. However, exercising beyond 85% of your target heart rate may result in sore muscles and joints. For instance, a 40-year-old’s maximum heart rate is about 180 beats per minute.

    Ask your doctor if you should modify your exercise regimen to maintain your heart rate under a certain range if you’re taking medications or have a medical condition like heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes. You can also learn your true maximum heart rate with a graded exercise test done under the supervision of your doctor.

    Heart Rate to Aim For While Exercising

    You get the most benefits when you exercise within your target heart rate zone. Usually, this is when your heart rate (pulse) is 60% to 80% of your maximum. In some cases, your doctor may decrease your target heart rate zone to around 50%. Check with your doctor before starting an exercise program. They can help you find a routine and target heart rate zone that matches your needs, goals, and overall health.

    When you start an exercise program, you may need to slowly build up to your target heart rate zone, especially if you haven’t exercised regularly before. If the exercise feels too challenging, slow down. You’ll lower your risk of injury and enjoy the exercise more if you don’t try to overdo it.

    When you exercise, take a break and check your pulse regularly to find out whether you’re in your target zone. If your pulse is below your target zone, step up the intensity of your workout.

    Dangerously High, Exercise-Related Heart Rate

    A heart rate of more than 200 beats per minute while exercising is dangerous for you. If you experience palpitations, an irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, or chest pain, you should seek immediate medical attention because these symptoms could be a sign of a heart attack or other potentially fatal heart conditions.

    If your heart rate is consistently greater than 100 or less than 60 beats per minute (and you’re not an athlete), or if you also experience shortness of breath, fainting spells, lightheadedness, dizziness, and fluttering or palpitations in your chest, you should see a doctor.

    Learn more about Heart Health here.

    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.



    Pulse & Heart Rate, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diagnostics/17402-pulse–heart-rate, Accessed September 13, 2022

    Fish consumption is associated with lower heart rates, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12912821/, Accessed Sept 1, 2022

    Cardiac function in smokers and nonsmokers: the CARDIA study. The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study, https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Cardiac-function-in-smokers-and-nonsmokers%3A-the-The-Gidding-Xie/e95ebf88b24aeada6811222ab7e7f1c015572bdf, Accessed Sept 1, 2022

    Measuring heart rate, https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/measuring/heartrate.htm, Accessed Sept 1, 2022

    Heart Rate and Blood Pressure: Any Possible Implications for Management of Hypertension, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3491126/, Accessed Sept 1, 2022

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    Written by Hello Doctor Medical Panel Updated 2 weeks agoMedically reviewed by Lauren Labrador, MD, FPCP, DPCC
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