Heart Rate and Exercise Intensity

Resting Heart Rate

When you are in a resting state — sitting, lying, or even standing in a relaxed state, your heart rate is referred to as Resting Heart Rate. The ideal resting heart rate for a healthy adult is 72 beats per minute. But, it also varies from person to person, depending on factors like medications, medical conditions, and mental state. For example- Nervousness, anxiety, fever, anemia, pregnancy or even arousal can increase resting heart rate. Likewise, resting heart rate slows down when you fall asleep. High fitness level (in athletes, runners, physically active adults) is also associated with slower resting heart rate. So, the usual range is considered anywhere between 60–90 beats per minute.

A Lower Resting Heart Rate- Good or Bad?

Your resting heart rate is an indicator of your overall fitness and cardiovascular health. Studies show that a lower resting heart is a strong predictor of longer life, as it implies more efficient heart function, better endurance, and well-being. It is a vital sign of athletic fitness. However, a heart rate lower than 60 is not considered normal if it is accompanied with signs like fatigue, lightheadedness, dizziness or labored breathing. Presence of any such symptom needs immediate medical attention to rule out any serious health complication.

Exercise Intensity and Heart Rate

Your heart rate during exercise tells about the intensity of exercise. The higher your heart rate during physical activity, the higher the exercise intensity. Exercise intensity is a subjective measurement of how much exertion you will feel during a certain activity. It is variable for every person, depending upon age and fitness level. For example- as you start a new exercise regime, what feels very hard in the beginning will feel fairly easy once you have achieved a certain fitness level.

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Dr. YOU

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