We hear a lot about the importance of our heart rates during workouts, but what’s the deal with it when it comes to our downtime? If you’ve ever wondered if your resting heart rate has something to do with your results or your overall health, you’re not alone! Pro tip: it does. This article will clarify some of the most commonly ask questions when it comes to your resting heart rate (RHR), and give you a new way to track your overall health and fitness levels!
What’s considered an ideal or healthy heart rate?
Super fit individuals (pro-athletes) have a naturally lower RHR. On average, our RHR’s should be anywhere between 60 and 100 beats per minute (BPM). If you’re more sedentary, it’s likely among those upper ranges. I always recommend that my clients also consult their doctors for numbers that are healthy for them, rather than relying solely on the recommended ranges. Our genetics play a small factor, so it’s always good to get a professional opinion on personal ranges.
Can I improve my resting heart rate, or is it genetic?
While our genes can determine whether or not we will naturally have an affinity for being a gifted athlete, it is something we can work to improve with a regular workout routine. Much like our personal records in workouts, our RHR is something we can work to lower. By engaging in moderate to more vigorous workouts, we can improve the efficiency of our heart’s ability to circulate our blood, making it easier for us to recover too! More efficient heart rates allow us to cool down quicker, which is a plus when it comes to HIIT workouts. Additionally, these types of workouts will help you burn more fat, which is also a factor in lowering your RHR.
I do a ton of HIIT training, yet find my RHR is still higher than normal. What’s the deal?
Our resting heart rates can also be an indicator of overtraining. If you’re feeling super overworked, and are in good shape, it might be a sign that you need to scale back your training regimen a bit. Additionally, lack of sleep and stress can attribute to this. If you’re constantly burning the candle at both ends or snacking more than usual, it will reflect in your RHR. Drinking water regularly will help your body work harder to pump blood and help lower your RHR.
When’s the best time to get an accurate RHR reading?
As soon as you wake up! Our bodies are naturally at our lowest level of rest after sleeping, so as soon as you get up, give it a go! Here’s how:
Place two fingers underneath your jawline, on the side of your neck for a super accurate reading. Instead of counting for a whole minute, take 15 seconds and count the number of beats. Multiply by 4. You can also test for 30 seconds and multiply the number by 2.