Your heart is the most important muscle in your body as it ensures the operation of all the other organs and elements in your body through blood flow. Normally, an adult’s heart beats between 60 to 80 times per minute.
You can measure your heart rate now by placing your forefinger and middle finger on the inside of your wrist and pressing down lightly. You should feel slight pulses. Count these within in a minute and you should have a result for your resting heart rate.
Make sure that you are relaxed and that you have not done any exercise for at least 10 minutes before taking your resting heart rate. Exercise and strenuous activity will increase your heart rate. You should also not calculate your resting heart rate just after waking as it could be slower than normal.
The higher your heart rate, the more likely it is that you are not fit. Individuals who exercise often and are generally healthy and fit should have a resting heart rate close to 60 but can go as low as 50 beats per minute. However, a heart rate below 60 could also be an indication of Bradycardia and should be checked by a medical professional.
Heart rates over 70 or 80 beats per minute generally point to an unhealthy or unfit individual. A resting heart rate above 100 means that the heart is working too hard to pump blood throughout the body and could indicate a serious medical condition.
People who are overweight or obese will have a higher heart rate than individuals who are fit. As the size of the body increases in volume, the heart needs to work harder to ensure that every part of the body is getting the supply of blood and oxygen required to function.
This means that unfit people often suffer from poor blood circulation and can experience tingling sensations in their extremities. It basically means that not enough oxygenated blood is reaching the area that is tingling.
But resting heart rate alone is not a measurement of fitness. A better measurement tool is to find out how quickly your heart rate returns to the resting number after exercise which is referred to as your recovery heart rate. There are a number of different calculations that are used to determine fitness and most involve an individual performing some type of cardiovascular exercise while their heart is being monitored.
You can perform a simpler version of these tests on your self. Take your pulse, in the same way as explained above, about 10 seconds after you have completed a workout and write the number down. Repeat the process about 1 minute after exercising and write down the second number.
Subtract the second number from the first and the result will give you your recovery heart rate. The higher the difference between these two numbers, the fitter and healthier you are likely to be. The fitter you are, the stronger and healthier your heart is.