Your heartbeat rises and falls according to your body’s varying need for oxygen. Resting heart rate for all humans, irrespective of age and gender, tends to be similar, but there are several factors that may affect this. As such, assessing your heart rate can help you keep tabs on your health and fitness.
Typically, a man’s resting heart rate should be between 70 to 72 beats per minute (bpm), and a woman’s heart rate should be between 78 to 82 bpm.
In the long term, The cardiac function in women is better than in men because studies show that testosterone is considered detrimental to heart function as it increases cholesterol levels, and this build-up can tamper with the blood flow. In addition, estrogen is said to be cardioprotective because it improves mitochondrial function in the body.
Women also have slightly smaller hearts than men, which means that the heart needs to beat faster to pump out enough blood to meet the body’s requirements. This higher bpm rate in women comes down when she goes through childbirth and attains menopause.
A study by the National Library of Medicine states that men aged up to 64 years with cardiovascular diseases have a higher risk of death than women, but the risk increases in women after the age of 65, as the cardioprotective benefits of estrogen fall away after menopause.
Many assume that a sudden rise in heart rate leads to cardiac arrest, but this is not the case in most situations. One should get concerned when a rise in heart rate is accompanied by unexpected chest pain and breathing difficulties.
Irregularities in heart rhythm are usually referred to as palpitations and can be caused by various reasons. In females, it can be caused by pregnancy, PCOD or PCOS, and other reasons like stress, anxiety, alcohol, caffeine, smoking, and rigorous physical training. Heavy doses of medication can also cause side effects that result in palpitations.
Therefore, knowing your body’s limits becomes vital. Geographical factors also play a significant role in determining your heart rate. For instance, when you are at higher altitudes, you are likely to get out of breath quicker because the oxygen levels are lower atop mountains and hills. Similarly, when diving in a sea, you push your body through the water, causing exhaustion to hit you twice as hard because of the low oxygen levels.
First off, having a healthy lifestyle helps immensely in maintaining a low resting heart rate and overall health. We can achieve this with breathing exercises. The best time to measure your resting heart rate is first thing in the morning, even before you get out of bed.
For those who get worn out with physical training or working out, an effective alternative is a yoga. Yoga is known for building immunity and improving an individual’s overall health. Suryanamaskar and other basic yoga pose enhance the blood circulation of the body.
The standard heart rate of a human should be between 60 to 100 bpm. A heart rate below 60 bpm is termed bradycardia, which means a slow heart rate, and a heart rate above 100 bpm is referred to as tachycardia, meaning a fast heart rate.
For people with Bradycardia, it is advised that one should increase physical activity by walking or running on a treadmill with an incline, taking shorter breaks as you progress. As for people with fast heart rates, they should relax a bit more by taking deep breaths, warm baths or showers, and doing light stretching rather than intense workouts.
There are many easy and effective ways to calculate your heart rate, such as checking your pulse. You can check it by placing two fingers on your wrist over the radial artery and counting your breath for 15 seconds. Then, multiply it by four to calculate your beats per minute. You can follow the same procedure by placing your finger on either side of your neck just below the jawbone or inside your elbow.
You can also use an oximeter as an alternative. The pandemic has made these devices easily accessible so you can find it in your nearest medical store. You need to consult a doctor if your heart rate is more than 120 beats per minute.
A woman’s body undergoes several changes throughout her life, making her vulnerable to several health conditions. However, keeping track of your bpm can ease the process. Write down what your bpm is after you wake up, in a stressful situation, when you workout, or even go on an adventure. This will help you understand the function of your heart and body better.