man checking his heart rate during exercise 2204 HSG Heart Rate

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What is a normal heart rate?

  • Your target heart rate is a guideline that can help you stay in a safe exercise heart rate range.
  • Athletes and people who take certain medicines, such as beta blockers, may have a slightly lower resting heart rate
  • A resting heart rate over 100 bpm is considered high and is called “tachycardia”.

What is a normal heart rate?

Your heart rate will vary throughout the day depending on what you’re doing. A normal resting heart rate for adults is between 60 to 100 beats per minute (bpm). Athletes and people who take certain medicines, such as beta blockers, may have a slightly lower resting heart rate. Your maximum heart rate is a range used during exercise. Your heart rate can be a problem if it is too high or too low for too long a period of time.

Check this chart for target heart rate zones

What is a high heart rate?

A resting heart rate of more than 100 bpm, is considered high, and is called tachycardia. Some episodes of tachycardia, especially during or after strenuous exercise, is normal. A high heart rate can become a problem if it stays elevated during rest and relaxation.

Why you should monitor your exercise heart rate.

Tachycardia can be caused by:

  • an underlying health condition such as anemia, thyroid issues or pregnancy
  • an electrolyte imbalance
  • drinking too much caffeine or alcohol
  • a fever
  • pain
  • smoking and tobacco use
  • some medicines
  • strenuous exercise
  • stress or anxiety

Over time, if left untreated, certain types of high heart rate can lead to complications including:

  • heart damage
  • organ failure
  • stroke

What is a low heart rate?

A low heart rate is under 50 bpm and is known as bradycardia. It is common for some athletes and people who take medicines, such as beta blockers, to have a lower resting heart rate.

Bradycardia can be caused by:

  • age. A low heart rate is more common in older adults.
  • an underlying health condition including heart issues
  • an electrolyte imbalance
  • medicine side effects
  • sleep apnea

Over time, if left untreated, certain types of low heart rate can lead to complications, including:

  • confusion
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • fatigue

When is a high or low heart rate an emergency?

See your doctor or go to an emergency room immediately if you notice a sudden change in your heart rate along with:

  • chest pain or tightness
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • fainting
  • shortness of breath

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