Why is your resting heart rate so important?

Friday, August 25th, 2017

A study published in the journal ‘Heart’ has found that a high resting heart rate signals a higher risk of death, even in fit and healthy people.

The ‘Copenhagen Male Study’ tracked the health of just under 3,000 men for 16 years and concluded that a high resting heart rate is not only indicative of low levels of physical fitness but is also an independent risk factor for death.

Your heart rate is the result of your heart’s ‘intrinsic rate’ and the action of the two nerves that either speed up or slow down heart rate.

A normal resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute.

Generally, a lower heart rate at rest implies more efficient heart function and better cardiovascular fitness. For example, a well-trained athlete might have a normal resting heart rate closer to 40 beats per minute.

Regular aerobic exercise makes your heart stronger and more efficient, meaning that your heart pumps more blood each time it contracts, needing fewer beats per minute to do its job.

Remember that maintaining your level of physical fitness throughout your lifetime is crucial! The most important question is, how fit are you now? Not how fit have you been in the past.