Plenty of factors like age, gender, physical activity, eating habits etc., influence the resting heart rate of a person.
The heart rate is the number of times the heart beats in a minute. The average heart rate for a normal person is around 72 beats per minute. But what is the heart rate at rest? It is, as the name reveals, the heart rate calculated when the body is at complete rest. The ideal time to calculate this rate is in the morning hours, because this is the time the body wakes up from a good night’s sleep, and is free from mental stress and fatigue.
What is it?
Resting heart rate (RHR), as was mentioned earlier, is the heart rate measured when the body is at complete rest. There is a big difference between RHR and heart rate. The time factor is not considered while measuring the heart rate; it can be measured at anytime, whereas, RHR is measured when the body is at complete rest, free form any stress and fatigue. Resting heart is the actual determiner of your fitness level, strength and endurance. This is the reason why the resting heart rate of athletes is lower, compared to that of normal people who are usually physically less active. The unit to measure this heart rate is bpm (beats per minute). The average resting heart rate is calculated over a period of five straight days. The calculation method is given later.
What is its significance?
As we know, the heart beats or contracts and pumps out blood for the supply of the body organs. A low or ideal resting heart rate signifies less pressure on the heart. The heart has to work less because it has to contract fewer times, and this keeps the heart rate low.
How is it measured?
The ideal time to measure resting heart rate is in the morning hours. Measuring the heart rate is quite easy. You can easily feel the heartbeat at the arterial points of the neck and wrist, by pressurizing those points. Feel the heartbeat, set the stopwatch on and for 10 seconds count the number of times you feel the beat. Multiply the obtained figure by 6. To calculate your average resting heart rate, you will need to measure your resting heart rate for five successive days. The figures should be noted, and then the sum of all the five figures should be divided by five. This will give you the average rate. Other techniques would be to use instruments like electrocardiogram or heart rate monitor. These techniques give accurate results.
What are the factors that influence the resting heart rate in teenagers?
Food, level of physical activity, weight, and emotional state are some of the common factors that have an influence. Drug abuse, i.e., consumption of marijuana or cocaine elevates the heart rate. Over consumption of caffeine is also said to increase the heart rate. Constant mental stress and low level of physical activity increase the heart rate. A teenager with more weight will have a high resting heart rate than a thin teenager.
What is the ideal RHR for teens?
In fact, the heart rate constantly changes throughout the day. Teenagers can have a RHR as high as 100 bpm and as low as 50 bpm; it all depends on the level of physical activity. Girls tend to have a slightly higher rate than boys. High level of physical activity in boys is the reason for this slight variation. The ideal resting heart rate for children in their teens is around 70 beats per minute. The normal rate for teenage girls would be around 72 bpm. The average rate should be 10-20 beats less than the normal heart rate.
What should teenagers do to boost the resting heart rate?
Exercise! Yes, regular exercise does boosts cardiovascular strength. It is best advised to consult a doctor to determine the heart rate when at rest and the ways it can be reduced. Restricted consumption of fried and fast food also plays an indirect role in achieving the ideal RHR.
It is always best to calculate the resting heart rate as an average figure as it gives values very close to the perfect figure. It differs from one person to the other. If the resting heart rate of your teenager is above average, seek the guidance of a physician for a safe future.