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Optimal Heart Rate

Optimal Heart Rate

Having an optimal heart rate is one very important indicator of a healthy lifestyle. But, this rate can vary in different circumstances. This Buzzle article tells you more.
Yash Gode
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
Pumping of oxygenated blood by the heart keeps every other organ working, and the human body alive. This pumping action of heart is achieved by the rhythmic contractions and expansions, referred to as heartbeats. However, the human body is a set of coordinating machines that can malfunction, and the human heart is no exception.
Definition of Heart Rate: Heart rate is defined as the number of times the heart beats in one minute. The unit of measuring the heart rate is beats per minute (bpm). The optimal heart rate for adults can be anywhere between 50 and 100 beats per minute, depending on the activity level. As the heart pumps or supplies oxygenated blood to all parts of the body, the rate of pumping or beating depends on the demand for blood in the body. The heart rate is high, while working out, and at its lowest, in resting or sleeping condition.
In medical terms, optimal heat rate refers to number of beats of heart in a minute, theoretically which should be between 70-75 beats per min. However, anything between 60 and 80 in resting condition is considered normal. Having optimal heart rate is very important as it is a commonly used parameter for checking heart health as well as general health. The heart rate is called optimal in two cases - when you have a rhythmic heartbeat (i.e. not irregular) and a lower resting heart rate.
Calculate Optimal Heart Rate
Optimal heart rate may not be the same for everyone, and will vary in different circumstances. So, it doesn't mean that a heart rate that is slow or high is abnormal.

Determine the Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) which can be calculated by subtracting your age from 220. The value of optimum heart rate will be between 50% and 80% of MHR. This method of calculation will work only if you are an average person in normal weight range and have optimum level of daily activity. Not many people are normal in this statistical sense.
Optimal Heart Rate While Exercising
There is a method of calculating your optimal heart rate if you're an athlete or wish to undergo rigorous physical training. Here are the steps you need to follow to calculate it.
  • Determine the maximum heart rate (MHR) which can be calculated by subtracting your age from 220.
  • Calculate your normal resting heart rate (RHR). Either use a resting heart rate calculator, or you can just measure it when you wake up in the morning.
  • Subtract the RHR value from your MHR value and you will get the value of your heart rate reserve (HRR).
  • Mow, multiply this HRR value by the percentage of the MHR at which you wish to do the training. 60% to 85% of the MHR is the advised range for most people.
  • Add RHR to this result to get your target rate.
So, let's take an example of a person with age 30, who has a resting heart rate of 70 bpm, and desires a training range of 70% of the MHR. Here's how the calculation would go:

220 - 30 = 190
190 - 70 = 120
120 x 0.7 (70%) = 84
84 + 70 = 154
Optimal Resting Heart Rate
Optimal resting heart rate is defined as the number of times the heart beats in one minute, while in resting or sleeping condition. In other words, it is the minimum possible rate of heartbeat. It can be compared to the idling of a vehicle. The average heart rate in adults ranges from 65 to 80 beats per minute (bpm). Whereas, the normal resting heart rate for adults can be anywhere between 60 to 70 bpm.
There is immense relevance of optimal resting heart rate. The resting heart rate denotes how efficiently your heart and lungs work. Athletes have been known to record less than 50 bpm in resting conditions. Cyclist Lance Armstrong regularly records a stunning 30 to 35 bpm! As fitness levels rise, the heart becomes more efficient in pumping blood to all parts of the body. Rise in efficiency means the heart has to beat less number of times per minute, especially, when you're resting.
Age Group Normal Beats Per Minute (BPM)
Babies (under 1 year) 100 to 160
Children (1 to 10 years) 60 to 140
Children (above 10 years) and Adults 60 to 100
Well-trained athletes 40 to 60
The above information should surely help clear any doubts you have regarding your heart's health. Your optimal heart rate reflects on the health of your heart hence, make sure to keep your heart rate slow and steady.