Human heart is one of the most important organs in the entire human body. This mass of muscle pumps blood throughout the body, without missing a single part. The blood pumped through the heart carries oxygen to various parts of the body along with vital nutrients and materials, and also removes the waste products.
The heart beats at a rate of 72 times per minute and has the ability to contract and expand. This contraction and expansion gives rise to pumping movement of the heart called the cardiac cycle. Each cardiac cycle lasts for approximately eight-tenths of a second. This non-stop organ does rest a bit, for about four-tenths of a second during an entire cycle.
What is Heart Rate?
Heart rate is the number of times the heart beats (contracts) per minute (bpm). The resting heart rate can be defined as the number of beats in one minute when a person is resting. It is an indication of the basic fitness level of an individual's heart. The more your body is conditioned, the lesser beats per minute required to pump blood to your body.
The maximum heart rate or max HR, is defined as the maximum number of times the heart contracts in one minute. This is useful to measure the training intensities of an athlete as it is measured individually.
What is the Normal Resting Heart Rate?
The heart starts beating after 22 days of conception in the fetal stage, that is, during the fifth week of pregnancy. The normal fetal heart rate at different sizes of the fetal pole are as follows:
- 2 mm embryo: 75 bpm
- 5 mm embryo: 100 bpm
- 10 mm embryo: 120 bpm
- 15 mm embryo: 130 bpm
If you are an expecting mother and have any queries regarding your babies heart rate, consult your doctor and get your concerns addressed.
The normal adult heart beats about 60-100 times a minute at rest. This resting heart rate increases with age. A lower heart rate in healthy adults is an indication of cardiovascular fitness and efficient heart functioning. In a well-trained athlete, the heart rate may be as low as 40-60 bpm. Normal resting heart rate for children (6-15 years) is 70-100 bpm.
You can check your pulse rate by placing the tips of your index finger, second and third finger on the palm side of the other wrist, just below the base of the thumb. You can even place your index and second finger on the lower neck, on either sides of the windpipe.
Press lightly with your fingers till you can feel the blood pulsing beneath your fingers. Keep a watch clock handy and count the beats for 10 seconds. Then, multiply the number with 6 to get the number of beats per minute.
Higher than normal resting heart rate, that is consistently above 100 bpm, is an indication of tachycardia and below 60 bpm means bradycardia. If you face any symptoms like fainting, dizziness, shortness of breath, etc., consult your doctor immediately. Always keep in mind, that a healthy heart is the reason for a happy body.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.