The Importance of Your Heart Rate
One of the things that an athlete, as well as an active person, would typically monitor on a daily basis is his or her pulse rate. For an ordinary person, however, this might be something that he or she would have very little interest in. In truth, however, one’s pulse rate can be an indication of his or her well-being.
The heart rate is the number of heart beats in a minute. While there is no specific numbers that define what a normal heart rate is, the figures generally show a constant pattern in one person. One has to remember, however, that these numbers could change depending on a number of factors such as age and any existing heart condition. Other factors that could have an impact on your pulse rate would include the air temperature, the position of the body when the pulse rate was taken, and if the person is making use of any medication.
Although most people associate pulse rate with beats that can be felt from the pulse, there are actually other places where one can check the pulse rate. This would include the inside of your elbow, the side of your neck, and the top of your foot. Now, in order to get your normal pulse rate, you would need to take what is known as the resting heart rate. This can typically be taken when you are lying down and relaxed. All you have to do is count the number of beats that you have within a 60-second period. In most cases, the resting hear rate is within the range of 60 and 100.
So what does the heart rate tell you?
One of the many conditions that can easily be detected using one’s heart or pulse rate is arrhythmia. Arrhythmia is the medical term for an irregular heartbeat. People with this condition might experience either a very fast heartbeat, a slow one, or an irregular one. Although, in most cases, arrhythmia does not pose much of a threat, a person with an irregular heartbeat could be of risk for cardiac arrest. This is because each time the heart skips a beat, the needed oxygen supply being brought by the blood becomes insufficient. This, in turn, can lead to tissue necrosis on major organs.
In majority of the cases, a fast heart rate is also indicative of anemia as well as an overactive thyroid. On the other hand, a slow pulse suggests an underactive thyroid. Pulse rates that are weak are also an indication of blood clot in the limbs as well as the existence of certain heart conditions.
But when exactly do you call the doctor?
In most cases, you would need to see a doctor if you notice a slowing down of your heart rate, or if there is a sudden increase in your heart rate that does not readily go away or is not brought about by exciting events. Dizziness and fainting are also two signs that you might need to hurry to your local hospital’s emergency section. In all of these, you have to make sure that you have someone around you who is familiar with CPR techniques. It would also be to your advantage if you can have an AED unit on hand.