Heart rate tracking is becoming an increasingly crucial ingredient for fitness tech. It’s hardly surprising, given that how fast your heart beats when you’re doing nothing at all reveals a lot about your overall health and fitness.
Unsurprisingly, a lower resting heart rate (RHR) is linked to some very big health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease.
The good news is that, with the flood of heart rate monitoring wearables hitting the shops, it’s now easier than ever to monitor – and improve – your own resting beats per minute (bpm).
And while we can’t promise to give you the ticker of an Olympic athlete, here are some tips on how you can use the latest tech to hit a better beat.
What is resting heart rate?
First up, let’s clear up exactly what we mean by resting heart rate. Basically, RHR refers to how fast your heart beats per minute when you’re at complete rest, and by that we mean when you’ve been lying down and haven’t moved for ten minutes or so.
Generally speaking, the lower the number, the fitter you are. The average adult will have a resting heart rate between 60-100 beats per minute, while athletes are likely to have a much lower bpm, somewhere between 40-60. Spanish cyclist, and five times Tour de France winner, Miguel Indurain, famously had a resting heart of just 28bpm.
As with anything relating to our bodies, there are lots of factors that influence your RHR. Genetics can play a part, but lifestyle tends to have the biggest bearing, with the familiar friends and foes of stress, diet and exercise levels all impacting on how hard your heart works at rest.
It’s a story that we all know well. If you don’t smoke, don’t overdo the alcohol, eat a healthy diet and do regular exercise, the likelihood is you’ll have a more positive RHR.
People who are overweight tend to have higher heart rates too. When you’re carrying a bit more lumber, your heart has to work at a faster pace to supply blood and nutrients to your entire body. So staying lean is also important.
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