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Normal heartbeat

The normal heartbeat has a frequency per minute that the heart should have.

Normal pulse rate for adults and children

A heart rate of 60-100 bpm is considered normal, but there are a few exceptions.

A well-trained athlete can have a heart rate of 40 bpm, in an infant the heartbeat can be around 180-190 bpm.
The low pulsation can be considered acceptable if it indicates cardiovascular fitness and correct heart function.
Falling below the normal limit can be a cause for concern.
If the frequency drops below the norm, this is called bradycardia, while in the case of an accelerated heartbeat one speaks of tachycardia.

Heart rate variations

In a healthy person, the heart rate is not constant at all times, but changes depending on the activity or stress.
According to the ideal heart rate table, adult beats at rest are between 60 and 100 beats per minute (bpm).
The value can drop to 40 bpm when the person is sleeping.
Some well-trained athletes can have heart beats under 60 because the heart muscle is stronger and pumps a lot of blood.
An increased heart rate indicates that the heart has to work harder.
The heartbeat can increase up to 150 and 200 bpm under stress.
Doctors recommend regular heart rate monitoring to check your health.
Regular and correct training can improve the performance of the heart and thus the heartbeat.

Heart rate also varies by gender.
Heartbeats in women over the age of 13 are higher compared to men of the same age.
Typically, an overweight person has a higher heart rate than an average person.
Factors that affect heartbeat include smoking, illness, fever, fatigue, pregnancy, medication, and exercise.

How high should the normal heartbeat be??

The activities that a person performs can change the heart rate in a very short time.
The frequency can drop to 40 bpm when the person is in bed, while a peak of 150-200 bpm can be reached when exercising or doing demanding sports.

Optimal heartbeat in adults:

  • Men 68-75 bpm
  • Women 72-80 bpm

Table for normal heartbeat by age

Age Average heart rate
baby 70-190
up to 1 year 80-160
1 – 2 years 80-130
2 – 6 years 75-120
7 – 9 years 70-110
> 10 60-100
athlete 40-60

The normal fetal heart rate

The fetal heart starts beating on the 22nd day after conception, i.e. in the fifth week of pregnancy.

What is the normal resting frequency??

The heart of a normal adult beats at rest between 60 and 100 times a minute.
The heart’s resting frequency increases with age.
A low heart rate in healthy adults is an indication of cardiovascular fitness and a powerful heart.
In a well-trained athlete, the heart rate can be 40 to 60 beats per minute.
The normal resting heart rate in children (6-15 years) is between 70 and 100 beats per minute.
The heart’s resting frequency must be measured in the morning immediately after awakening.
You can measure the radial pulse on the wrist or the carotid pulse on the carotid artery. Here are some simple steps and tips for correctly measuring the heart’s resting frequency.

How is the average heart rate measured??

While the blood is being pumped through the arteries, you can feel the pulse in certain areas of the body where the blood vessels run close to the surface of the skin.
This way you can easily measure your heart rate.
The body zones in which you can feel the heartbeat are:

  1. Wrist – you feel the radial artery (radial artery)
  2. Neck – the carotid artery (carotid artery, right next to the Adam’s apple)
  3. On the inside of the elbow
  4. In the bar
  5. On the ankle
  6. In the back of the knee, the artery on the back of the leg
  7. Laterally on the bone between the lower jaw and temporal bone.

With strong emotions you can feel a strong beating above the temple.

radial pulse
»Place the tip of the index and middle finger directly below the base of the thumb on the opposite wrist.
»If you feel the pulse, count the beats for over 10 seconds.
»If you multiply this value by six, you get the heartbeat per minute.

carotid pulse
»Place the tip of the index and middle finger on either side of the neck, just below the angle of the jaw.
»Feel the pulse with light pressure and count the beats over 10 seconds.
»Multiply the value by six to find the beats per minute.

The doctor listens to the heartbeat with the stethoscope and receives two tones.

  1. The first sound is caused by the closure of the mitral and tricuspid valves, which are located between the atrium and the cardiac ventricle.
  2. The second tone is caused by the closing of the valves between the left cardiac ventricle and aorta and the right ventricle and pulmonary artery.

Bradycardia and tachycardia

A resting pulse outside of 60-100 beats per minute is called an arrhythmia (cardiac arrhythmia) if it is associated with dizziness, tiredness, chest pain, difficulty breathing and a tendency to faint. This can be the result of heart damage caused by age, electrolyte imbalance, alcohol, high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart disease.
Diseases that can cause an arrhythmia are:

  1. pericarditis
  2. high blood pressure
  3. Hyperthyroidism
  4. heart failure
  5. infarct

A slow heartbeat (below 60 bpm) is called bradycardia and requires treatment if symptoms appear.
In contrast, a heart rate of rest above 100 bpm is too fast and is called tachycardia. It is characterized by palpitations and accompanied by the symptoms described above. In this case, immediate medical intervention is required.

Some causes of pathological bradycardia are:

  1. myocardial infarction
  2. Congenital cardiomyopathy
  3. myocarditis
  4. Complication after surgery
  5. Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
  6. Electrolyte imbalance in the blood
  7. sleep apnea
  8. Inflammatory diseases (e.g. rheumatic fever)
  9. Medications (e.g. antiarrhythmics or blood pressure medication)

If the patient feels his heartbeat in his ears, the cause can be increased blood pressure.

Classification of heart rate

Maximum heart rate: The maximum heart rate (HR max.) Is the maximum number of heartbeats that can be achieved in one minute.

This value is useful during or immediately after training.
The maximum pulse helps to achieve the best condition for heart health by working with the right intensity.
The easiest way to calculate the HF max. is: 220 – age.
So if a person is 30 years old, the maximum heart rate is 190.

Heart rate at rest: It is the heart rate that is measured when there is no physical activity.
It provides information about the health of the heart and the level of training.
A low heartbeat rate means that the heart muscle is healthy, with the exception of some pathological cases.

Recovery heart rate: The heartbeat is highest during training or heavy work.
But after completing a competition or training, the heart rate drops and reaches the normal resting frequency.

The recovery heart rate is the value that the heartbeat reaches 2 minutes after the end of the training.
For example, after a run of 15 minutes the maximum pulse is 130, after two minutes it has dropped to 92.
The recovery heart rate is therefore 130-92 = 38.
This is how heart health can be determined, because when the heartbeat quickly returns to its baseline, that’s a good sign.

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Christina Cherry
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