Heart Rate: the Basics

If you’ve been around exercise for any length of time, the term “heart rate” is probably a familiar one. However, what it is and how it works may not be. However, if you plan to improve your health, understanding your heart rate is a good place to start.

Heart Rate

Your heart rate, or pulse, is the speed of the hearbeat measured by the number of heartbeats per minute (bpm). The speed can vary for a number of reasons:

  • Sleep
  • Physical exercise
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Illness
  • Ingesting
  • Drugs

A normal resting adult heart rate ranges from 60-100 bpm. A slow heart rate, called Bradycardia, is anything below 60bpm. A fast heart rate, called Tachycardia, is anything above 100 bpm. And an irregular pattern, despite the rate, is called an arrhythmia.

Heart rate abnormalities can be cause few symptoms or more serious ones, such as:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting

Understanding and being able to assess your own heart rate is important. It is the best indicator of how hard and effectively you are exercising. In order to get the most out of your workouts, you should ideally keep your heart bpm in the recommended range for your age and weight.

HealthStatus understands the details of getting healthy. To learn more about this and other ways you can easily improve your health, check us out today!


HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

Marissa Coleman
13. October 2017
Marissa Coleman
13. October 2017
Im 19, I've currently trying to get clean off of speed after a number of years. My blood pressure is higher than it should be. The doctors noted I in my paperwork last time I went to the doctors and said I'm at risk for hypertension , today i checked my pulse Twice it read 49bpm. Is that normal


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