Healthy Heart Rate Ranges and When to Contact a Doctor

Resting heart rates can vary according to several factors, including age, general health, activity levels, and the use of certain medications. If your heart rate is higher or lower than the normal range and remains that way for more than a short period, it may be time to seek medical attention.Your heart rate — along with your blood pressure, temperature, and breathing rate — is one of your vital signs. It is a basic measurement of how well your body is working.

For most adults, a typical resting heart rate is somewhere in the range of 60–100 beats per minute (bpm). This can reflect a heart that is pumping blood effectively and has a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Read on to learn more about when a resting heart rate might be dangerous and what to do about it.

 

How do I know if my heart rate is unhealthy?

a person is sitting down and taking their pulse with a pulse oximeter
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If your heart is beating too quickly or too slowly — that is, outside of the range of 60–100 bpm — without a clear reason, such as exertion, it might mean that it is not working as well as it should.

However, your resting heart rate can depend on several factors, including your general health, fitness, age, and sex. Even the weather can change your heart rate, and it may beat faster on hot days.

The fitter you are, the lower your resting heart rate tends to be. Health considerations that can raise your heart rate include chronic stress, smoking, and being overweight. Certain medications can also play a role in raising or lowering your heart rate. Beta-blockers, for example, slow the heart rate.

If your heart rate is consistently below 60 bpm or above 100 bpm, it might mean that you need to check in with your doctor.

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