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 some exceptions.

A well-trained athlete can have a heart rate of 40 bpm, in an infant the heartbeats can be about 180-190 bpm.
Low pulsation can be considered acceptable if it is indicative of cardiovascular fitness and proper heart function.
Dropping below the normal limit can be a cause for concern.
If the frequency drops below the norm, this is called bradycardia, while an accelerated heartbeat is called tachycardia.


Variations in heart rate

In a healthy person, the heart rate is not constant at all times, but changes depending on activity or stress.
According to the chart for the ideal heart rate, the beats in adults at rest are between 60 and 100 beats per minute (bpm).
The value may drop to 40 bpm when the person is sleeping.
Some well-trained athletes may have heartbeats below 60 because the heart muscle is stronger and pumps a larger amount of blood.
An increased heart rate indicates that the heart needs to work harder.
The heartbeat can increase under exercise up to 150 and 200 bpm.
Doctors recommend regular pulse measurement to check the state of health.
With regular and correctly performed training, the performance of the heart and thus the heartbeat can be improved.

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

How high should the normal heartbeat be?

The activities a person performs can change the heart rate in no time.
The frequency can drop to 40 bpm when the individual is in bed, while a peak of 150-200 bpm can be reached when moving 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
Babies 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
Sportsman 40 – 60

The normal fetal heart rate

The fetal heart begins to beat from the 22nd day after conception, that is, in the fifth week of pregnancy.

What is the normal rest frequency?

The heart of a normal adult beats at rest between 60 and 100 times a minute.
The resting frequency of the heart 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 values of resting heart rate in children (6-15 years) are between 70 and 100 beats per minute.
The resting frequency of the heart 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 resting frequency of the heart.

How is average heart rate measured?

As the blood is 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.
In this way, you can easily measure the heart rate.
The areas of the body where you can feel the heartbeat are:

  1. Wrist – you feel the 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. At the ankle
  6. In the hollow of the knee, the artery at the back of the leg
  7. Laterally on the bone between the lower jaw and temporal bone.

With strong emotions, you can feel a powerful beating over the temple.

Radialis pulse
» Place the tip of the index and middle fingers directly below the thumb joint on the opposite wrist.
» When you feel the pulse, count the beats 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 fingers on any 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 get beats per minute.

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

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

Bradycardia and tachycardia

A resting pulse rate outside of 60-100 beats per minute is called a cardiac arrhythmia (cardiac arrhythmia) if it is associated with dizziness, fatigue, chest pain, shortness of breath and fainting. 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 include:

  1. Pericarditis
  2. Hypertension
  3. Hyperthyroidism
  4. Heart failure
  5. Infarct

A slow heartbeat (below 60 bpm) is called bradycardia and requires treatment when symptoms occur.
In contrast, a resting frequency of the heart 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 must take place.

Some causes of pathological bradycardia are:

  1. Myocardial infarction
  2. Congenital cardiomyopathy
  3. Myocarditis
  4. Complication after surgery
  5. Hypothyroidism (hypothyroidism)
  6. Electrolyte imbalance in the blood
  7. Sleep apnea
  8. Inflammatory diseases (e.g. rheumatic fever)
  9. Medications (for example, antiarrhythmics or blood pressure medication)

If the patient feels his heartbeat in the ears, the cause may 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 heart rate helps to achieve the best condition for heart health by working at 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.

Resting heart rate: This is the heart rate that is measured when there is no physical activity.
It provides information about heart health and training levels.
A low heart rate means that the heart muscle is healthy, except for some pathological cases.

Recovery heart rate: The heartbeat is highest during exercise or heavy activity.
However, after completing a competition or training, the heart rate decreases and reaches the normal resting rate.

Recovery heart rate is the value that the heartbeat reaches 2 minutes after training is completed.
For example, after a run of 15 minutes, the maximum heart rate is 130, after two minutes it has dropped to a value of 92.
Thus, the recovery heart rate is 130-92 = 38. In this way, heart health can be determined, because if the heartbeat quickly returns to its baseline, that’s a good sign.

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