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Why You Should Monitor Your Active Heart Rate

Mar 22, 2024
Why You Should Monitor Your Active Heart Rate
Physical fitness is a vital part of maintaining overall health. Keeping your heart in good shape — and specifically, keeping your active heart rate at healthy levels — is one benefit of routine exercise. Learn more about monitoring your heart rate.

Your heart works 24/7 to pump blood throughout your body via about 60,000 blood vessels, at a rate of 100,000 beats per day and one and a half gallons of blood per minute. Heart disease is the leading cause of death around the world, and lots of things we do affect how healthy our hearts are, including what we eat and how active we are.

One way to keep track of heart health is through monitoring your active heart rate. This can show how efficiently your heart is working and point to possible problems if the levels are out of normal range.

To further explore the importance of active heart rate, let’s better understand how it works, what a good baseline is, and how to maintain a healthy one.

If you live in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York, and you need to keep an eye on your heart health, Drs. Haleh Milani, Maria Paliou, Elaine Kang, and our dedicated team at Central Park West Primary Care and Cardiology Physicians can help.

Understanding how heart rate works

In a healthy body, the heart gives you the amount of blood you need to perform any task, and how much you’re doing at a given moment determines how fast your heart beats. 

Your heart rate, also known as your pulse, is the measure of how many times your heart beats per minute. This number varies from person to person and can change for different reasons, including age, medication use, body position, weight, and emotional state.

Determining a good baseline heart rate

The general way of measuring your pulse is by determining your resting heart rate, which in most adults should be between 60-100 beats a minute. The closer to the lower rate, the more efficient your heart is at overall cardiovascular fitness. In fact, athletes may have an even lower resting heart rate than the target mentioned — closer to the 40 beats a minute range.

Checking your pulse is the simplest way to get this information. To do so, place your index and third fingers on your neck to the side of your trachea (windpipe). To do it on your wrists, two fingers should be placed over your radial artery, between the bone and tendon on the thumb side of your wrist.

How to maintain a healthy active heart rate

Routine exercise is a highly effective way to keep your active heart rate at good levels, as it allows your heart to pump more blood and oxygen through your body. The key, however, is to not overdo it and place too high a strain on the organ. Also note the target heart rate zone will change with age. 

If the goal is to just keep the heart in good shape, moderate to vigorous aerobic activity between 3-5 days a week, or a mix of the two at least two days a week, can help a great deal in that regard. Exercises that work all of the major muscle groups will also keep the heart pumping within healthy levels.

Your active heart rate is vital to your heart’s health, and if that rate is too high or too low, you should make an appointment with our team at Central Park West Primary Care and Cardiology Physicians today.