What is heart rate? Well, for our purposes it is how many times your heart beats in one minute. But there is also different types of heart rates that interest us in particular when it comes to training and non-training. But for this blog I will mainly focus on Resting Heart Rate and follow up in another blog about heart rate for training purposes.
Resting heart rate is simply your pulse when your body is at rest. Simple enough right? Well, not exactly. Resting heart rate can fluctuate based off many parameters such as: medication taken, stress levels, temperature of the air, fitness levels, body composition, and body position (standing up or lying down). But lets say for the most part your stress levels are down (because you work out at Norcal!), you no longer need or never had to take medication, temperature is around average (70 degrees in your home), you have been working out at Norcal, you have been eating Paleoish or Paleo, and for some reason you happen to be lying in bed. Well then you are in a good place to base your overall heart health off your resting heart rate!
Now that all these parameters are shining in your favor, there is one small procedure you need to do to figure out your resting heart rate. This requires 2-3 fingers (excluding your thumb), finding the carotid artery in your neck, and a timer that can go from anywhere of 0-60 seconds. If you have these things, well then, you can calculate your resting heart rate.
Place your index finger with the following 2 fingers to your neck and search for your pulse, which should be located around your carotid artery. Refrain from using your thumb because most research has shown that using the thumb can give you false readings when calculating your heart rate. Once you find the pulse you have different options for finding your heart rate.
10 Seconds= multiply the number you counted by 6
15 Seconds= multiply the number you counted by 4
30 Seconds= multiply the number you counted by 2
60 Seconds= multiply the number you counted by 1
Now for the most part, with all parameters looking great, a heart rate from 40-60 is pretty healthy. 40 is a bit low on the spectrum and is common for world class athletes, but closer to 60 is more average and realistic for most of us Norcalers. Now find your pulse and watch/clock and practice!