Is a lower or higher heart rate better?
The average heartbeat is 72 times per minute. In the course of one day it beats over 100,000 times. In one year the heart beats almost 38 million times, and by the time you are 70 years old, on average, it’s made it to 2.5 billion beats…but what is optimal?
First, what is average?
Everyone’s pulse (average heart rate per minute) changes as we age.
Here is a list of average pulse rates at different ages:
Newborn: 130 bpm
3 months: 140 bpm
6 months: 130 bpm
1 year: 120 bpm
2 years: 115 bpm
3-6 years: 100 bpm
8 years: 90 bpm
12 years: 85 bpm
Adult: 60 - 100 bpm
Lower vs. Higher
A lower resting heart rate is usually better for your health.
It’s typically a sign your heart is working well. When it’s lower, your heart pumps more blood with each contraction and easily keeps a regular beat.
Conversely, a high resting heart rate may mean your heart works extra hard to pump blood. Over time, a high resting heart rate may affect how your heart works and raise your chances of cardiovascular disease.†
A slower-than-normal pulse is common in physically fit people.
It should be explainable, though.
If your resting heart rate is regularly below 60 beats per minute and you are not active, see your doctor.
It's all about efficiency.
Remember that your heart is a muscle. Physical activity strengthens your heart just like other muscles in your body. It trains your heart to be more efficient, so you don’t have to work as hard when resting.
If your arteries or veins contract/get smaller, your heart must work harder to do the same job, increasing your heart rate.
This is why people who smoke typically have a higher heart rate than those who do not smoke - smoking causes your arteries and veins to get smaller.
Even if you don’t smoke, you can cause your veins to contract by not producing enough nitric oxide - a dilating compound for your blood.
This is why, while they are not entirely dependent on one another, those with high blood pressure tend to have a higher heart rate.†
You already know your heart is important. What are you feeding it?
6 Natural Ways to Support Heart Health
Keeping your heart healthy is crucial because the heart plays a central role in maintaining overall well-being.
A healthy heart supports blood flow, energy, endurance, longevity, quality of life and even mental health. Here are a few natural ways to keep your heart healthy at any age: