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Feel the beat with a healthy resting heart rate for men

Feel the beat with a healthy resting heart rate for men

Was achieving a healthy resting heart rate among your 2023 new year’s resolutions? Probably not, but keeping your heart healthy and strong starts with knowing what’s normal and what’s not, heart rate-wise.

It’s kinda fascinating to think about. Until a few years ago, when fitness trackers became the in thing, most of us probably had no idea what our heart rate was at any given time!

These days, a quick glance at your wrist can tell you your heart rate when you’re exercising, when you’re stressed out at work or yelling at the Saints on TV, and when you’re chillaxing in front of the TV. While that information may not seem all that important, it can show how efficiently your heart is working. Read on to get the details.

Rating your heart health

Paying attention to your heart rate every now and then can be a good way to check up on your heart health.

Your heart rate (or pulse) is how many times your heart beats per minute. This number varies quite a bit throughout the day, depending on what you’re doing. There are three types of heart rates worth paying attention to—your resting heart rate, your maximum heart rate and your target heart rate.

Your resting heart rate reveals quite a bit about your heart. Research has shown that having a high resting heart rate is linked to a higher risk of a heart attack. So, what’s healthy for men?

Most healthy adults have a resting heart rate between 60 beats per minute and 100 beats per minute. This is a case where the lower the number within that range, the better. A lower resting heart rate means your heart doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood.

The number of beats will vary somewhat by age and if you exercise regularly. Your medical provider or a cardiologist will be able to tell you a healthy heart rate by age and what’s considered an elevated heart rate for you.

Your maximum heart rate is the number of beats your heart takes in a minute when it’s working its hardest. When you exercise, you should aim for a specific percentage of your maximum heart rate—what’s known as your target heart rate.

Target heart rates range from 50% to 70% of your maximum heart rate during moderate physical activity, such as a walk or a jog, to 70% to 85% during strenuous exercise like a tennis match.

How can you measure your heart rate if you don’t have a fitness tracker? Press your index and middle fingers together on your wrist, counting the number of beats for 15 seconds. Multiply that number by four to get your heart rate.

The facts about men and heart disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for American men. They often develop heart disease earlier than women, beginning in their 50s and even 40s. While that’s a pretty sobering fact, you can take steps to lower your risk of heart disease.

You’re at a higher risk of developing heart disease if you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure or high blood sugar levels. Consider those the trifecta of heart disease risk factors. Having a family history of the disease, smoking, being inactive and eating an unhealthy diet also increase your risk.

Because heart disease is common, it’s important to know the symptoms and to seek prompt medical attention if you experience them. You’re probably familiar with symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue and dizziness. Still, a lesser known symptom—erectile dysfunction—can be an early indicator of the disease.

If you’re experiencing erectile dysfunction or other signs that something isn’t quite right, talk with your medical provider. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Keeping your ticker ticking

Looking to improve your heart health? Even a few simple lifestyle changes can make a big impact.

Physical activity is important. Regular exercise strengthens the heart muscle, so aim for at least 30 minutes most days of the week.

Don’t smoke or, if you do smoke, quit now. Prioritize getting enough quality sleep, aiming for seven to nine hours most nights.

Fill up your plate with the healthy stuff more often than not. You don’t need to swear off beignets completely but make fruits and veggies the foundation of your diet. Supplement those healthy foods with whole grains and lean protein sources, including fish containing omega-3 fatty acids.

Time to give your heart a checkup? Our heart and vascular team is here to help keep your heart healthy and strong.