According to Mayoclinic.org, a normal resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats a minute.
Generally, a lower heart rate at rest implies more efficient heart function and better cardiovascular fitness. For example, a well-trained athlete might have a normal resting heart rate closer to 40 beats a minute.
To measure your heart rate, simply check your pulse. Place your index and third fingers on your neck to the side of your windpipe. To check your pulse at your wrist, place two fingers between the bone and the tendon over your radial artery — which is located on the thumb side of your wrist.
When you feel your pulse, count the number of beats in 15 seconds. Multiply this number by 4 to calculate your beats per minute.
Keep in mind that many factors can influence heart rate, including:
- Activity level
- Fitness level
- Air temperature
- Body position (standing up or lying down, for example)
- Body size
Although there’s a wide range of normal, an unusually high or low heart rate may indicate an underlying problem. Consult your doctor if your resting heart rate is consistently above 100 beats a minute (tachycardia) or below 60 beats a minute (bradycardia) — especially if you have other signs or symptoms, such as fainting, dizziness or shortness of breath.
I am tachycardic since 2009. I normally have a 100 beats per minute (bpm) at rest but tends to have 150-180 bpm when in stress or I eat food that’s causing it. At first, my cardiologist was thinking that maybe I’m just scared of doctors that might be causing the palpitation. He said I’m too young to have heart problems.
Last year, I decided to go to a new cardiologist and another hospital just because I felt like there’s something wrong with my heart already. To my surprise, I found out that tachycardia isn’t a normal thing. There are a lot of factors that’s causing tachycardia.
1. Anemia. When you are anemic, you tend to have a fast heart rate.
2. Lifestyle. This includes your lifestyle and the foods you eat : Coffee, chocolates, fat, and even spicy foods are prohibited when you have tachycardia. When you smoke, drink alcohol, or you’re exposed in a dangerous environment, then most likely you may have tachycardia.
3. Stress. Are you a worrier? Do you tend to think more and more each day? Are you restless and always think about a lot of things? Then expect a fast heart rate.
4. Emotions. When the littlest issue irritates you and when the smallest things in life make you emotional — your heart is the first body part to suffer. 💔
5. Weight. If you are overweight or obese, most likely your heart would suffer.
6. Hereditary. Ask your parents if they have this kind of sickness. Then there’s a big chance for you to have the same sickness too.
They say our hearts are foolish and we’re not supposed to follow it; but its functions are very important and that is why we need to take care of it very well. When we eat fat, we CANNOT burn it anymore. By all means, it is meant to block our veins that may soon cause our heart to not pump well. 😧
So here’s what I’ve been through so far.
I. Tests. I had ECG and 2D Echo. It is confirmed that I am in fact tachycardic.
II. Treat Anemia. I took iron 2x a day for at least 2 months until I am not anemic anymore.
III. Medication. I need to take a 10mg Diltiazem once a day for maintenance. I am not supposed to take this for a long time. If my doctor won’t monitor me and I suddenly become normal, I might have a slower heart rate while taking this and it is not normal as well.
IV. 24-Hr Holter Monitoring. I had this test done 2x already. One is to check if I’m really tachycardic. 2nd is to find out if I’m still tachycardic even after treating anemia. Now is the 3rd time. I believe that one of the reasons why my cardio from 2009 didn’t do further tests is because their hospital doesn’t offer this kind of test… or maybe he isn’t that nice to really take care of his patients. 😰
So what is a holter monitoring? It is the process of monitoring a patient by putting on wires (just like ECG) on your chest then use a small machine to record your heart rate in 24 hrs. There is also 24 hr BP-Monitoring but I guess holter monitoring is much easier. 😵
Usually it takes a week or two to get a schedule for this kind of test. You need to arrive a few minutes earlier than your schedule to pay for your test. It is roughly around Php 4000-5000 here in Manila. They will ask you to sign a paper that will make you responsible for the machine and the probability of you paying it once it gets broken.
You have to wear a blouse/shirt/polo and skirt/pants/shorts. Basically the idea is to wear something that will easily slip the machine from your chest going outward so a dress, jumpsuit, jumpshorts and jumper won’t do! 😅
Here are the step by step procedure on the process of holter monitoring :
1. Have an ECG test to see what’s your heart rate without the monitor on. This will be their basis of your regular heart rate at rest.
2. Put NEW batteries to your Machine.
3. Put the wires on your chest. Some will go to the upper part and some will spread on the lower area.
4. Secure your wires and machine with tons of tapes. This will be itchy and might have marks once removed. 😕
5. Put your machine inside the body bag and put it across your chest. Fashion alert! 😃
6. They will give you pieces of paper which is actually your diary. This is where you’ll jot down all your activities (everytime you change an activity), pain and palpitation (if there is), food you ate, drinks, and even the medicines you took. Once you feel pain, you need to press the blue green button in the machine for 3 seconds then take note of it on your diary.
7. Go back to the hospital with a few minutes to spare. You need to rest for a few minutes before the machine stops completely. It needs to record a few minutes of your heart at rest. You’ll know that the 24 hours is done if the machine stopped blinking. They will check if the machine had any problems reading your activities and will thoroughly check your diary as well. So beware to those who don’t do well on taking notes. 😩
8. Results will be after 2-3 days (depending on your cardio’s availability).
Tips while being Monitored :
1. Ask your nurse not to put a separate tape on each wire. Instead, ask him/her to just put one tape while putting all the wires together.
2. Ask your nurse to secure your wires by putting tape 2x or even 3x if possible.
3. Bring a paper tape just in case of falling wires emergency. 😷
4. Use your cellphone to note all the changes in your activities. Be honest. Especially when the certain activity caused you pain or palpitation. The Dr needs to know EVERYTHING and that includes your food, medicine, and the drinks you had. The Dr needs to know if it had a certain reaction to your body.
5. Do your regular activities. How will the Dr. check on your “regular” heart rate if you don’t do your regular activities as well.
6. Walk and talk (by all means) but do not run or carry heavy things as it may cause interruption to the monitoring process and destruction to the machine and wires. One machine = Php 300,000 (that’s what they said). 😅
7. Do not pass in the middle of any metal detector. It may disrupt the recording process. Inform the guards why you cannot pass the metal detector. Just show them your diary and your machine, they are supposed to understand what it is. If not, look for a manager.
8. Do not take a bath or as much as possible wash yourself directly in the sink. Instead, get a wet towel or a wet wipe to clean yourself. Your machine should be protected from getting wet.
9. Have an alternate activity so the Dr would see your different heart rates depending on the activity you’re doing. Maybe you can rest then walk then eat then talk then rest then maybe sing? 🎤🎵🎶😶 In those activities, changes of heart rate can be seen.
10. Put creams on the itchy red marks you had after the monitor. Consult your derma for the appropriate cream on your red marks.
At the end of the day, we need to take care of our hearts. If you feel like there’s something wrong with your heart, go and see a cardio now! Take care of yourself so you can take care of other people even more. 💞
If you are actually experiencing a heart problem now, let me pray for you :
Heavenly Father, I am now praying for (reader’s name). Thank You for his/her life Lord. I commit to you his/her life and I pray for healing in Jesus’ name. Lord we also pray for provision so (reader’s name) would be able to have his/her checkup and tests as soon as possible. We also pray for favor to be upon (reader’s name). We have faith in You Father and we know that (reader’s name) is already healed. Truly all diseases are defeated for You have overcome the world. Lord, renew our hearts and give us strength and more faith as You continuously heal us. In Jesus name we pray, amen! 🙏
God is good. Expect healing! Claim your healing now.
Now if you are healthy, it’s time to be healthier. Here’s how :
1. Always exercise. Your heart enjoys daily activities. 30 minutes to an hour is enough to make your heart happy.
2. Eat healthy foods only. I know I do not do this too. But at least we could try eating healthier food. Avoid coffee, chocolates, spicy and fried food, and anything with fats.
3. Take your daily vitamins and iron to protect you from any diseases or anemia.
4. Always be cautious on any signs you are probably experiencing now. Do not ignore when your body (or spouse) 😅 says, “REST.”
5. Guard your heart. Do not get mad easily. Protect your heart from pain, hatred and bitterness. Love yourself so people would know how to love you back.
Have a happy life by having a healthy heart! God bless you!