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08 Oct 2009

RESTING HEART RATE
I AM 42, MY BMI = 23.5, I AM QUITE FIT, TRAIN AT GYM 6 DAYS A WEEK. COMBINE CARDIO AND STRENGHT TRAINING, LEANING MORE TOWARDS STRENGHT AND TONING BUT MY QUESTION IS, MY RESTING HEART RATE IS AVERAGE 72? WHY SO HIGH IF I' M SUPPOSE TO BE FIT? I TAKE MEDICATION FOR HYPERTENSION.
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Expert
FitnessDoc
fitnessdoc

01 Jan 0001

Hi Bea

Depends how you measure it. Resting heart rate is a misleading variable, because it's affected quite a bit by things like state of mind, quality of sleep, time of day, diet and so forth. So you would have to define what resting heart rate is, when you measure it.

Then you have to ask "So what?". Does it matter that your heart rate was 72? If it was 62, would it mean anything significant? The answer is no, not really. In general, fitness lowers heart rate, but we are all individuals, and so different people can expect to have different heart rates. Therefore, you should probably not compare to many other people. The only effective way to use heart rate is to track YOUR OWN heart rate over time and compare it. In a few months, for example, it should be lower during the same exercise than it was a month ago. But again, it's key to understand that heart rate does vary quite widely, and you can't use this number as the be all and end all of fitness.
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