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"Normal" resting heart rate??

What is considered to be normal for a resting heart rate?
I'm female, 28, 245 pounds, and prior to starting on WW and the gym, was fairly inactive and out of shape. my resting heart rate is 96 per minute. Now my doctors office has never expressed concern about the number, but anyone to whom I mention that number says "Gee thats awfully high".

Yes, I consume caffeine, but it truly doesn't affect my body. I have the same resting heart rate in the mornings before my caffeine as I do after. Even went without it for a weekend, same rate.

How long can I expect it to take to get my RHR down?

Mon. Jan 30, 8:46am

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Because every person is unique in height, weight, level of fitness, physical health (heart, etc) I don't think there is an average. The best would be to get yourself a heart rate monitor (Polar imo is the best brand) and use that to keep track of your heart rate. do this in accordance to what your GP advises and you can't go wrong. Your heart is the one muscle you don't want to mess with!
Good luck and happy training!

Monday, January 30, 2006, 8:56 AM

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I agree with the poster above - there isn't really an average for resting heart rate because it is affected by so many variables. However, it is a very useful tool...if you check it regularly, you can notice things like when you get sick (mine goes up ~5 or 10 bpm when I am ill...and I see that right when I wake up). It is also a good indicator of improved fitness/heart function. If you work out a lot and increase your aerobic capacity, your resting heart rate should get lower. (I think Lance Armstrong's is 40 bpm or something ridiculous like that.)

Monday, January 30, 2006, 10:15 AM

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Traditionally 72 was considered "normal" but there's a lot of variability. 64 to 80 has been used for the "normal" or control group in some studies. The link below is to a medical journal article that argues for 85 as a breakpoint between a normal risk group and a higher risk group for clinical purposes. It also suggests that there really is no breakpoint, and that in the absence of some other identifiable abnormality, lower heart rate is lower risk regardless of how low.
The studies referenced don't control for all possible variables (of course) so the question of whether there is any version of higher heart rate that doesn't come with increased mortality is still open.
This article and others make the point that heart rate varies for many reasons and a single measurement may not be representative.


Monday, January 30, 2006, 9:00 PM

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