Mar 182012

Record your “true” resting heart rate. First thing in the morning, before rising from bed, take it for 15 seconds and multiply by four. Take it 3 or 4 times a week and note the lowest recording. It varies depending on how rested and calm we are, how hydrated we are and generally how healthy we are, or not. Track how it changes, both with life variables, and over time. Happily watch your “true” resting heart rate go down as your fitness level improves. This tells you your consistency is paying off! This gives you proof that you are getting in shape.

Next, practice taking your heart rate in various situations. For example, take your HR while sitting and relaxed; following a bit of typical daily walking, such as from one room to the next or through a parking lot; after a meal with various beverages; following a “heated” discussion; following a hectic commute, etc. You get the idea. Then practice bringing it down. In my experience, focusing on breathing is the simplest method of bringing it down. Practice, practice, practice! “Are you breathing?” We’ll talk more about breathing in another session.

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  One Response to “Your True Resting Heart Rate”

  1. Thanks for this very important blog.
    I take it by counting for 1 FULL minute in the morning before I get out of bed (15 seconds would give a large percent error). Usually it’s 37 or 38 bpm. I bike a lot. I try to average 3 times my true rest heart rate (about 112 bpm) during my rides. That means that I’m burning 3 times as many calories per hour than when I’m in bed. Oh, I forgot to mention, I’m 84 years old and have been riding a racing style bike for 44 years.

    More people should be aware of their true rest heart rate. Taking heart rate during the day even when inactive is way too variable and is not a good assessment of condition.

    Also, if my true rest heart rate is even 20% above normal I know that I’m sick and shouldn’t ride that day.

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