Your resting heart rate (RHR)—the number of times your heart beats when you are still and at rest—is a number that you may not think about very often. However, what most people do not know is that your RHR is one of the most important health metrics that you should be keeping an eye on. Not only is RHR a key indicator of your fitness level and overall heart health, it can also alert you of potential health issues such as illness, high stress levels, sleep deprivation, dehydration, overtraining, and underlying medical conditions.
As we celebrate World Heart Day on September 29, Fitbit, the pioneer of 24/7 wrist-based heart rate tracking, aims to help you understand your heart better, so that you can know what works for you, and your own health and fitness. Here are 4 things that your RHR can tell you:
1. You’re not active enough.
A normal resting heart rate for the average adult is 60 to 100 beats per minute (bpm) or 40 to 60 bpm for highly conditioned athletes. If you’re inactive most of the day, your RHR likely approaches or exceeds the top end of this range. This may be because your heart is less efficient. Based on recommendations from the World Health Organization, you need to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of high-intensity activity each week.
To make sure you’re getting enough heart pumping minutes, Fitbit recently introduced Active Zone Minutes (AZM), an algorithm that uses Fitbit’s 24/7 PurePulse heart rate tracking to calculate “Active Zone”, or target heart rates during exercise, personalized to you, based on your RHR and age. With AZM, you’ll know if you’re getting your heart pumping the right way.
2. You’re dehydrated or not getting enough nutrients.
In the Philippines where the climate is often hot, you may notice a temporary increase in your RHR. This could either mean that your body is trying to cool down or that you’re dehydrated. If you are thirstier than usual, experiencing a dry mouth, or if your urine is more yellow than usual, these are telltale signs of dehydration.
To lower your RHR, the classic recommendation is to drink 8 glasses of 8 fluid ounces of water per day. Health experts recommend a significantly higher daily benchmark, with 2.7 liters for women and 3.7 liters for men, which translates to 11 to 15 cups of water. Therefore, the trick is to think of 8 glasses of water as the baseline, then keep sipping. Fitbit devices allow you to track your water intake to make sure you meet your daily water goal.
3. You’re sleep-deprived.
Chronic sleep deprivation may greatly affect one’s heart health, as studies have shown that people who do not get enough sleep are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) or coronary heart disease. To help lower your RHR, aim for at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
Fitbit introduced its industry-leading sleep tracking and insights. The multi-day battery life enables Fitbit devices to provide advanced sleep tracking with Sleep Stages to measure deep, light, and REM sleep. Users also see a Sleep Score each morning to help gauge their sleep quality.
4. You’re too stressed.
Prolonged mental and emotional stress can also cause your resting heart rate to creep up over time. Stress is a global issue, with one in three people experiencing high stress levels, as well as psychological and physiological symptoms. Over time, the physical strain from stress can contribute to a variety of health problems if unmanaged, like an increased risk for high blood pressure and heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and mental health disorders like anxiety or depression. As we live through one of the most stressful times in history, we need all the support we can get to manage our stress.
Fitbit Sense, the latest of Fitbit’s offerings, is the world’s first smartwatch with an on-device electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor to help you understand your body’s response to stressors. With Fitbit Sense, you also get the new Stress Management Score to help you understand how your heart rate, sleep, and activity levels impact your psychological and physiological stress and overall health. Premium members can access 100+ meditation sessions and can see how their practice correlates with their mood.
Take a holistic approach to heart health with Fitbit
This World Heart Day, it’s time to listen to your heart and understand what your body needs. Fitbit aims to be your 24/7 companion that can guide you to better health, by keeping you informed and empowered through data-driven results. Following the emergence of COVID-19, Fitbit announced a 90-day free trial of Fitbit Premium—its paid membership service that gives you guidance to help you move more, get proper nutrition, sleep better and, and manage stress—for new users, even without a Fitbit device, as people around the world sought more insight on how to better manage their holistic health and wellness from home.
Fitbit Premium is available to anyone with or without a Fitbit device to try. If you have yet to try the service, Fitbit is offering a free 90-day trial for new Premium users. Fitbit Premium is priced at PHP 519 per month or PHP 4,190 per year
This coming Q4 2020, you can get the all-new Fitbit Sense for PHP 19,490, so you can tune into your body with tools for stress management, heart health, SpO2, and more.