Keeping track of your heart rate is probably a good thing. Obsessing about it probably isn’t, according to the American Heart Association.
That’s one drawback of the increasing popularity of wearable devices that constantly monitor heart rates, said Dr. Tracy Stevens, a cardiologist at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Missouri.
“I’ve had people suffer significant injuries when they’re trying to check their heart rate while exercising,” she said. “They take a hand off their treadmill and shoot right off the back and fall off.”
Even without a monitor, the preoccupation can have consequences.
“They’ll push too hard on their carotid arteries to check their pulse, which instigates a reflex that drops their blood pressure, and they pass out,” Stevens said. People shouldn’t put “too much emphasis on a number.”
A 2013 study published in the journal Heart of nearly 3,000 men in Denmark showed the risk of death increased by 16% for every 10 beats per minute increase in resting heart rate. But Stevens said she is far more focused on high blood pressure, obesity, smoking and other risk factors for heart disease.
I love my Apple Watch and have written several posts about how it helps me to keep fit. Now comes a study from Scripps that makes me feel even better about it. You can read further about the watch on my Page – How my Apple Watch promotes my good health.
If you wear a smart watch or fitness tracker, you’re likely capturing an important but currently underused vital sign—resting heart rate—that soon may serve as a valuable window into your health, according to new study by the Scripps Research Translational Institute.
In a heart study of unprecedented scale, researchers evaluated the resting heart rate of more than 92,000 individuals for over 32 million days using de-identified data from wrist-worn devices. The scientists found that average resting heat rate varied widely between individuals, with norms that differed by up to 70 beats per minute. Less than 10 percent of the variability could be attributed to expected factors such as age, sex, body mass index or daily sleep duration. However, for individuals, resting heart rate was much more consistent over the two-year study period, with infrequent episodes outside of their norms.
Traditional Chinese Medicine has been tracking and making healthcare based decisions off of a persons heart rate for centuries (actually, even longer than that based on a lot of accounts!). This is because the rate, quality, and regularity of the heart beat is a direct marker of the state of your entire body…and since the heart rate is always present and easy to access, it’s a really handy thing to trend!
Nowadays, heart rate monitors are often used as a marker of activity and calorie consumption. And while they don’t give you information on the quality of your heart rate, I believe they can be used for much more than just losing some fat.
Additionally, compared to a lot of other health markers, heart rate monitors come in a variety of forms and most of them are relatively affordable. (Like anything having to do with preventable medicine, it’s important to…
The pulse oximeter pictured here is a neat little gadget that Costco is selling. As you can see from the picture, it monitors your Heart Rate (pulse), Oxygen Level and your Blood Flow. In sum, very useful information provided in a matter of seconds with no penetration of your flesh. There is even a cool graph of your heart beat on the screen. In this period of wearables, the Pulse Oximeter is reminiscent of the first cell phones. But, you can feel like a camp counselor and wear it around your neck using the attached lanyard.
Before I go into explanations and specifications, I want to disclose that I bought one of these and have been using it for a week now. Love it! It is particularly useful when I am stair climbing. I like to get a handle on how my heart rate accelerates on the climb and then nosedives when I walk around to bring it down.
The Costco listing: “The Quest Pulse Oximeter is designed to support individuals as they monitor their pulse rate and oxygen saturation. This lightweight portable device takes fast, non-invasive measurements at the fingertip. Ideal for monitoring heart rate and oxygen saturation during sports activities, while exercising or during air travel. “
Okay, what does it measure? Pulse Rate Measurement (BPM) – Measures the number of heart beats per minute. A normal adult pulse rate while resting is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. Oxygen Saturation (SpO2) – Oxygen saturation is a measure of how much oxygen the blood is carrying as a percentage of the maximum it could carry. Measuring saturated hemoglobin is a useful screening tool for determining basic respiratory function. Perfusion Index (PI%) – Perfusion index is an indication of the pulse strength at the sensor site. The PI’s values range from 0.2% for very weak pulse to 20% for extremely strong pulse.