I Have a 40+ BPM Heart Rate But I am Not Dying

The other day I visited a clinic to have my health scanning done in the request of my company insurance provider.

One of the procedure was to measure my heart rate. The doctor put a finger clip oximeter on my right index finger. When the reading was done, she look at the device and said: “You have a very low heart rate!” I was shocked and worried. I asked: “What is the reading?” The doctor continued to say: “You have around 40 bpm for your heart rate. Are you an athlete?” I replied: “No, I am not. What’s wrong? What is happening?” My worry turned to nervous although I did not show it on my face.

She went on to do a manual pulse counting using her fingers on my wrist with her iPhone timer. After 30 seconds, she said: “Yes, your heart rate is around 40 plus.” A quick drama was flashing all over my head. Bad thoughts really flashing through my head at the moment though I could not recall what were those.

She asked again: “Are you an athlete? Do you do exercise?” I quickly replied worry I might miss something: “Yes. I go to gymnasium almost everyday. Not everyday but alternate day.” I tried to smile when I said this. She comforted me: “Ah… It’s ok then. Usually athlete will tend to have lower heart rate than other people. If you do not have dizziness that should be fine.” She continued: “You are in good shape. Nothing to worry. Keep on doing your workouts.” Thank God for saying that!

I have been doing workouts since I was having a really bad situation caused by kidney stones. The back pain caused me almost paralysed on bed and luckily it turned out fine with laser lithotripsy treatment. One will never realize his/her folly until the worst has happened. This incident drives me to start running, going to gymnasium and consistently doing my workout without miss for the past 6 years.

The true fact is I do not go to gymnasium nowadays since the COVID-19 outbreak. I was kind of lying to the doctor but I am now doing in-house workout at home. I do try to keep doing it every alternate day at my best. Nike Training mobile apps have been my personal trainer since then.

Why Athletes Have Lower Heart Rate?

According to healthline, athletic heart syndrome is a heart condition that’s usually harmless. It’s typically seen in people who exercise for more than one hour each day. Athletes with a resting heart rate of 35 to 50 bpm may develop an arrhythmia, or irregular heart rhythm.

New research suggests that athletes with low resting heart rates may experience irregular heart patterns later in life. One studyTrusted Source found that lifelong endurance athletes had a higher incidence of later electronic pacemaker implantation.

Research is still ongoing on the long-term effects of endurance exercise. Researchers aren’t recommending any changes to your athletic routine at this time. See a doctor if you’re concerned about your low heart rate.

Resting Heart Rate Interpretation

According to verywellfit, the resting heart rate will become lower as your fitness level increases. Vigorous exercise such as running or cycling has the most effect on lowering your resting heart rate.

RHR (rest heart rate) is lowered isn’t a bad thing for a person who regularly doing workouts. It could means the heart muscle is strong and needs fewer beats to deliver the same amount of blood throughout the body.

If your resting heart rate rise over a tracking period, and you are aware that this is not due to fitness level, there could be several causes that may not be a big issue, including:

  • Being sleep-deprived
  • Dehydration or in cases of high heat and humidity
  • Developing an illness or a medical condition
  • Mental, emotional, or physical stress

Other than the above causes, you probably best to seek out the advise from your doctor if you experience difficulty with your heart rate.

What Is The Acceptable Healthy Resting Heart Rate?

According to UpBeat website, Each day, a normal heart beats about 100,000 times, at a rate any­where from 60 to 100 times a minute.

Abnormally slow heart rates are usually those below 60 beats a minute and can be either harmless or life threatening. At certain times, though, such as during sleep, heart rate will be slow and still be normal. What counts as an abnormally slow heartbeat for one person may not be the same for another. For example, a young, strong, healthy athlete may have a resting heart rate of 30-40 beats per minute, but may easily increase his heart rate to 180 beats per minute with exercise. This is normal. Another person may have a heart rate of 30-40 beats per minute while climbing the steps, but he feels weak and tired. This is abnormal.

The following tables shows the statistics taken from verywellfit website . The data comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). You can use it to see where your resting heart rate falls on the fitness spectrum.

Men
Age 18-25Athlete: 49-55Excellent: 56-61Good: 61-65Average: 70-73Poor: Over 82
Age 26-35Athlete: 49-54Excellent: 55-61Good: 62-65Average: 71-74Poor: Over 82
Age 36-45Athlete: 50-56Excellent: 57-62Good: 63-66Average: 71-75Poor: Over 83
Age 46-55Athlete: 50-57Excellent: 58-63Good: 64-67Average: 72-76Poor: Over 84
Age 56-65Athlete: 51-56Excellent: 57-61Good: 62-67Average: 72-75Poor: Over 82
Over Age 65Athlete: 50-55Excellent: 56-61Good: 62-65Average: 70-73Poor: Over 80
Average Resting Heart Rate for Men By Age
Women
Age 18-25Athlete: 54-60Excellent: 61-65Good: 66-69Average: 74-78Poor: Over 85
Age 26-35Athlete: 54-59Excellent: 60-64Good: 65-68Average: 73-76Poor: Over 83
Age 36-45Athlete: 54-59Excellent: 60-64Good: 65-69Average: 74-78Poor: Over 85
Age 46-55:Athlete: 54-60Excellent: 61-65Good: 66-69Average: 74-77Poor: Over 84
Age 56-65Athlete: 54-59Excellent: 60-64Good: 65-68Average: 74-77Poor: Over 84
Over Age 65Athlete: 54-59Excellent: 60-64Good: 65-68Average: 73-76Poor: Over 84
Average Resting Heart Rate for Women By Age

How To Measure Your Resting Heart Rate?

You can measure your resting heart rate at home by checking your pulse first thing in the morning.

  1. Gently press and find your pulse on your wrist using your index and middle fingers.
  2. Use your phone timer and start counting the beats for a full minute (or count for 30 seconds and multiply by 2)

The Takeaway

Athletes often have a lower resting heart rate than others. If you exercise frequently and are reasonably fit, your heart rate may be lower than other people.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A low heart rate means your heart needs fewer beats to deliver the same amount of blood throughout your body.

Always seek medical care if you experience dizziness, chest pain, or fainting. They can assess your heart to confirm whether you can continue exercising.

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