Does a lower heart rate lead to better cardiovascular fitness?


Quick Answer

A lower resting heart rate reflects greater physical fitness, but it's the fitness that causes the lower heart rate, not the other way around. While the average person's resting pulse is between 70 and 75 beats per minute, some pro athletes have pulses below 40, notes Huffington Post.

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Does a lower heart rate lead to better cardiovascular fitness?
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Full Answer

People who start out with sedentary habits but develop physical fitness over time note that their resting heart rate decreases. The reason for this is that the heart does not need to work so hard and beat as often in order to distribute oxygen and nutrients throughout the body, as stated by Huffington Post.

In order to measure resting pulse, the best time comes first thing in the morning while still in bed. Getting up out of bed and walking speeds up the heartbeat a bit, and consuming caffeine in coffee, tea or a soft drink lifts pulse significantly. While the body is asleep, the system eliminates most of the caffeine, so early morning provides the most accurate measurement, reports Huffington Post.

Over time, the difference between fit and unfit people in terms of heartbeats is significant. If a fit person has a resting rate of 50 beats per minute, and a sedentary person has a resting rate of 80, the difference is 30 per minute, or more than 15 million each year. Over 20 years, the fit person's heart beats about 315 million times fewer, representing a huge difference in workload, according to Huffington Post.

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