Why Does Gender Affect Your Heart Rate?

According to an excerpt from an article by Roy Benson and Declan Connolly at Human Kinetics, the hearts of females are smaller and contain less muscle mass. Therefore, women or girls typically have higher heart rates than males. A woman's heart generally beats faster than a man's heart to compensate for a slower metabolic rate.

HealthCentral from Remedy Health Media notes that the resting rate for men is generally 50 to 70 beats per minute and 60 to 80 for women. Any rate above 95 is considered fast. Besides a person's gender, other factors that impact heart rate include the amount of stress a person is experiencing in life, the types of medications he is taking, blood pressure and age. Benson and Connolly emphasize the importance of knowing the resting heart rate as the calculation is helpful in determining an overall level of conditioning.

To find the resting heart rate, Fitness for Weight Loss, a site developed by weight loss coach of the year Stephanie Averkamp, offers a guide. The site advises readers to first find their pulse over the radial artery in the wrist or over the carotid artery in the neck, count the pulse beats for 15 seconds and then multiply that number by four. The answer is the resting heart rate. According to Fitness for Weight Loss, heart or cholesterol medicines and conditions, such as anxiety or hypertension, also influence the reading.