Common Myths Related to Heart Rate

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By Dr. Abdussamad Nalakath

04 Apr, 2018

#Cardiologist


“You have a predetermined number of heart beats in your lifetime”; “A high irregular heart rate is a sign of impending heart attack”. You would have heard a lot more about your heart beats, that's outright wrong.


Your heart rate which is the number of times your heart beats per minute, is an important indicator of your heart health. So, it's important to set the record straight on some common myths.


Myth 1.There’s a normal heart rate standard for everyone.

Fact: Normal heart rate varies from person to person. Normal resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats a minute. Usually, most people have a heart rate somewhere between 65-85 beats per minute.  Your ideal heart rate will depend on lots of individual variables specific to your age and your health. So, rather than striving for a standard “normal,” talk to your doctor about what your heart rate means for you.


Myth 2. Faster heartbeats are associated with heart attacks.

Fact:  Your heartbeats increases due to various factors, including caffeine, alcohol, stress, dehydration exercise, medical conditions or certain medications. Although high heart rate can accompany a heart attack, it remains to be only one out of the several reasons. However, if you experience additional symptoms like shortness of breath, activity intolerance or extreme fatigue you should see a doctor immediately.


Myth 3. If your have a slow heart rate, it means you have a weak heart.

Not always. Usually, a slower heart rate at rest implies more efficient heart function. When your heart is in better shape, it doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood throughout your entire body, so your resting heart rate will be lower. For example, athletes might have normal resting heart rates of 40- 60 beats or even below 40 beats per minute. However, you should be concerned, if you are not an athlete or a highly-fit individual and if your heart rate is consistently below 55 beats per minutes at rest or if it gets so low that you feel dizzy or lose consciousness.


Myth 4. You have a predetermined number of heart beats in your lifetime.

Fact: This is nothing short of a fairy- tale! There is no set, predetermined number of heart beats in your lifetime. Yes ...it’s certain that your heart beats around 100,000 times a day, but the number of beats left for you -- it’s just as certain as, how many days are left in your life.

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