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What does your resting heart rate say about your fitness and health?

Your resting heart rate is easy to measure and hides a wealth of information about your fitness and health. Find out why it makes sense to know your resting heart rate and how to interpret a change in resting heart rate.

How do you measure your resting heart rate?

You measure your real resting heart rate in the morning, we sometimes call this the morning pulse. As soon as you wake up, calmly take your watch and count the number of heartbeats in one minute. It's that simple. For optimal results, you can repeat this twice and note the lowest value.

What is a normal resting heart rate?

A normal resting heart rate for an adult is about 60 beats. If you are very sporty, this can drop to 50 strokes. Some top athletes have a real sports heart and have a morning pulse of 35 beats per minute. However, this is not what you should aim for, as the risk of unhealthy heart defects also increases.

What does your resting heart rate say about your fitness and health?

How do you interpret your resting heart rate?

For a good interpretation of your resting heart rate, it is important that you measure it daily. It is not so much the absolute, but especially the relative value that is very interesting. If your heart rate is higher or lower than normal, then this tells you something, but what?

Your stress level

A higher resting heart rate can mean that you are under stress. If you lie quietly in bed or sit on a chair and your heart rate is unnecessarily high, you may experience a lot of stress .

An additional way to know if stress is the cause is to measure your heart rate variability (HRV). A high HRV means a relaxed body. A low HRV means you are in fight or flight mode.


A higher resting heart rate may mean you are fatigued . After heavy physical exertion, your body sometimes needs several days to recover. The removal of waste and the building of new cells is accelerated by a slightly higher heart rate.

So this doesn't mean anything bad. But if your resting heart rate hasn't dropped for several weeks, it's time to slow down a bit.


The same goes for illness. If your body is fighting a virus or bacteria, a higher heart rate will be used to bring the soldiers of your immune system to the scene. To recover faster, it is therefore best to take it easy and give your body time to recover.

Your hydration level

A higher resting heart rate can also mean that you are not properly hydrated. If you drink too little, your blood becomes more viscous. As a result, your heart will have to pump harder to move the same amount of blood and oxygen around the body. That is one of the reasons why drinking enough water is so important for your energy .

Your condition

In some cases, a lower resting heart rate means that your condition is improving. A better condition means more blood vessels, more red blood cells and a more efficient energy metabolism in the cells. This means that you need less blood to deliver the same amount of oxygen. Your resting heart rate will therefore be slower.

Your recuperation capacity

You can also measure your resting heart rate during the day after physical exertion. The faster your heart rate drops again after a certain effort, the better your recovery capacity. It says something about the general fitness of your body. To use this standard, it is best to use the same protocol that you test every month, for example.

Your resting heart rate can tell you a lot, but it is only by taking your morning pulse every day and looking at yourself critically that you can find out exactly what this means.

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