Heart rate 101: How to monitor it and what's ideal

Your heart rate is a little like the story of Goldilocks: the ideal number is not too fast and not too slow. It’s just right.

Heart rate, or pulse, is the number of times you heart beats in a minute. If your heart rate is too low it can make you feel dizzy, tired, and short of breath. If it’s too high (in short bursts or over an extended period of time) you could be risking high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and an increased chance of heart disease. When your heart rate is “just right” it’s a good indication that your heart is functioning as it should.

Here’s an overview of the basics to help you understand your heart rate and what that number really means.

Find a doctor

If you need advice on how to monitor your heart rate or what's ideal for you, talk to your doctor. You can find a Providence cardiologist using our provider directory. Or you can search for a primary care doctor in your area. 

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This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

About the Author

The Providence Heart & Vascular Team is committed to bringing you many years of expertise and experience to help you understand how to prevent, treat and recover from cardiovascular diseases and conditions. From tips to eating better to exercise and everything in between, our clinical experts know how to help you help your heart.

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