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Elemental
Your life, sourced by science. A publication from Medium about health and wellness.

Heart Rate

In Elemental. More on Medium.

Heartbeat monitoring could help achieve your more ambitious fitness goals

A sweaty young woman takes a break while exercising outdoors.
A sweaty young woman takes a break while exercising outdoors.
Photo: Peopleimages/E+/Getty Images

With roughly one in five American adults regularly wearing a smartwatch or a fitness tracker, people are becoming more and more familiar with their own heart rates — a simple measure defined by the number of heartbeats per minute. When measured at rest, heart rate can be an important health indicator (generally speaking, lower resting heart rates are associated with longer lives). And when measured during exercise, heart rate is becoming a widespread tool to plan and monitor physical activity.

Exercise programs like the one created by Orangetheory, a large chain of fitness studios, are heavily based on achieving certain…


It could hint at how long you’ll live

Photo: KATERYNA KON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty Images

Could human lives be extended by slowing down our hearts? Triggered by the observation that mammals with a higher heart rate live shorter than those with a slower one, this is the question that Dr. Herbert J. Levine, an eminent cardiologist and professor emeritus at Tufts University School of Medicine, asked in his 1997 article “Rest Heart Rate and Life Expectancy.”

To this day, his question has not been fully answered. But several recent studies have found important links between slower hearts and longer lives, elevating resting heart rate to the level of an important health indicator.

With the increasing…

Elemental

Your life, sourced by science. A publication from Medium about health and wellness.

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