Should i be concerned about my heart rate?

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Hello, i'm using a fitbit with a heart rate monitor and am just a bit worried, i'm averaging according to the watch as a resting heart rate of 75 BPM however this has increased by 10 over the past few months, i am quite anxious and not exercising as much because of covid lockdown.
But i notice when im just walking around the flat it can go to 104, so im just wondering can that be normal? im hoping its just slightly higher because im anxious but not im worried i have a heart problem!
I'm 32 - so when it averages out it says fair/average on the app but i dont understand why my heart rate is going so high (above 100) when doing nothing things.
Looking for some reassurance really, has anyone had the same

Replies

  • tiptoethruthetulips
    tiptoethruthetulips Posts: 3,360 Member
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    Check that all the settings for your personal circumstances are correct eg weight, age, gender etc.

    Secondly are you wearing the fitbit correctly, follow fitbit instructions for correct wearing.

    If all above is correct, see your doctor. Note when my mother lost a lot of weight that couldn't be explained it was found that she had undiagnosed tachycardia. Not saying you have tachycardia but unexplained significant increased resting heart rate (assuming settings and wearing is correct) should be investigated.

    Movement and moving around does cause the heart rate to increase, but the rate of increase would depend on the intensity etc.



  • callsitlikeiseeit
    callsitlikeiseeit Posts: 8,627 Member
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    anxiety, stress, and not being as active can increase your heart rate. as long as you arent having heart palpitations (or other issues/symptoms) i don't think I would worry about it too much. any time you are not asleep it will be higher. my resting heart rate is in the mid to high 60s. normal puttering around the house 80s-90s, cleaning the house 155-120ish, then exercise anywhere up to 150/160 on the high end, depending on what I'm doing (sometimes a bit higher if its a harder workout than typical)

    your numbers do not sound abnormal to me.

    If you are due for a physical (or even if not), you can always go and do that and address your concern with your physician and get their opinion.
  • lgfrie
    lgfrie Posts: 1,449 Member
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    My resting heart rate in the evening is around 60; it can go as low as 50-51 right before bed.

    I usually wear a forearm HR monitor when I work out. My normal workouts (bike) get my HR to around 105-106.

    I decided to wear the forearm strap for a few days and just record things and see what fell out of it. Turned out my grocery store trips and things of that nature got my HR up to 101-108, which completely blew my mind, because that is my workout HR rate. I got thinking "why don't I just shop for an hour? same workout."

    Anyway, all that's to say I don't think anything unusual is going on with you. At least not from my n=1 sample.

    A new learning point that has streamed in from my last month with the rebounder is that *any* arm involvement at all has a significant impact on HR. If you're using any arm motion while walking around, which you probably are, that is going to have a dramatic effect on your HR.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,055 Member
    edited January 2021
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    Endorsing the above!

    If you don't have any other symptoms (faintness generally, on standing or moving fast, etc.), feeling of fluttering or rapid heart rate, being very out of breath from mild activity that wouldn't have fazed you even at similar weight or fitness level in the past, or that sort of thing . . . I don't think you need to worry. Talk with your doctor at your next visit, to further allay your concerns.

    If you do have any other symptoms, talk with your doctor now.

    Now, I'm going to waste your time by telling you a long, tedious personal story, that I hope will be reassuring.

    I've been quite active for over 15 years, starting when I was still obese (and I stayed obese/active for a decade plus, before losing weight). I mention this not to brag, but to illustrate that I have an established base fitness. In Winter, because my joy is on-water rowing, I cut back exercise volume (keep exercising, just less). I can expect my resting heart rate to go up a few beats, when I'm exercising less. It even goes up a couple/few beats more if I take a week's break, say. It's a small change, but it's a change. (Usually it runs around 50, maybe a little less, in a normal Summer. In Winter, maybe 52-53, up to even 55 if I stop exercising altogether for multiple weeks.

    On my most recent day with no formal exercise, my high heart rate was 120, just doing normal household things (don't remember what the 120 was, but maybe something like going up the stairs at a good pace or something). (My sports-tested max is around 180. My 220-age estimated max is 155. It's not unusual for age estimates to be wrong, and that's about genetics, not mostly about fitness). Scrolling through the last few days, I usually get into the one-teens at some point(s) during the day, during non-exercise routine stuff. Today, it hit 118 while I was making coffee and watering houseplants. (Stairs, maybe? No idea.)

    As others have said, reduced exercise tends to increase resting heart rate (and increase the heart rate response to lower movement stimulus as well). Anxiety also increases heart rate. I think you're 100% normal, but it's always good to *work* at improving cardiovascular health. Consider ways you can exercise at home (free exercise videos on YouTube, walking outside if/when you can, bodyweight strength training, marching in place, dancing to music you enjoy): Any kind of movement is better for the cardiovascular system than sitting still. Consider stress-reduction measures to help with your anxiety. There's a range of options: Therapy; meditation (need not be religious; and there are apps to help these days); yoga (bonus movement!); aromatherapy bubble baths; calming music; journaling; coloring; and more.

    If you're very worried, call or email your doctor, as a worry-reduction measure. Best wishes!
  • Jthanmyfitnesspal
    Jthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 3,521 Member
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    1) Is it accurate? Test by counting your pulse with a stopwatch. 6 seconds, multiply by 10, get a rough estimate to compare.

    2) What is your true resting heart rate? Count/measure in the morning before you rise and again at bed as you go to sleep. I don't know if Fitbit is accurate with this. Garmin is. A wide range is acceptable, but it will tend lower when you are in good aerobic shape.

    3) What is your estimated max heart rate? Hard to determine if you aren't in good shape. But, if you are, go for a run with a sprint at the end and measure. Add 5 beats.

    4) Your HR will go up and down all day depending on your level of activity but should return below 100 (at least) when you sit down and relax.

    5) If you notice your HR is elevated in a relaxed state (e.g., lying in bed), talk to the doc. Salt, alcohol, caffeine, medications, recreational drugs, or general anxiety can be the cause. But, in rare cases, people can have heart problems as well. It pays to be careful and seek medical advice.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,055 Member
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    1) Is it accurate? Test by counting your pulse with a stopwatch. 6 seconds, multiply by 10, get a rough estimate to compare.

    2) What is your true resting heart rate? Count/measure in the morning before you rise and again at bed as you go to sleep. I don't know if Fitbit is accurate with this. Garmin is. A wide range is acceptable, but it will tend lower when you are in good aerobic shape.

    3) What is your estimated max heart rate? Hard to determine if you aren't in good shape. But, if you are, go for a run with a sprint at the end and measure. Add 5 beats.

    4) Your HR will go up and down all day depending on your level of activity but should return below 100 (at least) when you sit down and relax.

    5) If you notice your HR is elevated in a relaxed state (e.g., lying in bed), talk to the doc. Salt, alcohol, caffeine, medications, recreational drugs, or general anxiety can be the cause. But, in rare cases, people can have heart problems as well. It pays to be careful and seek medical advice.

    Endorsed, with enthusiasm, in *almost* all specifics. One quibble, which I'm mentioning for other readers, not OP.

    FWIW, I've not found my Garmin to be accurate (exactly) on resting heart rate, though it's close enough (and I've seen others say the same). If I look at my all day heart rate graph, it's common to see readings lower than the resting rate, and there's the occasional day where it seems like all day is higher than what it reports as the resting rate. 🤷‍♀️ Also, I can be looking at Connect, watching HR, and sometimes see HR persisting well below what it says is my resting rate that day, and the effect persists even if I refresh.

    I admit, it's usually only a few BPM - close enough, like I said. Sometimes it finds a saner value by end of day. I don't get it.

    0bvb7sq97sga.png

    (That was a particularly puzzling example, and yes, HR stayed in the area of that lower number for a while, it wasn't just a quick blip.)
  • lizitaloo
    lizitaloo Posts: 3 Member
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    Just to bring up one last thing I didn’t see mentioned- any chance you could be pregnant. My normal 50-55 bpm increased to 75-80 bpm while pregnant
  • MarttaHP
    MarttaHP Posts: 68 Member
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    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    FWIW, I've not found my Garmin to be accurate (exactly) on resting heart rate, though it's close enough (and I've seen others say the same). If I look at my all day heart rate graph, it's common to see readings lower than the resting rate, and there's the occasional day where it seems like all day is higher than what it reports as the resting rate. 🤷‍♀️ Also, I can be looking at Connect, watching HR, and sometimes see HR persisting well below what it says is my resting rate that day, and the effect persists even if I refresh.

    I seem to recall reading somewhere that the way Garmin determines your RHR for the day is by taking the average of the lowest 5-minute period of the day, rather than a single reading. (I don't know why the opposite would happen, though, why the readings all day would be higher than the reported RHR. I haven't noticed that happening with my Garmin.)
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,055 Member
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    MarttaHP wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    FWIW, I've not found my Garmin to be accurate (exactly) on resting heart rate, though it's close enough (and I've seen others say the same). If I look at my all day heart rate graph, it's common to see readings lower than the resting rate, and there's the occasional day where it seems like all day is higher than what it reports as the resting rate. 🤷‍♀️ Also, I can be looking at Connect, watching HR, and sometimes see HR persisting well below what it says is my resting rate that day, and the effect persists even if I refresh.

    I seem to recall reading somewhere that the way Garmin determines your RHR for the day is by taking the average of the lowest 5-minute period of the day, rather than a single reading. (I don't know why the opposite would happen, though, why the readings all day would be higher than the reported RHR. I haven't noticed that happening with my Garmin.)

    Thank you for that information.

    I'm less confident of the "all day is higher" thing: It's based on a casual sweep through the day's HRs, with a little focus on the lows, so I could be wrong. That's why I said "seems like . . .": Can't assert it confidently.

    The 5-minute thing is inconsistent IMU with the instructions I'd seen for determining HRrest for athletic training purposes, before most of us had these devices, FWIW. That was natural waking, before arising, lowest reasonably persistent rate (there was probably a time standard for that, strictly, don't recall). I assume my personal case interplays with the incontrovertible fact that my Garmin regularly thinks I'm asleep, when I'm not. Occasionally, that even happens when I'm not even lying down! (I've more than once set off bradycardia alarms, set at 50, at outpatient surgical centers, wide awake, before any sedation, and when seated semi-upright at a slight recline as one does on the gurneys they use. I'm not claiming lower-than-Garmin resting rate based solely on pulse taken by hand, or even the Garmin itself.)

    BTW: I don't think this is a terribly important thing, specifically. Garmin's HRrest accuracy is a digression from the thread. I do think that a lot of people over-rely on these devices being truly accurate across the board, and simply believe the readings, unquestioned. I think they're highly useful devices, but that it's good to understand they're not gospel, and to consider what they're good at and not as good at. *That* part, I think, is on topic to the thread.

  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 13,596 Member
    edited January 2021
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    @AnnPT77 you may note that I often use the term "Fitbit resting heart rate" when referring to such.

    For n=1 FRHR apears to track with (but does not match) the more traditional RHR measurement one would take upon waking up, but before moving around.

    That said, the next day's FRHR appears to correlate extremely well with the previous day's caloric balance for the same n=1, so there's that!

    Addressing the OP specifically: An increase of 10 is entirely consistent with, for example moving from a hard deficit before COVID to a surplus or even maintenance. This could be further compounded by some loss of aerobic conditioning due to more limited movement.

    That said a move from a Fitbit resting heart rate of 75 to the low hundreds when moving around, even if that's inside the house, does not seem extreme to me.

    I see +30s regularly when moving around (male, mid 50s, debatable Fitbit cardio fitness rating of excellent for my age)
  • Jthanmyfitnesspal
    Jthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 3,521 Member
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    @AnnPT77 : Hmmmm. My Vivoactive 3 seems to give a very accurate RHR that is totally in keeping with the readings overnight.

    I'm on a no-alcohol and daily aerobic exercise kick right now, and the number has gone down a few beats from December (oh, the fun we had). One last week it is listed as 44 BPM, which is way-low for me. That is the only reported measurement I question as it is an outlier from the usual 48 - 52 BPM.
  • AsthmaticHippo
    AsthmaticHippo Posts: 62 Member
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    @kellyrosiebuxton stop worrying you are in the normal range. Being anxious in these times is totally normal and stress will raise your RHR.

    As to 104 moving around I would again consider completely normal.

    Try and talk to someone about what is making you anxious and don’t add to that anxiety by worrying about normal numbers.

    If you are still genuinely concerned reach out to your doctor who is way better equipped to provide you with advice than we are

    Good luck
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,055 Member
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    @AnnPT77 : Hmmmm. My Vivoactive 3 seems to give a very accurate RHR that is totally in keeping with the readings overnight.

    I'm on a no-alcohol and daily aerobic exercise kick right now, and the number has gone down a few beats from December (oh, the fun we had). One last week it is listed as 44 BPM, which is way-low for me. That is the only reported measurement I question as it is an outlier from the usual 48 - 52 BPM.

    Case in point: November 11, 2020, I had outpatient surgery (cataract). Pre-sedation, I set off the bradycardia alarm more than once, when it was set to alarm below 50. (I'm not sure how low, and am also sure the low reading didn't persist for 5 minutes, because I kept waving arms and legs around now and then to keep the beeping from starting, but slipped up a bit.) It was mid-afternoon, not morning. I'm not sure the Garmin wrist-based monitor caught it, though my watch was on. Garmin says HRrest was 51 that day.

    Plenty close enough, but not oracular. That's my only point.

    Yeah, mine drops with more regular/higher-volume exercise, too. And as @PAV8888 mentions, it seems to go up a few beats after a day of over maintenance calories. Ditto for alcohol consumption.
  • lgfrie
    lgfrie Posts: 1,449 Member
    edited January 2021
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    Same here. 60-62 RHR when eating at my calorie quota. 65-70 RHR a day after eating at maintenance calories, which is 500 cals higher. And the sky's the limit after drinking. 90+ after 2 drinks, and it can get up to 115 if I really overdo it - and it takes a solid 10-12 hours to settle back down after drinking, long, long after I've sobered up and sometimes into the next day.

    My 60-62 RHR is only in effect while doing cardio daily. When I slip on the cardio, my RHR creeps up and was around 72 when I had to take a week off from working out. The difference is pretty huge.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,055 Member
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    lgfrie wrote: »
    Same here. 60-62 RHR when eating at my calorie quota. 65-70 RHR a day after eating at maintenance calories, which is 500 cals higher. And the sky's the limit after drinking. 90+ after 2 drinks, and it can get up to 115 if I really overdo it - and it takes a solid 10-12 hours to settle back down after drinking, long, long after I've sobered up and sometimes into the next day.

    My 60-62 RHR is only in effect while doing cardio daily. When I slip on the cardio, my RHR creeps up and was around 72 when I had to take a week off from working out. The difference is pretty huge.

    I can't prove it, but it seems like lowered HRrest gets "stickier", i.e. persists somewhat better through periods of reduced exercise, after having had an exercise practice in place over the longer haul. It would be interesting to see if you perceive the same, after you've consistently been at this a few years. (I'm not saying it doesn't increase at all with reduced exercise load for a period of time, just that it seems to not degrade as far, as fast, IME.)
  • tbilly20
    tbilly20 Posts: 154 Member
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    I love a good heart rate discussion. Great points by everyone above. To the OP, the ranges you described sound normal. Once you get active again, your heart will return to it’s pretty-pandemic rhythms. If you start to feel palpitations, not a bad idea to consult your primary care physician.

    The first question in truly analyzing HR is questioning the method of measurement. That $100-$500 sports watch you bought with a light sensor is wildly inaccurate. Straps will also drift erratically during exercise. Programs from Garmin, Wahoo and Polar are designed to smooth that data out so that you get a really neat chart after a workout. The truth is your reading bounces and drops off all the time. This is all in the device. It’s the reason cardiac rehab is done with some very expensive and sophisticated devices. (Check out some articles and reviews by DC Rainmaker if you are interested in more info on your monitor and its accuracy.)

    Second, heart rate is wildly variable. One morning you get up after a great night’s sleep and you’re measuring 50 bpm before you get out of bed. The next morning you sleep terrible, have to go to the bathroom, and your diet composition was irregular the previous day. Now your heart rate is 60 or 70! We don’t often check up on our bodies when we’re feeling great, so you probably get more 60’s than 50’s. The truth is that your average resting HR is somewhere in between.

    Last, HR is not the best way to measure your output. HR is a response to output. That response has a lag and varies for the reasons described above. Do a quick set of jumping jacks, your HR starts to kick up in about 15-20 seconds. Stop your exercise, it takes your heart a few minutes to return to normal. Imagine if F1 engineers measured car performances with lags like that!

    Use HR for what it is worth. If you see something out of the norm, it’s worth investigating why. Don’t lose sleep over small changes (because that affects your HR 😁). HR can help to confirm your RPE, but don’t make it your only gauge.