Why is my resting heart rate so high???

Hello everyone, just so you all know I have not been to a doctor or specialist, I came to this conclusion on my own after doing some googling on the internet. I have learned that (for athletes) the slower your resting heart rate, the more efficient your heart actually is. I would consider myself an athlete, I weight lift in the gym consistently 6 days per week & perform light cardio (walking on an incline) about 4 days per week for a half hour after my workout. I have been eating at about a 600 cal deficit for about 3 weeks now (I consume about 2000-2100 cals per day in an effort to cut 1 lbs of fat per week. I’m a 26 y/o male, 173 lbs, about 16% body fat. I was laying in bed last night & calculated my own heart rate at the time & it was 82 bpm. while online said the average was 60-100 bpm, it looks like for someone of my body type and lifestyle I should be around 60-65 bpm .... anyway this was keeping me up all night and I want to know if there’s any professionals out there that read this and think that I should be concerned. All are welcome to comment, please let me know what you think. Thanks!
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Replies

  • cwaller7
    cwaller7 Posts: 25 Member
    hipari wrote: »
    Check it again first thing in the morning, before you get out of bed, on a day you haven’t had drinks or anything else unusual the night before. At night you might have all kinds of factors affecting it, ranging from alcohol to workouts of that day to overall stress and being wired up from the day.

    I know you’re not saying you drink and I’m not making any assumptions, just mentioning it in case you do. I’ve worn a Fitbit regularly for years and there’s a significant jump in heart rate on drinking days and the morning after, even if it’s just one or two drinks.

    Have you ever checked your own heart rate before? Is this a consistent thing? Another possible explanation (apart from you just not fitting to a statistical average) is covid. Have you had it, or is there a chance you currently have it? A friend had covid a year ago and was hit with long covid symptoms, including significantly increased resting heart rate (90-100, if I remember correctly) for several months.

    Thank you for your feedback! In your defense, I am an occasional drinker, but I I haven’t had a drink since April 3rd (my gf birthday). Another great perspective is having covid, something I didn’t even consider, but I have tested negative for covid twice since April (I went to Mexico with my gf for her birthday & was required to get tested to return to US, and then quarantine for 7 days when I got back and get tested again to return to work). However I did realized that I didn’t measure my heart rate as of this morning. so I just measured and recorded it at 68-72 bpm, which is an improvement from 82 bpm in my opinion. Maybe I should do what you do & wear a watch that records all that data for me & monitor it that way.
  • cwaller7
    cwaller7 Posts: 25 Member
    Jruzer wrote: »
    Obligatory not a doctor.

    My experience is that natural heart rate can vary more than is commonly believed. Some years ago I was in the hospital for an unrelated issue, but the doctors were very concerned that my heart rate was high. They ran some tests, and scheduled a further followup for some cardiac imaging and stress tests.

    The answer was that I was strong like bull. I just naturally have a high heart rate. When I exercise, for example, my heart rate goes well over the supposed (220-age) max heart rate.

    If you're very concerned, you could schedule a visit with your doctor. But I personally wouldn't be very concerned unless you have actual symptoms or issues.

    Thanks for your feedback! That is amazing that you have such a strong heart! I hope that’s the case with me. I haven’t had an complications or symptoms nor do those kinds of things run in my family, but maybe if I have the time & some extra money I’ll look into getting some test ran in the future just to check.
  • cwaller7
    cwaller7 Posts: 25 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    Lower heartrate for athletes tends far more to be in relation to people that do rather more than "light cardio (walking on an incline)".
    Although your weight lifting is great for you it's not going to have much impact on your HR compared to moderate to higher intensity cardio (the clue really is in the name cardiovascular exercise!).

    Personal range over many decades:
    65 - 70 when not doing much or only low intensity cardio.
    Low 60's when a regular squash player.
    High 40's when I became an endurance cyclist.
    Can't remember any time in last four decades of training when I've noticed a difference in HR from regular or no strength training.

    BTW - one random sample of your RHR is just one data point. Check your pulse several times first thing in a succession of mornings before eating, drinking or anything stressful to get a more consistent idea. Stressing about your HR would be a good way to elevate it of course! Physical stress such as heavy training load and rapid dieting can also result in elevated HR.

    Not a professional but as you said yourself you are right in the middle of the (extremely) wide range of normal so I'd regard that as surprising but not worrying.
    It would be an interesting self-experiment to increase your cardio and see how your RHR responds.


    Thanks for your response! I actually laughed when you said that stressing about it will increase it because you’re absolutely right lol. I will definitely start incorporating some high intensity interval training in my workout regimen, maybe 3 days per week from now on since I do want to strengthen my heart as well. & you’re right about my sample size, I need to collect more data to get an accurate view of what’s really going on. thanks for the advice!
  • cwaller7
    cwaller7 Posts: 25 Member
    Lietchi wrote: »
    Even if you think you are resting (because you're not moving) your measured heart rate might be higher than your 'true' resting heart rate for several reasons: caffeine, alcohol, exercise a few hours before, anxiety, heat, etc. Even something simple like having eaten can increase your heart rate!

    I also wonder if very low 'athlete' heart rates aren't more prevalent in those who do a lot of cardio (e.g. runners, cyclists) as opposed to those who focus on strength training.

    A resting heart rate as an absolute number doesn't say all that much, since there are very large variations between individuals. It's more about comparing the evolution of your own numbers, for example:
    - my RHR decreased gradually when I starting running longer/faster
    - my RHR increases when I'm pushing my body too much (exercise intensity or frequency too high)

    You’re absolutely right, I didn’t even think about what kind of athletes fall into this “lower heart rate” category. And it’s funny that you mention all of that because when I initially measured it last night I was laying in bed after having worked out just hours before (it was a heavy leg day) and I just just finished eating dinner so maybe that played a role too. I’ll start monitoring it more frequently to get an accurate baseline, and I’ll also incorporate actually cardiovascular exercise in my regimen to strengthen my heart.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,831 Member
    My restingHR going to bed will always be higher on evenings I did my lifting, sometimes the next morning too.

    I haven't been doing much if any cardio through winter, so my typical 40-45 RHR in the morning has been closer to to 55.
    Actually had about 3 good bike rides at this point and already lowering.

    And on those nights too, eating much more than normal, elevated HR.

    Best to track those morning RHR's. Wish I woke up without alarm to make it easier to calm back down.
    Even the daily trackers don't do that when they report RHR, they seem to include some sort of all day avg which isn't correct either.
    But at least on them you can go view what the RHR was before alarm freakout.
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 7,358 Member
    My heartrate tends to be lowest in the morning when lying in bed. Then it goes down a bit more when I get up and just chill behind the computer. Once I drink something and have breakfast it goes up a bit. After running in the evening it might remain even higher, but what gets my HR up is hiking or cycling for hours, or having a bad night sleep. And of course alcohol.
  • cwaller7
    cwaller7 Posts: 25 Member
    nooshi713 wrote: »
    Weight lifting doesn’t do much to lower resting heart rate. Things like running marathons do. It is a cardiovascular issue, not a strength one. Anyway 80 is not high at all. That’s perfectly fine.

    Yea I’m starting to realize that now. I just so happened to be reading about it online and then I checked my own RHR and I figured it must always be that high because I was laying down. then the overthinking set in after I read this article on heart disease haha. but I’m realize that I just have to monitor it more often and I should incorporate some cardiovascular exercise in my regimen at least twice per week.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,626 Member
    cwaller7 wrote: »
    hipari wrote: »
    Check it again first thing in the morning, before you get out of bed, on a day you haven’t had drinks or anything else unusual the night before. At night you might have all kinds of factors affecting it, ranging from alcohol to workouts of that day to overall stress and being wired up from the day.

    I know you’re not saying you drink and I’m not making any assumptions, just mentioning it in case you do. I’ve worn a Fitbit regularly for years and there’s a significant jump in heart rate on drinking days and the morning after, even if it’s just one or two drinks.

    Have you ever checked your own heart rate before? Is this a consistent thing? Another possible explanation (apart from you just not fitting to a statistical average) is covid. Have you had it, or is there a chance you currently have it? A friend had covid a year ago and was hit with long covid symptoms, including significantly increased resting heart rate (90-100, if I remember correctly) for several months.

    Thank you for your feedback! In your defense, I am an occasional drinker, but I I haven’t had a drink since April 3rd (my gf birthday). Another great perspective is having covid, something I didn’t even consider, but I have tested negative for covid twice since April (I went to Mexico with my gf for her birthday & was required to get tested to return to US, and then quarantine for 7 days when I got back and get tested again to return to work). However I did realized that I didn’t measure my heart rate as of this morning. so I just measured and recorded it at 68-72 bpm, which is an improvement from 82 bpm in my opinion. Maybe I should do what you do & wear a watch that records all that data for me & monitor it that way.

    Given this, sounds like you're fine.

    If others reading have the same question and higher heart rates, I'd ask what supplements they are taking as lots of pre-workouts etc. can include a boatload of caffeine.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,888 Member
    For starters, you're only working with a singular data point...a singular data point isn't enough to perform any kind of meaningful analysis. One of the features I like most about my Garmin watch is that it constantly monitors my heart rate and will give me an average everyday of my resting HR. If I just look at it at one moment in time, even if I'm laying down or whatever it may be higher or lower. At a glance, I typically have a bit higher HR in the evenings, even when I'm just sitting on the couch with my feet up watching TV. To that end, 80 something HR isn't particularly high. That is my typical just doing stuff HR and it really doesn't take a whole lot for me to see my watch jump from 63 or whatever to somewhere in the 80s. My avg resting is around 60 but it will frequently drop into the mid 50s and just as frequently be in the 80s or 90s.

    In terms of athletes with low resting HRs, these tend to be endurance athletes who do a lot of cardiovascular exercise (weight lifting for the heart) in order to perform their sport.
  • skinnyrev2b
    skinnyrev2b Posts: 400 Member
    You've had great advice above, and seem to be reassured about your place in this, but I thought I'd reiterate a comment above about statistical outliers for completeness:
    Whilst all that's been said about 'athletes' verses 'normal people's versus 'cardio fiends and weight lifters' is true and valid - that's only true if you fit the 'normal within that category'...
    I'm 43, overweight (160lb, 5.4) and I've *just* started swimming again after a long break. Prior to that my cv exercise was walking for an hour a day and yoga. My RHR is 52... that'd put me firmly in athlete range in your scenario. Obviously, I'm not. But, for what ever reason, my heart is beating strong and slow. I guess I just don't fit in the 'normal' range. You may not either.
    Just my musings for what it's worth.
  • Psychgrrl
    Psychgrrl Posts: 3,167 Member
    As folks have said, and you’ve recognized, 80 is fine.

    Establishing your baseline is helpful in tracking improvement. Like others have mentioned, fitness trackers often do that. My Fitbit does that and shows me the healthy range for people in my (assigned at birth, binary gender). As well as the age ranges above and below me. My goals involve being in the “excellent” range for the age ranges below mine (I’m coming for you 20/29 year olds!). 😂 I run intervals with the intervals at 95% of my maximum heart rate. To improve, I extend the time of the interval and decrease the recovery time (by a few seconds at a time).

    Anxiety and stress can make it go up, and it doesn’t have to be from a precipitating event. The cumulative stress of the pandemic could easily impact you over time. Mine went up in December and stayed that way for a couple months. About 15 beats per minute. Work stress related to COVID was really, really bad. I was still exercising, but because I wasn’t sleeping well because I was so freaked out about work, my intensity dropped a little. That is also a factor in my rhr going up. 🤷🏻‍♀️

    I messaged my doctor and she asked how how felt during my training. Great, actually. She said if I ever experience dizziness, tightness in my chest, jaw or neck pain while exercising (or with a sudden onset) to be concerned. People have minor cardiac events during stress tests (her info), so me feeling awesome during exercise was a good sign I was ok.

    All that to say odds are you’re fine. Lots of factors besides your fitness level go into that number. And improving cardio capacity is a great fitness goal. 💖
  • lgfrie
    lgfrie Posts: 1,447 Member
    edited April 2021
    Lots of good insights from other posters above. I just wanted to add that in my own case, resistance training days tend to be slightly higher RHR or no change in RHR. But an hour of cardio in the 70-75 % RHR zone for a couple days produces a drop in RHR that lasts several days to a week. That is to say, if I do an hour of vigorous cardio on Monday and Tuesday, my RHR will drop from its typical 62-64 to very low 50's and sometimes even 48-49 through at least Friday and possibly the following Monday.At least in my experience vigorous cardio has a dramatic impact on RHR that other things don't have, including resistance training.
  • mrmota70
    mrmota70 Posts: 355 Member
    I’m a walker(with purpose avg 3.5-4 mph walking with incline),rower, elliptical and now a jogger kind of guy.. I use to jog and do 5ks and 10ks in my early to late 20s. I use to also be a long distance bicyclist in my early years. I’m now 50. My avg heart rate is in the 40s. Yes in the 40s. My dr is very much aware of my state of health. I go do yearly checkups and he’s actually going to do a full imaging EKG and all the trimmings to check how efficient my ticker is. When I do workouts I can shoot between 140-150s and within a minute I drop 50 bpm easily. I’ve dubbed myself a FATthlete :smile: Your heart as he explained it to me has a memory and what I use to do as a younger man has been reignited when I finally decided that the party had been going on long enough. People will differ some folks will have a higher heart rate and as long as your within an acceptable range you should be good. However in my opinion don’t look to the internet for questions/concerns that should be answered by a professional. Aside from their knowledge they can do real deep dive checking via blood work, ekg, stress test etc. etc.. Keep us posted
  • danae16
    danae16 Posts: 62 Member
    mrmota70 wrote: »
    I’m a walker(with purpose avg 3.5-4 mph walking with incline),rower, elliptical and now a jogger kind of guy.. I use to jog and do 5ks and 10ks in my early to late 20s. I use to also be a long distance bicyclist in my early years. I’m now 50. My avg heart rate is in the 40s. Yes in the 40s. My dr is very much aware of my state of health. I go do yearly checkups and he’s actually going to do a full imaging EKG and all the trimmings to check how efficient my ticker is. When I do workouts I can shoot between 140-150s and within a minute I drop 50 bpm easily. I’ve dubbed myself a FATthlete :smile: Your heart as he explained it to me has a memory and what I use to do as a younger man has been reignited when I finally decided that the party had been going on long enough. People will differ some folks will have a higher heart rate and as long as your within an acceptable range you should be good. However in my opinion don’t look to the internet for questions/concerns that should be answered by a professional. Aside from their knowledge they can do real deep dive checking via blood work, ekg, stress test etc. etc.. Keep us posted

    I am in my late 30s and have a resting heartrate of between 38-44 per my fitbit. I really struggle to get my heartrate above 150 and it goes down very quickly! I have always wondered if this is a bad or good thing, but I have seen a cardiologist at three different points in my life and they can't find anything wrong (i sometimes have an irregular heartbeat under extreme stress). It is nice to know there is someone else who's heart does the same thing. I do a combination of lifting and interval type training about 5-6 days a week and my off days I almost always do a long walk or something like that. I think mine is also genetic as my dad's heartrate has always been low.