Pressure & Heart Rate

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Blood Pressure & Heart Rate

Blood pressure and heart rate are two different entity, but are closely related. The heart rate is the number of times the heart beats in a minute. Blood pressure is the measurement of the blood force against the arterial walls.

Blood pressure Vs Heart rate

What is blood pressure? Blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of arteries to maintain healthy blood circulation to the entire body. The measuring unit for blood pressure is mmHg (millimeters of mercury). The reading includes two numbers; systolic pressure (pressure when the heart contracts) and diastolic pressure (pressure when the heart rests). The optimal blood pressure is 110/70 mmHg and the normal blood pressure (among most healthy individuals) is 120/80 mmHg.

What is a heart rate? Heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute to fulfill energy needs of every cell in your body from head to feet. It is a single number, the measuring unit for heart rate is BPM (beats per minute). The normal healthy heartbeat is 60 BPM.

The normal resting heart rate in adults is 60 to 90 BPM. Athletes often have been resting heart rates of below 60 BPM. The low pulse rate in athletes is due to their ability to pump a higher volume of blood per beat (i.e. higher stroke volume).

Elevate heart rate has an associated with elevated blood pressure, increased risk for development of hypertension & diabetes and all-cause mortality.

In the HARVEST study, 15 % of hypertensive patients had a resting heart rate over 85 beats per minute, and approximately 27 % had a heart rate over 80 beats per minute.

Reference: Role of elevated heart rate in the development of cardiovascular disease in hypertension. Hypertension. 2011 Nov; 58(5):745-50.

There is no direct correlation between blood pressure and heart rate (or pulse rate). High pulse rate does not mean to indicate hypertension. For people with hypertension, heart rate will not be a substitute for measuring blood pressure.

Elevation in heart rate does not cause your blood pressure to elevate at the same proportion, why. It is because even though your heart beat raises; healthy blood vessels dilate (expands) to permit more blood to flow easily. It is possible for your heart rate to double with only a modest rise in blood pressure.

In a large study in China, those who had a high-normal resting heart rate of 80 bpm to 90 bpm had a 40 percent shorter lifespan than those with a desirable heart rate of 60 bpm to 69 bpm.

Exercise, Emotion, Heart rate and Blood pressure

State of minds such as anxiety, frustration, anger, fear, anticipation of pain and negative emotional states can bring about elevations in heart rate. Positive psychological states such as excitement, joy, and interest can also bring elevations in heart rate.

During exercise, it is even possible to double your heart beat rate.

Exercise increases your heart rate to facilitate extra blood, nutrients, and oxygen to your exercising muscles. Intense exercise steeply increase your heart rate than moderate exercise. Those who do not exercise have higher heart rate compared to a fit person. After finishing exercise, your heart rate stays high until your body recovers. Fit person’s heart rate returns to the resting heart rate quickly compared to an unfit person.

When exercising, heart’s contraction increases along with heart rate that is more blood pumped per beat this increases blood pressure. Blood vessels dilate during exercise to enable increased blood flow to the muscles and this help normalize blood pressure. 

Exercise strengthen your muscles, heart, and improves the health of the blood vessels. After regular exercising for months, your resting heart rate will drop because your heart becomes stronger and thus pumps efficiently. Additionally, exercise has blood pressure lowering effect in either with or without hypertension.

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