Pressure & Heart Rate


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Blood pressure and heart rate are two different things but are closely related. The heart rate is the number of times the heart beats in a minute. Blood pressure is the measurement of blood force against on the artery’s walls.

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 measurements; systolic pressure (pressure when heart contracts) and diastolic pressure (pressure when heart rests). The normal healthy blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg.

What is a heart rate?

The number of times your heart- beats per minute to fulfill energy needs of every cell in your body from head to feet. The measuring unit for heart rate is BPM (beats per minute). It is a single number indicating the number of heartbeats 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 higher volume of blood per beat (i.e. higher stroke volume).

Blood pressure Vs Heart rate

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.

Exercise, Emotion, Heart rate and Blood pressure

When exercising, normally the heart beat increases to provide extra nutrients and oxygen requirements. It is even possible to double the heart beat rate.

Similarly, state of mind 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.

Once your heart beat increases then proportionally there should be a rise in blood pressure, but actually, it is not why? Even if there is a doubling of the heartbeat (when exercising or in emotion), while the blood pressure only increases marginally. It is due to the healthy blood vessels, which dilate (expand) to accommodate the excess blood flow.

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