Did you know your resting heart rate can rise before monthly periods? Learn about resting heart rate, how to measure it and what it means for your overall health.
Measuring resting heart rate
Your heart rate is the number of times your heart beats in a minute. Resting heart rate usually ranges between 60 and 100 beats per minute. There are several factors that can affect resting heart rate though including age, fitness, and medications.
Checking your resting heart rate is as simple as measuring your pulse. The best time to measure your heart rate is when you wake up in the morning. Be sure to measure it before you get out of bed as movement will increase your heart rate.
Follow these steps to take your pulse:
- Locate blood vessels on your wrist, inner elbow, the side of your neck or the top of your foot.
- Press your finger on these blood vessels to feel for a pulse.
- Count the number of beats in 15 seconds and multiply the number by four to calculate the total beats per minute.
You can also consider purchasing a wearable device, like a smart watch, that can calculate and track your resting heart rate.
Resting heart rate and overall health
Your resting heart rate can reveal a lot about your overall health. While the average range is between 60 to 100 beats per minute for adults, the optimal range is between 60 and 80 beats per minute.
In general, a lower resting heart rate indicates a higher level of cardiovascular fitness. Elite athletes can have resting heart rates around 40 beats per minute.
If your resting heart rate is high, you can often lower it with exercise. However, a spike in your resting heart rate, up or down, could be a sign of a condition that requires medical attention.
Resting heart rate and your menstrual cycle
Women who track their resting heart rates regularly might notice changes in it throughout the month. These minor fluctuations in resting heart rate are normal parts of your menstrual cycle.
Throughout the month, your body undergoes many hormonal changes that affect factors such as your resting heart rate and body temperature. On average, your heart rate increases two beats per minute during your fertile days right before your monthly period.
Scientists are still researching more links between resting heart rate and menstrual cycles as a way to detect fertile windows.
Learn more about the heart and vascular care offered at Mercy Health.