What Is a Normal Heartbeat?

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According to MedicineNet, an adult’s heart should beat approximately 60 to 100 times each minute. The number of beats per minute is called your heart rate. Your heart will beat slower during rest than when you are exercising or excited. Having a heart rate that is too slow or too rapid could indicate other illnesses such as arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeats).

Factors

Activity and fitness levels, temperature, medications, weight, body position and emotions are factors that can affect your heart rate.

Arrhythmias

Arrhythmias are heartbeats that are too slow, too early, too fast or otherwise abnormal. Fast arrhythmias (more than 100 beats per minute) are referred to as tachycardias. Bradycardias (less than 60 beats a minute) are slow heartbeats.

Exercise

According to the American Heart Association, your target heart rate during exercise should be about 50 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate depending upon your age. The older you are, the lower your target heart rate should be when exercising.

Self Management

Monitor your heart rate regularly yourself. Do this by locating your pulse and counting the number of heartbeats for 15 seconds. Multiply that amount by four to obtain your heart rate. Consult your doctor about any abnormalities.

Treatment

Anti-arrhythmic drugs can decrease the frequency of abnormal heartbeats. Holding your breath, coughing and putting your head underwater are some of the maneuvers that can correct irregular heart rates. Surgery may be required if you have more severe episodes.

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