When it comes to elderly patients, a slow heart rate may be normal—or risky. Rates as low as 40 beats/minute may be normal and simply result from a decreased response to either epinephrine or beta-adrenergic stimulation. Or such slow rates may result from a dangerous arrhythmia.
It means that the heart’s natural pacemaker isn’t working right or that the electrical pathways of the heart are disrupted. Sometimes, the heart beats so slowly that it doesn’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. This can cause symptoms, such as feeling dizzy or weak. In some cases, it can be life-threatening.
Adults and children who have a low pulse and experience severe symptoms, such as chest pain or fainting, should also go to the hospital. A person should see a doctor for bradycardia when: they experience an unexplained change in heart rate that lasts for several days.
The normal resting heart rate for adults over the age of 10 years, including older adults, is between 60 and 100 beats per minute (bpm). Highly trained athletes may have a resting heart rate below 60 bpm, sometimes reaching 40 bpm.
Studies have consistently shown that a lower resting heart rate, at least down to 40 bpm, is associated with a longer life span, both in comparisons between individuals and between species. For every 20 additional beats per minute of resting heart rate, mortality increases by 30–50 percent.
Exercise: The easiest and most effective way to achieve a lasting lower heart rate is to do regular exercise. 2. Stay hydrated: When the body is dehydrated, the heart has to work harder to stabilize blood flow. Throughout the day, drink plenty of sugar- and caffeine-free beverages, such as water and herbal tea.
Dehydration, Heart Rate, and Heart Health The amount of blood circulating through your body, or blood volume, decreases when you are dehydrated. To compensate, your heart beats faster, increasing your heart rate and causing you to feel palpitations.
3 Activities to increase your heart rate
A normal resting heart rate for most people is between 60 and 100 beats per minute (bpm). A resting heart rate slower than 60 bpm is considered bradycardia.
When the heart does not operate as it is supposed to and develops an abnormally slow heart rate that is less than 60 beats per minute, the condition is known as bradycardia. Bradycardia can be life threatening if the heart is unable to maintain a rate that pumps enough oxygen-rich blood throughout the body.
60 years: 80 to 136 beats per minute. 65 years: 78 to 132 beats per minute. 70 years: 75 to 128 beats per minute.
You should visit your doctor if your heart rate is consistently above 100 beats per minute or below 60 beats per minute (and you’re not an athlete), and/or you are also experiencing: shortness of breath.
Daniel Green holds the world record for the slowest heartbeat in a healthy human, with a heart rate measured in 2014 of 26 BPM. Martin Brady holds the Guinness world record for the slowest heart rate with a certified rate over a minute duration of 27 BPM.
The standard treatment for a slow heart rate is to implant a pacemaker. For people with bradycardia, this small device can help restore a normal heartbeat.
Your heart beats faster to accelerate your blood circulation and so regulate your body temperature. Conversely, when you’re in a cooler environment, the blood circulation in peripheral parts of the body decreases. Your heart has less work to do and your RHR will decrease.