Why Resting Heart Rate Accuracy is Important

Calculating an accurate resting heart rate is important for four reasons:

1. It is often used in the calculation of exercise target heart rate for graded exercise test and exercise prescription.

2. It can provide a baseline value for comparison as cardiovascular fitness improves (with training, an individual's resting heart rate usually decreases as his/her stroke volume increases).

3. Resting heart rate is sometimes used to assess cardiovascular fitness, although caution should be used in assessing a person's cardiovascular fitness solely on the basis of his/her resting heart rate.

4. Normal resting heart rates are usually regular (no palpitations), and are between 60-100 beats/minute. If your client's resting heart rate is over 100 bpm, under 60 bpm, or is irregular, a physician should be consulted. an exception is the aerobically trained athlete; it is not ususual for athletes to have resting heart rate as low as 40 bpm.

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