Your heart rate is always fluctuating.
You’ve probably felt it race in a stressful moment or after walking up some stairs, and vice versa, you’ve probably felt it calm down when you’re watching TV on the couch.
Though it’s always in flux, your heart rate can provide insight to your overall health and wellbeing. Your resting heart rate and maximal heart rate in particular can reveal fascinating stuff about your heart and health.
If you’re stressed…
Stress affects your body in a few ways, none of them good, and some more dangerous than others.
One of the immediate effects of stress is an elevated heart rate. The American Heart Association explains that stress causes a release of adrenaline, which raises your heart rate as a ‘flight or fight’ response. An elevated heart rate can also be the result of chronic stress; though it’s not as noticeable, it’s something to keep in mind.
If you’re developing a fever
A high heart rate can also be an early indicator that you’re getting sick. As your body temperature rises, like it would if you have the fever, your heart escalates as well.
A study in the Emergency Medicine Journal showed that every degree Celsius increase in body temperature results in an extra 10 beats per minute. So, be sure to get your annual flu shot.
If you’re wired on caffeine
The jury is still out on whether you can or can’t drink too much coffee, but large amounts of caffeine are known to ramp up heart rates.
A study in the Journal of Caffeine Research found that heart rates elevated in both force and speed in participants who drank coffee.
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