What Is A Healthy Resting Heart Rate?

If you want to avoid heart disease, sit down, and check in on your heart because the number you want might be...

Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Every weekday, we make sense of the confusing world of wellness by analyzing the headlines, simplifying the latest research, and offering quick tips designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes. If you were forwarded this message, you can get the free daily email here.

Today’s Health Upgrade

  • Number you won’t forget

  • Don’t sleep on diabetes risk

  • The instant memory boost

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Number You Won’t Forget: 70

This week’s number is about beats per minute.

When was the last time you checked your resting heart rate? Because today might be the day for a test. Researchers found that those with a heart rate above 70 beats per minute increase their risk of heart disease by 78 percent.  

Traditionally, a resting heart rate anywhere from 60 to 100 beats per minute is considered a healthy range. But when you look at the risk of heart disease, the number is much lower.

In general, you start to see the most significant risk with heart rates above 80 beats per minute, but you see a considerable spike starting as low as 70 beats per minute.

If your heart rate is higher, don’t panic. First, the percent increase is relative to those with lower heart rates (it doesn’t mean you’re 78 percent likely to have heart disease). More importantly, you can start making immediate improvements. You can lower your heart rate through exercise, losing body fat, less stress, better sleep, and cutting out tobacco and alcohol. Research suggests you can see changes in as little as two weeks.

To test your heart rate, sit in a chair and take 10-12 deep breaths to help your body relax. Then, check your pulse and count the number of times your heart beats in 15 seconds. Multiple that by four, and that’s your resting heart rate.

Don’t Sleep On Your Diabetes Risk

People love saying you “can’t out-train a bad diet.” But you might also be unable to out-eat a bad sleep schedule. 

Research suggests that not getting enough sleep increases the likelihood of type-2 diabetes, even if you have a healthy diet. 

Scientists analyzed the behaviors of nearly 250,000 people over ten years. And those who slept less than 6 hours had a higher risk of developing type-2 diabetes. 

But here’s what we found interesting: as you might expect, those with healthier eating habits had a lower likelihood of developing type-2 diabetes. But even those who ate well still were at higher risk for the disease if they slept less than six hours per night.

This is likely because poor sleep affects your insulin sensitivity, which is your ability to absorb blood sugar efficiently. Prior research found that even one night of poor sleep can reduce insulin sensitivity by up to 25 percent. Another study found that only three nights of poor sleep can increase the level of fatty acids in your blood when you sleep, meaning your body can’t regulate blood sugar well. 

The cutoff for a good night of sleep appears to be about anything less than six hours, but better health outcomes were found for those who sleep at least 7 to 8.5 hours per night. 

Lose Your Keys? Go For A Run

We all have moments of forgetfulness. But if your brain feels like it was left on snooze, you might want to lace up your sneakers. 

Research suggests that aerobic exercise boosts both short- and long-term memory. 

Multiple studies have pieced together all the ways cardio benefits your brain. In a recent test, active people had much better memory than sedentary people. People who did light cardio — like a walk — had improved episodic memory, which is your long-term recollection of a specific point in time. 

And the benefits can be almost instant. Other research found that just 10 minutes of moderate exercise improved memory and processing. And those benefits carry over when you age. Scientists also found that people who committed to a year of consistent cardio showed a 47 percent in memory scores compared to those who only did stretching exercises. 

The magic appears to be how cardio helps your brain grow. Aerobic exercise has been linked to supporting your hippocampus — a part of your brain that plays a key role in memory, processing, and decision-making. It might also increase BNDF, which stimulates the growth of nerve cells. 

Experts generally recommend 150 minutes of exercise per week for overall health. To unlock the memory benefits of cardio, a quick 10 minutes can help give you a boost. But for more cognitive protection, you want a minimum of 120 minutes of movement per week.

And that’s it for this week. We hope you all learned some valuable information this week and are doing the small things to live healthier lives. Have a fantastic weekend!

-Arnold, Adam, and Daniel

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell