Lincoln County Journal

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Christine Griffen-Advance Physical Therapy

Healthy Numbers

Heart rate is read by the beats per minute (bpm). The average resting heart rate range is 60 to 90 bpm for a “healthy” individual.
Heart rate is important when exercising because to exercise properly you should keep your heart rate in a Target Heart Rate Zone. Too high of a heart rate when exercising can lead to quick exhaustion and too low of a heart rate means you are probably not working hard enough. To find your Target Heart Rate Zone you first need to find your average maximum heart rate.
Your average maximum heart rate is just 220 minus your age (Example: For a 40 year old, 220-40 = 180 bpm). To figure your Target Heart Rate Zone take your maximum heart rate and find 50% to 85% of that number. This will give you your range/zone to work within. (Example: For a 40 year old person, 50% to 85% of 180 = 90 bpm to 153 bpm)
Blood pressure is a measure of how hard blood is pressing against artery walls. Blood pressure is recorded as two numbers: the top number is called systolic pressure (amount of pressure when the heart contracts) and the bottom number is called diastolic pressure (amount of pressure when the heart relaxes). If you are a healthy adult under the age of 60, your blood pressure goal is less than 140/90, according to the American Heart Association. If over the age of 60, your goal is less than 150/90.
Some factors that can cause blood pressure to fluctuate include: changes in posture (lying to sitting or standing), exercise, dehydration and other health conditions such as high bad cholesterol (LDL).
Weight can often be a sensitive subject to discuss but it is important to know what is most ideal. One of the best ways to determine if your weight is at a healthy level is to find your Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is used to screen for weight categories that can indicate the potiential for other health problems. It is calculated using height (in inches) and weight (in pounds). The formula to calculate BMI is as follows: [weight / (height)2] x 703 {Example: weight is 150lb and height is 5’5” (65 inches) then [150/ (65)2 ] x 703 = 24.96 BMI} BMI is classified in categories: Normal = 18.5 to 24.9 BMI, Underweight = <18.5 BMI, Overweight = 25 to 29.9 BMI, and Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater.
There are some limitations when determining BMI including that it may overestimate body fat in athletes and others with a muscular build, and it may underestimate body fat in older persons and others who have lost muscle mass. Waist circumference is assessment of excessive abdominal fat that also assists with determining if someone is at a higher risk of developing obesity related conditions.
Waist circumference is measured by placing a tape measure around your bare abdomen just above hips. Those at higher risk are a man with a waist circumference more than 40 inches and a non-pregnant woman with a waist circumference more than 35 inches.
If you have any concerns about your heart rate, blood pressure, or healthy weight ranges be sure to speak with your physician. For further information or questions about this article contact Advance Physical Therapy at 636-528-7333.