Do you agree that our heart is sensitive to every small and big incidence in our lives? Well, if you don’t know, let me tell you that our heart actually ‘feels’ an incidence, such as a stressful situation, a worrying condition, a fearsome scenario etc, and also relaxed, happy moments, and reacts in the form of beating fast or slow respectively. Is it possible to know the future of our health, whether we’ll live a prolonged healthy life, or we are going to die within a few years? Yes, it is! A small group of humble, yet talented Austrian developers have created an app named ‘Hearty’ which is still in its beta, but has effectively shown an example of how the hearts of two prominent presidential election candidates are reacting, while various political issues appear in the debate.
However, it’s not that you can see only the heart rates of these two candidates – Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. You can measure your heart rate too. And of course, this can be an eye opener for you. The heart rate can tell you many things, such as whether you take everything seriously and become stressed every now and then, or you are overall relaxed and take things lightly, or there are certain situations in life which bewilder you, make you stressed, worry you and even make you happy and relaxed.
Why to Monitor Heart Rate?
Some of us may ask this question. But if you are fitness enthusiast, you will be interested in your heart’s health and in that case, you will be glad to know that your heart rate can tell you many things about your cardiac and overall health; what’s more, you can avoid a heart condition on time because of getting a notice from your changed heart rate. So, don’t you feel that you should have an eye upon your cardiac rhythm?
Heart rate is also called pulse and it can be defined as the number of times the heart beats per minute. This rate varies in every person. It can also change in number and regularity with age. This change may also point to a heart condition or some other condition that should be addressed immediately.
How can You Measure Your Heart Rate?
You can check your heart rate by checking the following organs:
- Side of neck
- Inside the elbows
- Top of the feet
You will have to press over your pulse lightly with your finger and count the beats in a minute.
What is the Normal Heart Rate?
When you are at rest, overall healthy, not excited and are relaxed, your normal heart rate is usually between 60 and 100 beats per minute. If it is below 60, that doesn’t mean that you have a heart condition. The rate may be lower either due to a drug like a beta blocker or in an extremely active person or an athlete, because their heart is very healthy and doesn’t have to work hard for maintaining a steady beat.
Which Factors do Affect Heart Rate?
Atmospheric Temperature and Humidity: Increased atmospheric temperature and humidity make heart pump slightly more amount of blood, but normally not beyond 5-10 beats per minute.
Body Size: Actually body size doesn’t affect heart rate. Obese persons might notice a higher resting pulse than usual, but often not beyond 100.
Body Position: Usually your heart beat is same while you stand, sit or rest. Sometimes, after the first 15-20 seconds of standing, it may rise a bit, but after 2-3 seconds it should come down too.
Medication: Medicines that block adrenaline (beta blockers) usually slow down your heart rate, whereas thyroid medication when taken in excessive amount will increase it.
Emotions: Examples of increasing or decreasing heart rate with emotions can be seen excellently in the presidential candidates’ heart activity in the Hearty app. Whenever you are stressed, afraid or extraordinarily sad or happy, your heart beat can rise. In the presidential election candidates’ debate you can see how stress or emotional arousal increases their heart rate. So, you can clearly distinguish between irritated, tense, stressed moments and relaxed, confident and steady moments. Various issues were discussed within the debate like Second Amendment, Abortion, Immigration, Wikileaks, US-Russia Relations, NAFTA, Economy, and so on. It’s interesting to see how the heart rate of both the candidates changed during the discussion on each of these issues.
When to Call a Doctor?
It’s clear how to measure your heart rate and how much the normal heart rate is and when it is below normal. But when should it be considered serious, so as to call a doctor?
Well, if you are already on a medication for slowing down your heart beat (and reducing blood pressure) or controlling an abnormal heart beat, your doctor may ask you to keep monitoring your heart rate. The result of your monitoring can give your doctor an idea about whether to change the dosage of the medication or start a different medication.
If you are seeing very low heart rate and/or you are experiencing unexplained increased heart rate, particularly if it’s causing weakness or dizziness, you should visit the doctor. S/He may see it as an emergency.
In short, your pulse can give you an idea well ahead of time about if you are well or ill, and can save you from death.
What is Hearty and What can It Do for Your Heart?
Hearty is a beautiful app for measuring your heart rate. So, you can check your heart rate on your mobile. The app can also help you in showing arterial stiffness, blood pressure and cardiac age.
The developers of the app are active on detecting heart disease in omnipresent biosignals. Smartphones, laptops and wearables all carry sensors that are capable enough to catch these biosignals. And so, the developers believe that thousands of lives can be saved every year.
If you want to track your heart health, register on the app with your email id and they will keep you updated about the beta launch of the Hearty app.