Use Your Resting Heart Rate as Early Warning

Fitness Trackers COVIDYour resting heart rate (RHR) may well predict disease.* Mine does. I track mine on my fitness tracker to get an early warning of illness. Since I know how my normal resting heart rate behaves when it steadily starts to rise I know my body is fighting something, whether or not I yet have other symptoms.

When I see this, I get more rest and up my nutrition.

Resting Heart Rate Tracks DiseaseThis is an image of a cold I just had. See how my normal RHR bounces around between 57-61 but then it started a steady climb? That climb is easy to see on this graph so I got started upping my self-care immediately.  I also know, from past illness, if my resting heart rate had hit 65 or higher, I would have called my doctor as I would suspect a growing infection. As it was, it behaved like other colds I’ve had through the years so I was unconcerned. I know my pattern well.  PLEASE: Everyone’s resting heart rate is different. I walk a lot so mine may well be lower than yours. This is not about the exact number but rather the steady rise from your normal numbers. RHR of 60-100 is generally considered normal, so don’t stress out if your RHR is higher than this. Speaking of stress…

I’ve seen my RHR go up by a couple of beats a minute in times of stress – like the time we’re in now. I view that as an inner alarm going off alerting me to slow down and calm down. Turn off the TV. Set up times for family discussion of what’s going on and preparation then talk about other things the other 23.5 hours a day. View other things. Being glued to the media drama 24/7 is not healthy for us and our health is the top priority right now.

Self-care is proactive and important. You want to be as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Stress can suppress our immune system so everything you can do to lower your stress is a plus. Lowering your physical stress does not mean you don’t care about what’s going on or that you aren’t worried, just that you taking care of yourself.

I find a fitness tracker a big help in keeping track of my stats. Most brands track your resting heart rate but I’d double-check that they have that feature. Here’s the list of what’s available right now: Amazon Fitness Trackers