Find out which smartwatches and fitness trackers are the best for monitoring your resting heart rate
Your heart rate when you are at rest is very important. This is demonstrated by a paper that was only just published in the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association, which implies that it can even be used to predict the likelihood of you passing out unexpectedly.
According to the findings of a study that involved more than 1.2 million people, individuals who regularly maintain a resting heart rate (RHR) of 80 have a mortality risk that is 45 percent higher than those who have the lowest observed heart rate of 45 beats per minute in the next 20 years. According to the research findings, the probability of passing away as a result of any disease or condition increases by approximately 9 percent for every ten beats per minute that are exceeded. There is an 8 percent increase in the likelihood of a fatal heart attack or stroke occurring.
What exactly is meant by the term “resting heart rate,” And why exactly is it so vitally important
The resting heart rate, also known as the basal heart rate, is the rate at which a person’s heart beats. At the same time, they are awake, in an environment with a neutral temperature, and have not been subjected to any recent physical activity or mental stimulation. When taking measurements, it is best to do so in the morning, preferably after a day of rest. This is because the sympathetic nervous system is less active in the morning after heavy exercise. A healthy adult’s resting heart rate (RHR) should fall within 60 to 80 beats per minute.
The following chart compares resting heart rate (RHR) to fitness level. As you can see from the chart, in general, the lower your RHR, the fitter you are. This is because regular exercise causes the heart to enlarge, become stronger, and become more effective at pumping blood throughout the body. This indicates that when the heart is at rest, it can circulate more blood with each beat, and as a result, fewer beats per minute are necessary.
So, how do you rank?
Additional Reading: Smartwatch Radiation - Health Risks & Protection Tips
What factors affect my heart rate when I’m at rest
The chart you just looked at can only give you a broad idea of your health and fitness. Variations in heart rate can also be caused by a variety of other variables, such as the use of certain medications or the presence of an illness. Your day-to-day measurements might be impacted by factors as diverse as the air temperature and the weather. Therefore, taking into account data over a longer period of time is recommended if you want to have a more precise picture of where your average is.
Other potential influences on your RHR include the following:
Your readings will normally increase as you age because your level of physical fitness will decrease as you age.
Dehydration: When you feel dehydrated, your heart needs to work harder to maintain an adequate body temperature and to supply enough oxygen and nutrients to muscles. If you are dehydrated, your heart must work harder to pump blood through your body.
When a person is under stress, the central nervous system sends signals to the heart, the brain, and the muscles, telling them to get ready for either a fight or a flight response. This causes a rise in your resting heart rate (RHR).
Last but not least is your genome, which is still another significant component that can affect your RHR.
Your individual data can also be utilized to determine the degree of exhaustion that you are experiencing. Find that your resting heart rate is significantly higher than its typical average (by more than seven beats per minute). This may indicate that you have not fully recovered from the strenuous workout you just completed. After that, you need to give some thought to taking a few days off to allow your body to recuperate.
How to reduce your readings by using several types of wearable technology
The good news is that there are things you can do to enhance your RHR no matter what it currently is. It should be no surprise that regular exercise is the most effective strategy to bring your values down. When you consistently exercise, your heart pumps more blood before it contracts, which decreases the number of beats it performs per minute. Exercising at a high intensity consistently is very important since it helps strengthen the heart and improves its efficiency. It is an indication that your aerobic fitness has increased if the rate at which your resting heart rate (RHR) lowers as a result of training.
Garmin looked into its user activity database for several examples to demonstrate this. The findings of this study make it very evident that RHR values are influenced by exercise level.
Have a look at the chart below here. It demonstrates that the amount of time spent running, biking, and swimming correlates to a lower average resting heart rate in Garmin’s sample and that this correlation holds true up to 15 hours per week.
Walking is an even more straightforward method for illustrating this point. According to the data from Garmin, the more you walk, the lower your resting heart rate will be.
In addition to eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and staying well-hydrated, you can do a few other things to bring down your resting heart rate (RHR). These include reducing the amount of stress you experience, cutting back on stimulants like coffee and caffeine, and cutting back on alcohol consumption. Healthy body weight should be maintained, and it is equally crucial to get adequate sleep each night.
To determine whether or not you are making improvements, it is recommended that you keep track of the way in which your resting heart rate fluctuates over time. Thankfully, recent developments in technology have made this task much simpler than it used to be. The vast majority of fitness trackers and smartwatches are able to calculate your RHR for you automatically. The only thing you need to keep in mind is to put them on. In addition, they offer a history record, which you are free to access to monitor the evolution of your readings over time.
Find out which smartwatches and fitness trackers are the best for monitoring your resting heart rate
Researchers have found that smartwatches and wristbands are accurate enough to meet the requirements of the vast majority of consumers. Despite the fact that the heart rate monitor on your activity tracker may not be as accurate as the equipment used in doctor’s offices and hospitals, it is still useful. In particular, with regard to RHR. However, it is important to note that these are not medical devices and hence should not be regarded in the same manner as medical devices.
Your resting heart rate (RHR) is something that the vast majority of fitness trackers and smartwatches are able to monitor for you. That is if they have a heart rate monitor incorporated right into the device. What follows is a selection of some of our top picks.
Charge 5 from Fitbit
The flagship fitness tracker from Fitbit is a sleek-looking device that retains all of the functionality found in its predecessor while improving upon it in many desirable ways. This fitness band has been our top pick for quite some time now; it is an excellent option for the everyday runner who only goes for a jog here and there.
The monitoring of the user’s heart rate is performed in a continuous manner and is reasonably accurate, thanks to the device’s in-built optical heart rate sensor. Additionally, it will monitor your resting heart rate during the day and display the result within the application, along with a graphical representation of its trend over the course of the previous thirty days.
In addition, there are a few functions that make use of the readings from your heart rate. The phrase “Cardio Fitness Level” refers to one of these. It provides you with a snapshot of your fitness level using a customized Cardio Fitness Score based on your VO2 Max, and it lets you know how you compare to persons the same age and gender as you.
The fourth generation introduced a built-in GPS. Something that can be helpful for tracking your outdoor fitness but does not require you to take a smartphone with you in order to receive a satellite connection. The fifth iteration features a gorgeous color display, the ability to take electrocardiogram readings, stress monitoring that is provided by an EDA sensor, and a Daily Readiness Score. All of these features are new. The final item on this list will tell you whether or not you should get some rest for the day or whether you are ready to work out.
The battery life is excellent and lasts for approximately a week. Additionally, you receive water resistance from 5 ATMs, allowing you to wear the device at all times without fear of it becoming damaged if you are looking for a fitness tracker, the Charge 5 checks all of the right boxes.
Vivosmart 4 from Garmin
For those in search of a companion to keep them motivated to exercise around the clock, the Garmin Vivosmart 4 is yet another excellent choice. Because of its streamlined appearance, this product is particularly well-liked among female consumers. Its body has sensors that enable it to track a variety of metrics, including steps, distance traveled, calories burned, floors climbed, and sleep, in addition to some more complex metrics like VO2Max.
You can continue receiving round-the-clock heart rate monitoring courtesy of the Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate technology. As part of this continuous monitoring, the gadget also analyses the variability of the user’s heart rate whenever the user is not actively moving. This information is then used by the device to calculate and measure the user’s level of stress.
In addition, Garmin has added some brand new features to the fourth-generation device. The Vivosmart 4 has a blood oxygen sensor that monitors your body’s energy reserves and tells you when it’s time to work hard and when it’s time to relax. This is in addition to all of the other fitness monitoring smarts that come with the device.
The vast majority of Garmin devices are able to calculate RHR, and they all use the identical Garmin Connect interface. You might want to consider purchasing a specialized sports watch from Garmin if you are looking for a piece of equipment with more functions.
Additional Reading: Let’s Find Out The Smartwatches That Can Play Apple Music
Watch on Apple Inc
The health and fitness tracking information that is available on the Apple Watch is thorough. It encourages you to exercise for thirty minutes every day, stand for at least one minute every twelve hours, and burn enough calories every twenty-four hours. The tracker will also provide you with information regarding the number of steps you have taken and the distance you have traveled.
The Series 7 offers a few upgrades over its predecessor, one of which is a display that is marginally larger than its predecessor, thanks to a reduced amount of bezel space. The display now occupies a significant portion of the front face of the device. Aside from that, you will notice a moderate improvement in its durability, in addition to the inclusion of the S7 CPU. The advancements that came with the most recent version were not that significant, which is why the Series 6 is still a good choice. In addition, the company offers a Watch Series SE variant that is priced lower.
The Apple Watch has a number of different sensors, including a blood oxygen sensor, an electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor, a next-generation accelerometer and gyroscope, and more. Tracking one’s sleep was absent for a considerable amount of time. However, it is now included in the program. And then there’s watchOS 8, which includes some helpful new features, including information about the user’s respiratory system and more tools for practicing mindfulness.
One of the most accurate optical heart rate sensors available is the one that Apple makes. The watch will notify you if it detects an abnormal spike in your readings, and it will provide you with your RHR the next morning.
This smartwatch is, without a doubt, the most cutting-edge model currently on the market. However, each new version is moving closer and closer to being an essential piece of health technology as well.
Withings Steel HR Sport
There are some people who have no interest in having a fitness tracker that looks sporty and is strapped to their wrist. A lot of individuals would rather have a gadget that has the appearance and sensation of a conventional watch while still having the capabilities that are typical of modern smartwatches. This is where Steel HR Sport is available to help you out.
Image obtained from Withings
The second generation features improvements to the watch straps and an improved Fitness Level evaluation based on an estimation of VO2 Max. Connected GPS is also included. Of course, you will continue receiving absolute fitness numbers and monitoring your heart rate.
You can acquire a reading whenever you like by skipping through the digital display on the watch, even though the watch is programmed to take a reading of your heart rate every 10 minutes when it is in regular mode. When it’s time to start working out, Steel HR will change its mode to the continuous setting on its own. During the course of the night, the watch will also monitor your resting heart rate (RHR).
The Steel HR is a fantastic all-around wearable that manages to keep things simple while combining style and usefulness in a way that very few other smartwatches can accomplish. It is difficult to find many things to dislike about this product given its stylish appearance, automatic monitoring, a healthy array of fitness features, and practically a month-long battery life.
Fitbit Versa range
The Fitbit Versa is the company’s second smartwatch and the company’s first “real” smartwatch. It comes with most of the sensors on the Ionic, but it appears to be much more attractive because of its rounded edges, polished appearance, and more compact form factor. It is also equipped with Fitbit Pay and Alexa and can store music locally. Additionally, it is water resistant.
However, this is a clock that prioritizes physical activity. It features everything you would expect to find on a Fitbit device, such as your resting heart rate (RHR) first thing in the morning, your cardio fitness level, information about your heart rate zone, and a great deal more. In addition to this, you will be able to monitor all of this information in real time on the stunning, high-resolution AMOLED touchscreen.
You also get additional smart functionality in addition to your fitness and health tracking. This includes the capability to read smartphone notifications on your wrist, NFC for making contactless payments, Alexa, and a whole number of apps that you can install via the App Gallery on your Apple Watch.
You should go with Fitbit Sense if you want the model that comes with the most bells and whistles. However, it features some extra fitness monitoring smarts like an ECG sensor and an EDA sensor, in addition to its identical appearance to the Versa.
Garmin Vivoactive or Venu
The industry standard for sports watches is Garmin. Those interested in running and multiple sports can choose from the extremely popular Fenix and Forerunner product lines. Nevertheless, the company also offers some products that compete in the market for all-purpose smartwatches. They are available in the Vivoactive and Venu models, respectively.
These two come equipped with some fairly unique specifications each. They are resistant to water, have an integrated GPS, several sports profiles, extensive fitness monitoring, SpO2 monitoring, and more. Additionally, they keep track of stress levels throughout the day. The display is where you’ll see the most significant difference between the two. The screen on the Vivoactive 4 is a transflective always-on kind, while the display on the Venu 2 is an AMOLED type.
The Venu 2 Plus is the most up-to-date product to be added to the lineup. It was introduced at CES 2022 in Las Vegas, and it improves upon its predecessor by adding the capacity to make phone calls and send messages and the capability to communicate with a voice assistant when it is linked to a smartphone.
Additional Reading: Best Smartwatches For Diabetics
The Vivoactive and Venu ranges are also excellent choices. In addition to all that has been said so far, they also come with outstanding water-proofing and battery life. In addition, you can select from a variety of sizes to meet your needs.