My resting pulse has been 95-103bpm since I started checking it in August. A year or two ago it was around 70bpm. My father had a heart attack two years ago and this concerns me. I'm 28 years old, about 15 pounds overweight, and am not sedentary but not extremely active either. Does my high pulse mean I am just out of shape? It takes very little exercise to reach my target heart rate of 141 (slow walking). Since my resting pulse is so high, can I raise my target heart rate?
It is very possible that you are simply out of shape (or deconditioned as it is said in medical terms) and actually a good measure of being out of shape is how quickly you reach target heart rate while exercising-the quicker target is reached, the more out of shape you are. I would be in your best interest to go see a general physician (internist or family practitioner) for a full history and physical plus a check of your cholesterol-all in an effort to modify those risk factors for heart disease that can be modified so that you do not end up in your father's shoes having a heart attack. A general physical is always wise before embarking on an exercise program which I highly suggest, as well you might receive some literature on healthy eating. These two things combined (exercise and diet) will then allow you to lose the 15 extra pounds or so, as well as be on the road to overall better health.
Mind you there are some conditions where the heart rate is greater than 100bpm at rest for periods of time and this is abnormal, however it does not sound like this is the problem in your case. The physician you see, if s/he has any question in regards to this resting heart rate of yours, may simply opt to check a holter monitor and a thyroid test (a 24hour monitoring of your blood pressure and a blood test, respecitively.) Good Luck.
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