While it's normal for your resting heart rate to be in the 60-90bpm range, fitter men are usually at the lower end – so we understand why the numbers on your Apple Watch might worry you. First, question your sources: wrist movement can cause inaccurate one-o readings.
Next, consider that coffee, insomnia and stress will send your heart rate soaring, too. “Stress fires up your sympathetic nervous system, stimulating the fight- or- flight response, which in turn causes a release of adrenaline,” says Jim Pate, senior physiologist at the Centre for Health and Human Performance.
While this is helpful when exercising, it’s no good when you’re at your desk and panicking about deadlines. To get a more accurate indication of your resting rate, Pate suggests checking your tracker in bed when you wake up.
This gives you a number to compare against, so you can measure the effects of different tasks or habits. If you’ve eliminated all possible disturbances and your resting rate continues to climb towards 90bpm, see your GP. But our guess? Probably nothing to worry about.
HOW YOUR DAILY TASKS CAN AFFECT THE NUMBER ON YOUR WRIST
1/ SLEEP LOSS
A bad night’s sleep shouldn’t cause a significant HR spike. But if poor shut-eye continues all week, you may see an increase of at least 10bpm.
2/ WORK WORRIES
Deadline stress can play havoc with your resting HR. It’s not unheard of for people in highly stressful jobs to have a rate of well over 100bpm.
3/ WORDS TO THE WISE
Take a book for the commute home or set aside time before bed to read – and you can drop your resting HR by 10bpm. Reading this issue is a good start.