What’s the Normal Pulse Rate for Senior Citizens?

an older couple goes for a walk

Being a senior means it’s important to keep in touch with your health.

This includes making positive dietary choices, exercising, booking appointments with your physician, and tracking your pulse rate.

However, many seniors ask “what is a normal pulse rate for my age?” and that’s a wonderful question to ask.

Here’s a look at what defines a normal pulse rate, how it works, and what’s best to improve your pulse rate in the long-term.

*Before we dive in, if you have any questions about your pulse rate, whether or not it’s normal, and the steps you can take to improve your pulse, you need to consult a medical doctor.

What is a Pulse Rate?

a pulse rate monitor

A pulse rate refers to the number of times your heart beats in a single minute (60 seconds). You can find your pulse rate at the top of your foot, inside of your elbow, wrists, and side of your neck.

Make sure to press your finger against one of these “pulse points” and take an accurate reading. You can count how many times the heart beats per minute.

Please remember, a heart beating less than 60 times per minute is not always a concern. Patients consuming beta blockers will have a lowered heart rate.

It’s also common for senior citizens that are generally active and work out regularly at a higher intensity. The reason for this has to do with how the heart muscle is conditioned.

It is able to do a better job of pumping blood with less effort.

However, moderate physical activity isn’t going to change your pulse rate. Only those putting in serious hours at the gym or in a sport will notice these changes.

Otherwise, a regular person is going to be sitting in the 60-100 beats per minute range.

In general, the body has to work in this range to maintain various bodily functions at a sustainable rate.

What Can Affect Short-Term Pulse Rate Readings?

1. Air Temperature

a doctor checks a woman's pulse

This is one of the first variables that come into play because your heart is going to pump more in warmer conditions. However, it will not be a dramatic increase (only 5-10 additional beats per minute).

2. Emotions

Yes, your emotions can play a role. If you are anxious/scared, the body is going to adjust and start beating faster. The same applies to those dealing with a sudden rush of happiness.

3. Body’s Positioning

If you were sitting for a long period and get up, the pulse rate may go up for a few minutes (by 15-20 beats). This is a natural reaction to the change in position.

4. Size of Your Body

A larger body (obese) will have a much higher resting pulse than someone that is smaller in size. However, this is not always a massive change.

5. Medications

As mentioned before, something like beta blockers can cause the pulse rate to slow down, while thyroid meds can help it go the other way.

Normal Pulse Rate for Seniors

What is the normal pulse rate for seniors?

a pulse rate on a heart

In general, a person that is aging will notice a decrease in their resting heart rate. To do this the right way, sit still for 10 minutes and take a quick reading from one of those pulse points mentioned before.

You should always know your pulse rate as it’s an integral part of your well-being and should be recorded frequently.

For someone that is 60 years of age, you should look to have a heart rate sitting in the 80-136 beats per minute range. While someone that is aged 65 should look for a pulse rate between 76-132 beats per minute.

For those aged 70+, the pulse rate should sit between 75-128 beats per minute.

A good formula to follow is (220 – your age = maximum pulse rate).

Keep this in mind and you should know when it’s time to visit a family physician. This is an important detail to note down.

Steps to Take to Improve Your Pulse Rate

1. Exercise Daily

an older couple goes for a bike ride

Begin by setting up an exercise regimen in line with your needs. The goal should be to increase your activity level one way or another. For some, this means going for a 30-minute swim at the local pool, while others prefer a brisk jog around the neighborhood.

The type of activity is up to you but it’s important to stay active!

If you’re looking for inspiration, we have plenty of awesome workout machines reviewed here at The TreadClimber (read our review) is one of my favorite machines for low-impact cardio workouts, but there plenty of other awesome too, so check out our reviews and find the right one for you!

2. Limit Sodium Consumption

What are you eating on a daily basis?

This is the age to make immediate adjustments to your dietary intake, which includes sodium consumption. Do not eat foods that are high in sodium such as chips, fries, burgers, and anything else that’s laced in salt. This is horrible for your pulse rate and is going to hamper your heart’s longevity.

3. Eat Fruits and Veggies

eating more vegetables can help with your pulse

Along with eliminating bad foods, you also need to add good ones.

The number one addition to your list has to be a good portion of fruits and/or veggies with each meal.

There are a variety of good fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, raspberries, apples, green peppers, and olives to name a few.

Choose the ones that are best suited to your taste buds and make adjustments right away.

4. Limit Alcohol Consumption

Do you drink often?

Whether it’s red wine, champagne, or vodka, there is never a good time to drink alcohol. It’s going to hamper your heart and as a result, your pulse rate will worsen.

It’s never a good idea to drink large amounts of alcohol as a senior citizen.

5. Get Rid of Processed Foods and Sugars

cut back on alcohol

Just like alcohol or sodium, you do not want to consume any type of processed food. There are so many options in the supermarket and eating processed foods is a bad idea.

The same applies to anything that’s high in sugar whether it’s a bottle of Pepsi or a packet of hard candy.

Do not continue to consume these every single day!

Final Thoughts

These are the details to keep in mind as a senior citizen. Yes, your pulse rate is important and it should be accounted for at various times of the year. Keeping track of these numbers can help alleviate lingering medical concerns before they worsen.