Diseases & Conditions
Why is my heart rate high?
Ask the doctors
Q. As expected, my heart rate rises when I exercise. But sometimes it seems elevated for no apparent reason. Why might this happen?
A. When at rest, the average adult's heart beats between 60 and 100 times each minute. Your heart can speed up for many different reasons — including, as you've noted, physical activity. Other triggers are also temporary, such as stress, smoking, or caffeine or alcohol use. Certain medications, including those that treat colds, asthma, mood disorders, and high blood pressure, can also elevate your heart rate.
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About the Authors
Toni Golen, MD, Contributor; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing
Hope Ricciotti, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Women's Health Watch
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