EP316: Understanding Heart Health


Welcome to my podcast. I am Doctor Warrick Bishop, and I want to help you to live as well as possible for as long as possible. I’m a practising cardiologist, best-selling author, keynote speaker, and the creator of The Healthy Heart Network. I have over 20 years as a specialist cardiologist and a private practice of over 10,000 patients.

This episode discusses heart rate and heart health. Dr. Bishop explains that a normal resting heart rate is around 60-100 beats per minute. He outlines factors that impact heart rate like age, fitness level, and medical conditions. Target heart rates for exercise are discussed as well as how medications can influence stress test results. The episode also explores heart rate variability and new technologies for monitoring heart rate.

An interesting point is how devices like the Apple Watch have potential for irregular rhythm detection but have limitations in older populations.


  • Heart rate, or the number of times the heart beats per minute, is a common vital sign measured to understand heart health. The normal resting heart rate for adults is around 60-100 beats per minute.
  • Factors like age, fitness level, medications, and medical conditions can impact one's normal heart rate range. Rates above 100 bpm at rest or below 50 bpm may warrant further examination.
  • Target heart rates for exercise are typically 50-70% of one's maximum predicted heart rate, which is 220 minus one's age. This provides a range for moderate intensity exercise.
  • Stress tests aim to raise the heart rate to around 85% of maximum predicted rate to thoroughly evaluate heart function under strain. Some medications that regulate heart rate may interfere with stress test results.
  • Heart rate variability, the variation in time between heartbeats, provides insight into cardiac health and ability to respond to demands on the body. Lower variability can indicate issues.
  • Smartwatches and fitness trackers are increasingly used to monitor heart rate but have limitations, especially for older users and arrhythmia detection. Medical-grade ECGs remain more reliable.
  • Long-term heart rate monitors via patches can track heart rate over days to better understand any irregular rhythms.
  • Genetics may play a role in normal heart rate ranges, with some families naturally running on the slower side.
  • Infections, arrhythmias, and anxiety can cause temporary elevated heart rates above normal ranges.
  • Maintaining overall heart health involves understanding heart rate metrics and risks, engaging in moderate exercise, and seeking medical guidance when readings seem abnormal.

Australia, like the rest of the western world, has a heart problem.

Over 9 million people around the world die from heart disease every year.

Every 10 minutes, someone in Australia suffers a heart attack. And 21 lives are lost daily because of it.

The devastating fact in all of this is… 

Almost every one of those cases could have been prevented. 

This podcast is for anyone who wants to improve their health literacy and gain information to help them make the best decisions about their risk of heart attack, their cholesterol, blood pressure, risk of diabetes, weight loss and general health. Join me on my personal mission journey to prevent Heart Attack on a global scale. If you like this podcast, I would be honoured by a 5-star review and appreciate if you let your friends and family know about this podcast; you may even save the life of someone you love!

Are You at Risk of a Sudden Heart Attack? How Healthy is Your Heart? Really?

Heart disease is the #1 killer in the Western World. In Australia, someone dies every 28 minutes from heart disease. That’s 51 people a day. In the US, someone has a heart attack every 40 SECONDS! Fortunately, many heart attacks are preventable. However, regular exercise and eating healthy are no guarantee you won’t succumb to this silent killer.

  • 94% of Australians have at least One Risk Factor for heart disease.
  •  59% of Australians have been Touched by heart disease.
  •  Yet only 3% of Australians have had a Full Heart-Health Assessment in the past 12 months.

Do the free heart check today at www.virtualheartcheck.com.au

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The Healthy Heart Network is designed to help members:

  • understand the present state of their heart’s health
  • recognise their current level of risk of suffering a heart attack
  • Learn the positive steps they can take to improve their situation

Visit https://healthyheartnetwork.com/ and click on the JOIN THE FAMILY BUTTON

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