Factors That Can Affect Your Pulse and Respiratory Rate

Factors That Can Affect Your Pulse and Respiratory Rate

It’s important to understand how to recognize good vital signs. Our vital signs help determine whether or not we are getting sick.


How to recognize healthy vital signs

A pulse is when our blood passes through an artery and this artery expands; it is a measurement of how many times our heart beats in a minute. The average person’s heart beats between 60 and 80 times a minute. Like a pulse, the respiratory rate is also measured by minutes. The average person inhales and exhales between 12 and 20 times every 60 seconds.



As we age many things change. One of these things is our heart and lungs. Hearts can sometimes develop fat deposits which can block how fast the blood travels through our veins and arteries. Lungs can also become a little less efficient with age.



Exercise increases the amount of oxygen our bodies take in. This means our pulse quickens and our breathing rates increase not to mention our breathing becomes more shallow since we need to increase our oxygen to provide our cells with more energy and in turn pump more blood through our hearts for a better pulse.



Decongestants like the medicines we take when we’re suffering from a cold or a flu will cause our blood pressure to increase. Medications that have sodium are usually responsible for the sudden rise in your blood pressure.


Our Feelings

If we experience lots of pain or are angry at a situation our bodies will subconsciously increase our breathing. This is a part of the fight or flight response when we find ourselves in a stressful situation and large doses of adrenaline are released.


There are many factors that influence our vital signs. Learning how to moderate them through healthy everyday choices, and knowing how to recognize these signs in emergency situations is critical for proper care. For more information about vital signs or First Aid & CPR Training Toronto, please call Heart 2 Heart at 1-866-260-2790 (toll free) or email register@heart2heartcpr.com.