How Do You Lower Your Resting Heart Rate How Do You Lower Your Resting Heart Rate

How Do You Lower Your Resting Heart Rate?

 

The heart rate can be an indicator of an underlying health issue. To reduce the heart rate, individuals may try breathing and relaxation exercises, physical activity, unique techniques that stimulate the vagus nerve, healthy dietary choices, and stress management.

Heart rate can be a warning sign of an illness, and to lower it, people can participate in breathing and relaxation activities, physical exercise, vagal nerve stimulation, healthy eating, and stress management.

In contrast, a resting pulse that exceeds 100 beats per minute is known as tachycardia. This could be a sign of an arrhythmia or other health condition and should be evaluated by a doctor.

This article examines the potential causes of a high heart rate, provides methods to decrease it, and outlines the recommended target range.

 

How To Lower The Heart Rate

It is possible for a person's heart rate to increase for some reasons, including the following:

  • Age

  • Hormonal changes

  • Stress

  • Certain medications

  • Anxiety

  • Physical activity

If a person's heart rate is elevated, they can do a few things to bring it down. They can take slow, deep breaths to help slow their heart rate and relax their body. They can also drink water and walk to help lower their heart rate. Finally, they should seek medical attention if the heart rate does not decrease.

Exercising

The benefits of regular exercise can last for a long time, lowering resting heart rate. The authors suggest that the most beneficial activities are yoga and endurance training, but any kind of exercise can be helpful.

Staying Hydrated

When the body lacks adequate hydration, the blood circulation volume decreases, forcing the heart to work harder to maintain the proper blood flow.

Researchers discovered that consuming a 335-milliliter beverage of water resulted in a reduction of resting heart rate over 60 minutes. This decrease was observed within 30 minutes after consumption and persisted for another 30 minutes.

Women should drink an average of 11.5 cups of water per day, equivalent to 2.7 litres, while men should drink 15.5 cups, or 3.7 litres, of water daily.

This includes water found in food and other beverages as well.

Limiting Intake Of Stimulants

Caffeine intake at high doses can lead to dehydration, increasing the heart's workload. Nevertheless, no reliable scientific evidence exists that drinking tea or coffee at typical consumption levels can lead to an elevated resting heart rate due to dehydration.

Limiting Alcohol Intake

Some health conditions can be exacerbated by alcohol consumption, including:

  • Heart attack

  • High blood pressure, also called hypertension

  • Heart disease

  • Dehydration

  • Stroke

This could be due to alcohol creating an uneven balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions of the anatomic nervous system.

The body's sympathetic system kicks in when the body needs to fight or flee from a perceived danger. On the other hand, the parasympathetic system is activated when the body needs to rest and digest food and nutrients.

Eating A Nutritious, Balanced Diet

Nearly 9,800 males showed that those who ate fish had a lower heart rate than those who didn't. To promote good heart health, it is essential to balance your diet, such as:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids sourced from fish, nuts, and grains,

  • Polyphenols and tannins derived from tea and coffee,

  • Leafy green vegetables are a source of vitamin A.

  • Dietary fibre obtained from whole grains, nuts, and the majority of fruits and vegetables,

  • Vitamin C is present in citrus, other fruits, and leafy greens.

Vagal Maneuvers

Techniques known as vagal manoeuvres are designed to target the vagus nerve, a vital component of the parasympathetic nervous system, to reduce a person's heart rate.

A vagal manoeuvre can be classified into three types:

  • Carotid sinus massage

  • The diving reflex

  • The Valsalva manoeuvre

Other less common manoeuvres include

  • Headstands

  • Ocular pressure

  • Applied abdominal pressure

  • Gag reflex stimulation

Before attempting any vagal manoeuvres, it is essential to consult a medical professional.

Getting Enough Sleep

When people deviate from their usual bedtimes, it can put a lot of stress on the body, including the heart. This can be seen in an increase in resting heart rates.

Maintaining A Healthy Body Weight

Extra weight can strain the body and heart, resulting in a higher heart rate. Research suggests that a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) may be connected to an increased resting heart rate. Another study conducted in 2020, which involved 60 individuals aged 18-45, revealed that those with obesity had higher resting heart rates than those who did not suffer from obesity.

Reducing Stress

A recent 2021 study conducted on 69 people revealed that exposure to stressful life events can impact the heart rate, causing it to increase. This is because the body and heart work harder to maintain its normal rhythm when under stress.

Seeking Counselling Or Psychological Service

It can be challenging to cope and manage in times of overwhelming stress. Traumatic events and mental health conditions can be even more challenging to process. Counselling and therapy can effectively process these intense emotions and experiences and find healthier coping methods.

Getting Outdoors

a person's heart rate measurements can decrease when exposed to a forest environment. This suggests that these natural spaces act as a stress reliever. Therefore, changing environments to forest settings may be viable for lowering the heart rate.

Practicing Relaxation Techniques

Meditation can help to reduce stress as it stabilises the heart rate to a normal rhythm. Additionally, this relaxation technique can help to lower the heart rate to a slower, calmer level.

Ideal Heart Rates

To calculate your maximum heart rate, subtract your age in years from 220. The usual healthy range for moderate exercise is between 50-70% of your maximum heart rate, and for strenuous activity, the range is within 70-85% of your maximum heart rate. Average heart rate ranges during activity are:

Age in years

Target heart rate

Average maximum heart rate

20

100–170 bpm

200 bpm

30

95–162 bpm     

190 bpm

40

93–157 bpm     

185 bpm

45

93–157 bpm     

175 bpm

50

88–149 bpm     

170 bpm

55

85–145 bpm     

165 bpm

60

83–140 bpm     

160 bpm

65

80–136 bpm     

155 bpm

70

75–128 bpm     

150 bpm

 

How To Measure Heart Rate

To measure the heart rate, start by finding the radial pulse. Place one index and one middle finger on the inside of your wrist on the side below the base of your thumb. You should be able to feel the pulsation of the artery. Count the number of beats in one minute to get your heart rate.

Measuring the pulse rate is best done after rest periods, so taking the pulse right after waking in the morning is recommended. This will accurately read the resting heart rate before physical activity or stress occurs.

Outlook

A high resting heart rate that persists over a long period can indicate an underlying medical condition. A raised heart rate is typically a normal physical reaction to external or other stressors.

Beta-blockers may be prescribed if someone’s average heart rate is elevated due to an underlying health issue.

A high resting heart rate that persists over a long period can indicate an underlying medical condition. A raised heart rate is typically a normal physical reaction to external or other stressors.

Beta-blockers may be prescribed if someone’s average heart rate is elevated due to an underlying health issue.

Many conditions can be treated with beta-blockers, including

  • Glaucoma

  • High blood pressure

  • Coronary artery disease

  • Arrhythmias

  • Congestive heart failure

When To Contact A Doctor

If a person has any of the following symptoms, they should see a doctor:

  • There is no obvious cause for their increased heart rate

  • Their high heart rate continues for long periods, even while at rest

Other symptoms accompany their increased heart rate, including

  1. Faintness

  2. Shortness of breath

  3. Blurry vision

  4. Chest pain

During a physical examination, a doctor may evaluate the thyroid, check electrolyte levels and blood counts, and even run an electrocardiogram (EKG). Additional tests may also be performed to understand the patient's condition better.

Summary

Variations in heart rate during different activities are a sign of a healthy heart. A resting heart rate can measure a person's fit and indicate any underlying health problems.

An abnormally elevated heart rate could indicate a health problem and result in negative repercussions. Fortunately, individuals can reduce their resting heart rate with healthy lifestyle modifications such as a nutritious diet and regular physical activity.

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