A normal resting heart rate for adults is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. However, as your cardiovascular system becomes fitter, your heart rate usually naturally declines. The opposite is true of a high heart rate. According to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in 2016, the risk of all-cause mortality increased by 9% or 10% for each beat over 45 beats per minute with a significant cardiovascular mortality risk at 90 beats per minute or higher.
To find what your resting heart rate is now, the best time to measure it is when you first wake in the morning since your heart rate is lowes when you sleep. If your heart rate is the higher end of the healthy range, you may benefit from including more aerobic exercise into your weekly routine.
Is a Low Heart Rate Healthier?
Athletes often have resting heart rates under 60 beats per minute. Does this mean that they are in danger of having heart issues? Most of the time, a low resting heart rate is not dangerous. Athletes, especially athletes in aerobic sports, may have heartbeats as little as 40 beats per minute. Usually, a low heart rate isn’t of concern unless it occurs in somebody who is not physically active. In that case, it may be a sign of a heart condition.
How the Heart Adapts to Exercise
As you get fitter, your heart increases the size of its four chambers to pump more blood per beat. There are also structural changes in the walls as your heart thickens to withstand the increased demand. When your heart can pump more blood, your resting heart rate goes down to compensate for the higher stroke volume.
How Many exercises to Lower Heart Rate?
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week. 150 minutes is the minimum amount that you should target for general health, although higher amounts of exercise increase the health benefits. Moderate exercise is defined as exercise that raises your heart rate to between 50 and 70 percent of your maximum.
The quickest formula for determining your maximum heart rate is to take 220 and subtract your age. For example, if you’re 60 years old, your maximum heart rate would be around 160bpm. So moderate intensity exercise would be an exercise that raises your heart rate between 80 and 112 beats per minute.
The type of physical activity you do is less important than hitting your target heart rate range. Biking, running, rock climbing, skating, swimming, and rowing are a few of your options. Anything that raises your heart rate will have the same benefits, so find something you enjoy and get started.
Lowering your resting heart rate is a side effect of increasing your cardiovascular health. Increasing your weekly aerobic exercise will strengthen your heart and improve your heart health. Take your heart rate each morning before waking to monitor long-term changes.
How to Lower Your Heart Rate to Live Longer
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