The number of heartbeats a person has each minute, also known as a pulse, is referred to as heart rate. A lower resting heart rate indicates excellent health.
The resting heart rate of a person is measured in this article. It will also go through the optimal heart rate range, explain what causes variations in heart rate, and offer suggestions for lowering heart rate both instantly and over time.
Lowering your heart rate
In reaction to variables such as emotional stress or objects in their surroundings, a person’s heart rate may rapidly increase. In these instances, addressing these causes is the most effective strategy to lower heart rate.
Sudden variations in heart rate can be reduced by doing the following:
- taking a warm, relaxing bath or shower
- practicing stretching and relaxation exercises, such as yoga
- performing vagal maneuvers
- practicing deep or guided breathing techniques, such as box breathing
- relaxing and trying to remain calm
- going for a walk, ideally away from an urban environment
Long-term, it is also feasible for people to reduce their heart rate. This can be caused by a variety of lifestyle choices. This can have an impact on heart rate during physical exercise or stressful situations.
A person’s heart rate can be lowered by a variety of reasons, including:
Regular exercise is the simplest and most efficient strategy to attain a reduced heart rate that lasts. Regular exercise, for example, was found to consistently reduce resting heart rate in a 2018 meta-analysis. Although any type of exercise might be useful, the writers believe that yoga and endurance training are the best.
Keeping yourself hydrated
The heart needs to work harder to maintain blood flow when the body is dehydrated. A 2017 study revealed that drinking 335 milliliters of water for 30 minutes helped lower resting heart rate. For another 30 minutes, the fall persisted. A person’s heart rate can be lowered by drinking a lot of liquids throughout the day.
Limiting stimulant intake
Stimulants can cause dehydration, which increases the burden on the heart. High quantities of caffeine, for example, have been shown to cause dehydration. However, there is no clear scientific evidence that regular tea or coffee drinking causes dehydration, which might cause to an increase in resting heart rate.
Limiting the amount of alcohol consumed
Although more study is needed on this issue, there is evidence that drinking alcohol can cause dehydration. However, it’s still plausible that drinking alcohol raises resting heart rate.
Because alcohol is a poison, the body has to work harder to metabolize and eliminate it. This can occasionally cause an increase in heart rate.
Eating a well-balanced, healthy diet
A nutritious diet can help to promote heart health and function. Fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains should all be included in this diet.
Antioxidant– and healthy-fat-rich foods and supplements may reduce blood pressure, making it simpler for the heart to pump blood.
According to a research published in 2021, the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid efficiently decreases blood pressure. Potassium-rich meals can also help to reduce blood pressure by lowering salt intake.
Scientists have discovered that a wide variety of meals can help you maintain good heart health. Nutrients that are good for your heart include:
- omega-3 fatty acids from fish, nuts, and grains
- polyphenols and tannins from tea and coffee
- vitamin A from leafy, green vegetables
- dietary fiber from whole grains, nuts, and most fruits and vegetables
- vitamin C from citrus and other fruits and leafy greens
Getting enough sleep
Sleep deprivation causes stress throughout the body, including the heart. People’s resting heart rates rise when they stray from their regular bedtimes, according to a 2020 study.
Maintaining a healthy body weight
Excess weight puts a strain on the body and the heart. It’s probable that this will result in a faster heart rate. Extra weight, for example, might make exercising more difficult.
Scientific research, on the other hand, indicates that body weight is a poor predictor of heart rate.
Identifying and addressing sources of significant long-term stress
Workplace stress, caring for a loved one, and financial strains all cause the heart and body work harder to maintain their normal beat. A 2018 analysis, for example, found that work-related stress is an important risk factor for coronary heart disease.
Seeking counseling or psychological service
People may not always have the ability to overcome difficult situations or life events on their own. Traumatic events, sorrow, and certain mental health issues all put a strain on the body, making it difficult for people to deal with day-to-day tasks. Counseling and therapy may be beneficial in certain situations.
Changing surroundings is one strategy for reducing heart rate. Spending time in less urbanized surroundings, for example, can lower physical and psychological stress measurements, according to study published in 2018. This might be as easy as a walk in the neighborhood park.
Practicing relaxation techniques
Stress reduction may also be aided by relaxation exercises. However, a meta-analysis published in 2019 found that many research on this issue were of poor quality. The authors continue to emphasize that meditation has the potential to increase psychological well-being, but that additional study is needed.
Resting heart rate and health
A decreased heart rate allows the heart to keep a healthy rhythm and adapt to stimuli more quickly. According to a 2015 study, high heart rates may relate to health concerns such as:
- changes to calcium usage by heart cells
- inflammation and oxidative stress
- blood vessel dysfunction
- ncreased blood pressure
- changes to protein activity in the heart
According to research published in 2021, those with persistently high heart rates are at an increased risk of developing a variety of health problems, including:
- organ system failure
- decreased cardiac output, which may cause persistent fatigue
- cardiac arrest
- myocardial ischemia
Ideal heart rates
The heart rate fluctuates. A fluctuating heart rate is caused by a variety of circumstances, including:
- hormonal changes
- emotional stress
- physical activity
- time of day
The ideal resting heart rate varies from one person to the next. Most people should aim for a resting heart rate of 60–100 beats per minute (bpm).
A person’s maximal heart rate may be calculated by subtracting their age in years from 220. During moderate activity, a healthy heart rate range is generally 50–70% of maximal.
The healthy heart rate range during heavy activity is 70–85 percent of maximal heart rate.
The following are the average heart rate ranges during activity:
|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||90–153 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
Placing the index and middle fingers side by side on the neck, below the border of the jawline, and counting how many heartbeats occur within 60 seconds is a simple approach to check the pulse.
Pulse readings are ideally taken following periods of rest. As a result, before getting out of bed, a person should count their heartbeats first thing in the morning.
Causes of an unhealthy heart rate
Each pulse is caused by specific muscle cells called myocytes, according to an assessment from 2021. The brain delivers impulses to the heart that strengthen the myocytes and cause more frequent pulses when these cells want more oxygen.
Several health issues, according to a 2019 study, make people more likely to have a faster heart rate, including:
- thyroid disease
- sleep apnea
- coronary artery disease
- heart attack
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- peripheral vascular disease
- high blood pressure
The normal bodily reaction to environmental or other stresses is an accelerated heart rate. A persistently high resting heart rate, on the other hand, may indicate an underlying medical condition.
Medical intervention may be required if someone’s typical heart rate is extremely high due to an underlying medical condition. Beta-blockers can lower heart rate, according to an analysis from 2021. Beta-blockers are prescribed by doctors to treat a range of disorders, including:
- congestive heart failure
- high blood pressure
- heart attacks
- coronary artery disease
When to contact a doctor
In some cases, a greater heart rate necessitates consulting with a physician. If any of the following apply:
- The elevated heart rate has no apparent cause.
- Shortness of breath, chest discomfort, fuzzy vision, or faintness are common side effects of an elevated heart rate.
- Even while at rest, the elevated heart rate lasts for a long time.
Thyroid, electrolytes, and blood levels should all be checked by a doctor. They might wish to run some further tests before concluding that a high heart rate isn’t a cause for worry. That is why, if a person fulfills any of these characteristics, it is always a good idea to visit a physician.
Throughout the day, changes in heart rate occur naturally. The resting heart rate is a good indicator of cardiac health.
A persistently high heart rate might suggest health problems and lead to serious consequences.
Many people, however, may reduce their resting heart rate by making lifestyle changes including eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly.