How do you lower your resting heart rate?

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How to Lower Resting Heart Rate

Three Methods:

Your heart rate, or pulse, is the measurement of heart beats per minute, or how hard the heart is working to circulate blood throughout your body. Your resting heart rate refers to the body's lowest heart rate, when your body is close to absolute rest. Knowing your resting heart rate can help you to assess your overall health and condition and help you set heart rate targets. Lowering your resting heart rate can significantly reduce your risk of heart attacks and strokes.


Assessing Your Heart Rate

  1. Know your current resting heart rate.Before you start taking action to try to lower your resting heart rate, it's important to know what your starting point is. To do this you just need to take your pulse and count the beats. You can do this at the carotid artery (in the neck) or at the wrist.
    • Be sure that you are resting and relaxed before you start.
    • The best time to do it is before you get out of bed in the morning.
  2. Take your pulse.To take your pulse at the carotid artery, place your index and middle finger tips lightly on one side of your neck, to the side of your windpipe. Press gently until you find the pulse. To get the most accurate reading, count the number of beats in 60 seconds.
    • Alternatively count the beats in 10 seconds and multiply by six, or 15 seconds and multiply by four.
    • To measure your pulse at the wrist, place one hand palm up.
    • With the other hand, place the tips of your index, middle and ring fingers below the base of your thumb until you feel the pulse.
    • Alternatively, if you have a stethoscope, you can evaluate your resting heart rate with it. Lift up or remove your shirt to expose the bare skin, place the earpieces in your ears, hold the stethoscope against your chest and listen in. Count the number of beats per minute as you listen.
  3. Evaluate your resting heart rate.Once you have discovered your resting heart rate you need to find out where it is along the scale of healthy and unhealthy. A normal resting heart rate should be between 60 and 100 beats per minute (bpm).A rate of more than 90 is, however, considered high.
    • If your heart rate is lower than 60 bpm and you also have the following symptoms —dizziness, shortness of breath and tunnel vision — then you should be evaluated by a doctor.
    • The resting heart rate of well trained endurance athletes can be between 40 and 60 bpm.They will not, however, experience the adverse symptoms, such as dizziness.
    • Test your rate over a few days to get an average.
  4. Know when to see your doctor.A high resting heart rate isn't an immediate danger, but can lead to longer term health problems. In these cases you should gradually lower your resting heart rate through exercise.But if you have a very low pulse, or frequent bouts of unexplained fast heart rates, particularly if these are coupled with dizziness, speak to a doctor.
    • Generally if a high heart rate is combined with other symptoms you should visit a doctor.
    • Account for common causes such as caffeine intake, before you go to the doctors.
    • Speak to your doctor if you are on any medications that might be affecting your heart rate, such as beta blockers.

Exercising for a Lower Resting Heart Rate

  1. Introduce regular exercise.The best way to gradually and safely lower your resting heart rate is to introduce regular aerobic exercise into your routine. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends healthy adults get 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity (brisk walking) per week and muscle strengthening activity 2 days or more per week. Muscle strengthening activities should work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).
    • For a healthier heart, aim for 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise three or four times a week.
    • Include stretching and flexibility exercises such as yoga.
    • Try to combine this with muscle strengthening exercises twice a week.
  2. Determine your maximum heart rate.To really target your resting heart rate, you can tailor your exercise routine so that you aim for a target heart rate when you are exercising. This way you can track the intensity of the exercise and how hard your heart is working, gradually increasing it as you become fitter. To do this you need to determine your maximum heart rate. All of the safe methods for this are approximations, but they can give you a general picture.
    • One basic method is just subtract your age from 220.
    • So if you are 30, your maximum heart rate will be approximately 190 beats per minute.
    • This method is considered more accurate for those under 40.
    • A slightly more complicated recent method is to multiply your age by 0.7, and then subtract that figure from 208.
    • With this technique a 40-year-old has a maximum heart rate of 180 (208 - 0.7 x 40).
  3. Determine your target heart rate zone.Once you know an approximate value for your maximum heart rate you can determine the target heart rate zones for your exercise. By exercising within your target heart rate zone you can keep better track of how hard your heart is working and organise your exercise regime more precisely.
    • As a general rule heart rate during moderate activities is about 50-69% of your maximum heart rate. When you are first starting to work out, you should aim to keep your heart rate in this, the lower range of your target zone.
    • Hard and vigorous activity will be between 70 and 85% of your maximum.You should gradually work up to working out at this level — it should take about six months to safely and comfortably reach this point if you are just beginning to exercises.
  4. Monitor your heart rate during exercise.To keep track of your heart rate during exercise just take your pulse at your wrist or neck. Count for fifteen seconds and multiply the number by four. When you are exercising you want to keep your heart rate between 50% and 85% of your maximum. If you are dropping down, try to up the intensity.
    • If you are relatively new to exercise, increase gradually. You will still reap the benefits and will be less likely to sustain injury or to become discouraged.
    • Be sure to stop exercising for a moment while you take your pulse.

Making Lifestyle Changes

  1. Combine your exercise with a healthy diet.Being overweight makes your heart work harder to pump blood around your body. If you are overweight linking your exercise regime with a healthy diet will help to lose weight and relieve some of the stress on your heart, which in turn will lower your resting heart rate.
  2. Avoid tobacco.As well as all the other damage tobacco does to your body, smokers are known to have higher resting heart rates than non-smokers. Cutting down or preferably quitting smoking will help to lower your heart rate and improve the healthiness of your heart.
    • Nicotine constricts blood vessels and causes damage to heart muscles and vasculature. Quitting smoking can greatly improve blood pressure, circulation and overall health as well as decrease risk for cancer and breathing problems.
  3. Cut down on caffeine.Caffeine and caffeine products such as coffee and tea are well-known to increase heart rate.If you think you have a slightly high resting heart rate, lowering your caffeine intake can help to reduce it.
    • More than two cups of coffee a day can contribute to side effects including an increased heart rate.
    • Decaffeinated drinks can help you lower your caffeine intake.
  4. Avoid alcohol.Alcohol intake has been connected to increased heart rates and higher average heart rates. Cutting down on the amount of alcohol you consume can help you to lower your resting heart rate.
  5. Reduce stress.Reducing the amount of stress you experience isn't necessarily easy, but it can help you to lower your resting heart rate over time. Stress in extreme amounts can have a negative impact on your health. Practice some activities that help you to relax such, as meditation or tai chi.Try to dedicate a little time each day for a period of relaxation and deep breathing.
    • Everyone is different so find what relaxes you.
    • Maybe it will be listening to calming music, or taking a long bath.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    What does it mean if I have a high pulse rate but normal blood pressure?

    Nurse Practitioner
    Shari Forschen is a Pain Management Practitioner at Sanford Health in North Dakota. She received her M.S. from the University of North Dakota in 2014.
    Nurse Practitioner
    Expert Answer
    If you are symptomatic with dizziness and/or shortness of breath, then I recommend evaluation by physician. Simple things like dehydration, high caffeine intake, and stress can increase pulse. Practice deep breathing, making time for yourself and meditation to reduce stress.
  • Question
    I'm a 47 year-old male, and my resting heart rate is 72 bpm. How do I reduce my resting heart rate?

    Nurse Practitioner
    Shari Forschen is a Pain Management Practitioner at Sanford Health in North Dakota. She received her M.S. from the University of North Dakota in 2014.
    Nurse Practitioner
    Expert Answer
    See the above article for examples on how to do this. Starting exercise routine (after proper assessment and authorization from your primary care provider) can help reduce heart rate, weight and work towards obtaining lower resting heart rate. Eliminating caffeine, stress and nicotine can also reduce pulse rates.
  • Question
    How can I lower my heart rate within 30 minutes?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Within 30 minutes is a pretty short amount of time, but there are ways to lower your heart rate within 30 minutes. One important thing is to calm down. Being calm and mentally stable (no stress, just a blank mind) will help to lower your heart rate. Lying down in your bed and being calm will lower it even more than just sitting down. Your body is constantly adjusting your heart rate to match your needs.
  • Question
    Why does my heart rate increase?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Your heart rate increases due to your body needing to pump out blood faster. When you are exercising, your muscles need more oxygen and fuel from your blood. So your heart rate will increase to supply your muscles with what you need. Or, maybe you are thinking really hard or you're really stressed out. Again, your brain is going to need the fuel. There are like a million reasons why your heart rate increases, but the ones listed are probably the most essential.
  • Question
    Can a high resting heart rate be due to inadequate sleep?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, inadequate sleep puts stress on the body, and it makes day-to-day functions less efficient (and may not have had time to repair itself from the day before), causing the body to work harder.
  • Question
    How do I lower a resting heart rate over a hundred after open heart surgery?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    This question is difficult to answer because there are a variety of reasons why your pulse may be high, including the surgery outcome, the time that has passed since the surgery, and other reasons. I had open heart surgery in early 2011 to repair mitral valve prolapse. After the surgery, my heart rate was consistently in the high 90's and sometimes over 100. However, I read online that this is common for some people for the first few months after that particular kind of surgery. Sure enough, after a few months, my pulse slowly started to drift down. It's always best to check with your doctor if you have concerns, though.
  • Question
    How can I lower my heart rate within 30 minutes?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You can lower your heart rate by calming yourself down and learning deep breathing exercises like breathing with your lower chest (lung). That should enable you to breathe with your abdominal area. With this exercise, you will oxygenate your body and reducing stress immediately.
  • Question
    How do I lower my resting heart rate even when I exercise a lot?
    Vincent Felix
    Community Answer
    Try and improve your sleep by having 'better quality' sleep. Try to sleep with meditating music, white noise, waterfall sounds, or anything that helps you sleep better. It will take a few tries and several nights of experimentation, but when you find the momentum, you will see the sudden improvement of your energy, and also resting heart rate. Track your food intake by improving fiber, potassium, and protein.
  • Question
    My pulse is 106 beats a minute. Why?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You should get your thyroid checked. The endocrine system regulates heart rate, and your resting heart rate can get very high and feel like it is racing if you have a hyperthyroid. Definitely check with your doctor.
  • Question
    How do I lower my pulse in 5 minutes?
    Vincent Felix
    Community Answer
    Deep breaths will help. Try and sit down in a quiet and relaxing area for just a few minutes. Doing it regularly will also improve your stress management.
Unanswered Questions
  • I am just 21 years old. I have recently done an echocardiography. The left ventricle size seems to be 10 mm higher than the reference range. Whether or is my heart getting enlarged?
  • My Heart beat is 42 per minute and I exercise hard. Is it normal?
  • How can I decrease the normal fat?
  • How do I keep a constant heart rate?
Ask a Question
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Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.
  • Some medications, as well as caffeine and nicotine, may raise your resting heart rate. Your doctor can best assess the effect of a medication versus its benefits.
  • Consult your doctor about your overall health. Your resting heart rate is only one measurement of your cardiac health. Your doctor may want to suggest additional tests.

Things You'll Need

  • Watch or clock with a second hand or stopwatch.

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Date: 03.12.2018, 07:51 / Views: 72271