Having a high resting heart rate can be a precursor to many physical ailments, such as heart disease or stroke. That’s why it’s important to take steps to ensure that your resting heart rate is within acceptable levels.
Your heart rate (otherwise known as your pulse) is a way of measuring how hard your heart is working to push the blood throughout your body. The average resting heart rate, as defined by the American Heart Association, is somewhere between 50 and 70 BPM. The AMA has also stated that if you have a resting heart rate above 80 BPM, then this is classified as high.
If you fall into the “high resting heart rate” category, here’s a quick guide on how you can keep track of your heart rate and some things you can do to lower it.
Consider A Heart Rate Monitor
Heart rate monitors come stock with many fitness trackers, but the most popular one is the Fitbit Charge HR. The Charge HR monitors your heart rate via a built-in optical heart rate monitor. Optical heart rate monitors work by shining a light into your wrist and illuminating the capillaries passing through your veins.
The Fitbit Charge HR will be able to keep track of this and tell you your heart rate in real time, all via a simple push of a button.
How To Lower Your Resting Heart Rate
The best way to lower your resting heart rate is to practice regular exercise. Studies have shown that while your heart rate will become elevated during periods of high activity, afterwards it will slow down to a much lower rate than it was before you started the exercise.
If you are relatively healthy individual, aim for at least one hour of aerobic exercise daily, with a maximum of five times per week. Don’t forget to include stretching, as this will help limber up the muscles and increase blood and oxygen flow.
As you exercise, you will want to ensure that your exercising at an intensity of at least 80% of your max heart rate. If you want to know your max heart rate, take your age and subtract it from the number 220.
If you’re using a Fitbit Charge HR, you’ll be able to see your heart rate in real time which will make keeping track of your exercise intensity a breeze.
This is especially important if you are overweight, since your heart has to work much harder to pump blood throughout your body.
A great step towards eating better is simply to try and eliminate as many processed foods from your diet as possible. Eating whole grain or whole foods such as fibrous vegetables or beans can go a long way towards making you feel fuller for longer. This coupled with regular exercise will help to strengthen your heart over time.
Also, try to consume more oily fish such as salmon or tuna. Fish have a lot of omega-3 fatty acids in them, which has been shown to help improve cardiovascular health.
Take Steps To Eliminate Stress In Your Life
Stress is a major cause of many physical ailments, even though it may not seem that way at first glance. Many hormonal reactions take place when you’re constantly under stress that can influence your physical health in negative ways. This is especially true if you’re someone who has poor cardiovascular fitness.
It’s best to remove yourself from stressful situations and find something that you enjoy doing, such as a hobby or meditation.