Resting Heart Rate (RHR) is a precise indicator of overall good health and wellness. Since a very long time, athletes and instructors have been compulsively following resting heart rate as a manifestation of athletic performance; however, a lower resting heart rate is an important sign which shows total great health. This article discusses about how to lower the resting heart rate.
What Does a Resting Heart Rate Mean?
Resting heart rate is a measurement of how quick the heart beats per minute (bpm) while resting, sitting or standing — but not sleeping. It is best to measure the resting heart rate as the first thing at the early hours of the day. A normal adult will have a resting heart rate between 60-100 bpm; while sportsperson is probably going to rest somewhere close to 40-60 bpm.
Several studies have shown that higher resting heart rate is associated with greater risk of cardiovascular disease.1 The lower, the better; resting heart rate shows the health of the heart prompting to a longer life span, a reduced risk of heart attack and higher energy levels. Hence, with increasing awareness, people are interested in knowing how to lower resting heart rate to improve their fitness levels.
How to Lower the Resting Heart Rate?
It’s vital to keep up an active lifestyle with regular workouts, a balanced diet, regular sleep, and hydration. If resting heart rate is high, these are the principal elements to asses. For people who are concerned about how to lower the resting heart rate, it is important to focus on the factors that affect the resting heart rate.
Apart from the normal lifestyle factors, a few other steps can be taken to lower the resting heart rate:
Exercise – Exercises are known to reduce the resting heart rate and reduce the risk of heart diseases to a great extent. About an hour of sustainable aerobic exercise, (for example, brisk walking, cycling, or running), four times a week will help in keeping a lower resting heart rate. Some studies have also shown that endurance training and yoga have greater impact in lowering resting heart rate.2
Meditation– Long and slow inhalation and exhalation assists in the regulation of the heart rate and helps in lowering the resting heart rate also.
Weight Management- Maintaining a good weight increases the basal metabolic rate and energy proficiency inside the body, lowering strain on the heart and thus reducing the resting heart rate.
Alcohol and Smoking– Regular drinking and smoking results in pressure on the heart and cardiovascular system. Curtailing or withdrawing these habits totally can help in lowering the resting heart rate.
Hydration- Remaining hydrated assists with blood viscosity and enables the blood to move through the body effectively, applying less pressure on the heart. This further helps in lowering the resting heart rate.
Sleep – With adequate sleep, the body rests, recovers and repairs itself. Poor or conflicting type of sleep can be an immense contributor in increasing resting heart rate, thus, putting pressure on the heart. Thus, it is very essential to get adequate sleep to lower the resting heart rate.
Having a lower resting heart rate is an essential step for general wellbeing and for athletes. Now that you are aware of the related factors and about how to lower the resting heart rate you can plan a healthy lifestyle for yourself. For any medical concerns or for expert advice on diet and fitness regimen, it is advisable to seek medical opinion. Physicians may also advice ways to lower resting heart rate, as a part of treatment of certain medical conditions.