Heart rate is the rate at which your heart beats per minute and is calculated by assessing the number of contractions the heart produces in that time. Most healthy adults have a heart rate that lies within the range of 60 to 100 heartbeats per minute. Dehydration, lack of body movement, poor dietary choices, doses of stimulants, insomnia, and psychological stress can be classified as threats to the heart rate.
Gently press your index and middle fingers to the underside of your other wrist, exactly underneath your thumb. You will experience a steady beating of your pulse. Now go ahead and count the number of beats in a minute. Repeat to cross-check your measurement.
For greater accuracy, checking your pulse right after you wake up helps avoid the effect of external factors on your resting heart rate.
Regular exercise is an easy and effective way to maintain a good heart rate. A Meta-Analysis conducted in 2018 shows that training your body to exercise daily lowers your resting heart rate. Although any body movement that gets you moving should do the trick, paramedics recommend yoga and endurance training as the most effective.
Exercising enhances your muscles’ ability to utilize the oxygen in your blood, reducing the need for your heart to pump excessive blood to your muscles. Additionally, it helps to reduce the release of stress hormones that put additional strain on the heart.
A dehydrated body works harder than usual to maintain a steady blood flow in the system. A study conducted in 2017 discovered that drinking 335 milliliters of water per day could significantly lower your heart rate for 30 minutes. Besides water, consuming a fair amount of low-fat milk products, fruits, and vegetables throughout the day lowers your heart rate.
A well-hydrated body pumps blood more efficiently, reducing the stress applied to your muscles. This ensures that the heart is not under pressure to compensate for the shortage of healthy circulation.
Stimulants are suspected of playing an active role in dehydration, which adds to your heart’s workload. Evidence proves that increased intake of caffeine results in dehydration. Coffee also directly affects the oversupply of Epinephrine – commonly called adrenaline – which mildly paces up the heart rate.
Maintaining a nutritious diet improves the heart rate and enhances its functioning. Fruits, vegetables, foods rich in lean proteins, and whole grains all lower the heart rate immensely. Nutritious supplements ample in antioxidants and healthy fats apply less strain on the heart.
Omega-3 fatty acids, polyphenols, tannins, vitamin A, dietary fiber, and vitamin C are nutrients that keep the heart rate under control. A study in 2021 reports that the intake of antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid efficiently reduces blood pressure. As blood pressure directly affects the heart rate, it controls the strain on the heart and reduces the heart rate.
High sodium intake makes your blood vessels stiff and narrow, forcing your heart to pump blood that much faster. Consequently, the heart is under pressure to deliver and circulate blood to your entire body.
Avoid eating processed food items, meats, frozen dinners, hot dogs, and canned vegetables that contain excess salt. Start paying attention to the sodium content on the labels.
Insufficient sleep contributes to stress experienced by your whole body, including your heart. A study uncovered that straying from your pre-set bedtimes can increase your resting heart rate.
The inactivity of your eyes in sleep stabilizes breathing, slows the heart rate, and shows a drop in blood pressure. This time off is a break for your body to recover from the strain in the daytime. Deprivation of this much-needed Non-Rapid Eye Movement can lead to a severe chronic lack of sleep. It increases the resting heart rate and is a threat to your health.
Work stress, worry about a loved one, or financial setbacks can all play a role in causing the body to work harder just to maintain a healthy rhythm. Your brain triggers a release of adrenaline in a stressful situation. Adrenaline results in rapid breathing, higher heart rate, and increased blood pressure. This forces your body into a “flight or fight” response.
Stressful situations cannot always be taken care of independently. Mental health concerns such as grief, loss, and traumatic experiences keep people from coping with their day-to-day responsibilities. Neglecting these psychological concerns puts the body in constant stress and agitation.
Anxiety, a psychological illness, triggers the reaction of the autonomic nervous system. Unease in a situation causes your heart rate to experience a sudden rise. Furthermore, stress can also impair the body’s ability to heal and slow down the heart’s ability to recover from minor trauma.
A visual shift in the environment can improve your heart rate. A 2018 study states that, for city dwellers, detaching from their everyday surroundings can effectively lower their heart rate by eliminating the constant reminders of factors that trigger psychological stress. Take a trip to a peaceful park or breathing space. Your brain registers the change in the surroundings and responds to it positively. Here’s how.
Exposure to fresh air boosts oxygen levels in the brain. This increases the release of serotonin — known as the “happy” chemical — in your body and uplifts your mood.
Relaxation techniques include meditation, massage, yoga, aromatherapy, music, and art therapy. These positively affect your stress levels and lower your heart rate. Research is in progress to determine whether heart rates are as affected by the practice of mind relaxation techniques as they are by psychological well-being.
Heart rate is prone to be affected by numerous factors, including a poor diet, psychological roadblocks, and physical health issues. It must be your priority to get your heart rate under control before it elevates to heart disease. Now is the best time to incorporate a healthy lifestyle and maintain a steady heart rate.
Finally, as you take the steps to lower your heart rate, monitoring it and other metrics can really help you take charge of your cardiac health. Buy the Frontier X2, a revolutionary heart monitoring device, and change your heart health forever!
Expanding your aortic pressure will lower your heart rate, try closing your mouth and nose and raise the pressure in your chest like you’re stifling a sneeze. Now breathe in for 5-8 seconds, hold that breath for 3-5 seconds, then exhale slowly. Repeat this process multiple times, however, if you ever feel palpitations, it is always advised to consult a doctor.
Yes, a heartbeat that’s faster than 100, also called tachycardia, and one must visit a doctor.
The normal range of your heart rate should be between 60 to 100 beats per minute when you’re not active. Anything above and below this range is a reason for concern and should immediately consult a doctor.
A heart rate above 100 beats per minute at rest may mean a dangerous health condition.
The heart rate may increase due to several reasons such as stress, exercise, or even too much alcohol or caffeine.
Other Heart Health Topics To Explore:
How to Improve Heart Health | Low Carb Diet | Normal Resting Heart Rate | Best Heart Rate Monitor | Irregular Heartbeat | Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation | Post Covid Fatigue | Endurance Training | Silent Heart Attack