How To Lower Heart Rate
If your heart rate is too high there are ways to lower it safely. Your heart rate could be high after exercising or because youre feeling stressed or anxious.;
Here are some fast-acting methods that can help lower a fast heart rate:
- Breathing exercises: You can use your breathing to raise the aortic pressure in your heart, which will lower your heart rate. To do this, close your mouth and nose and raise the pressure in your chest. Breathe in for five to eight seconds, hold it for three to five seconds, and then exhale slowly. This can be repeated several times.;
- Taking a bath: This can help relax you and bring your heart rate down.;
- Light yoga: Calming yoga or meditation can help relax you and bring a high heart rate down.
- Moving to a cooler location: If your heart rate is raised because youre too hot, moving to a cooler location will help bring it down.;
Here are some long-term solutions that can help you achieve a healthy heart rate:;
- Exercising regularly: Starting and keeping an exercise program will help decrease resting heart rates over time.
- Eating healthy:Healthy diets that contain whole grains, leafy greens, fruits, and omega-3 fatty acids are great for supporting long term heart health and will help keep heart disease at bay.
- Quitting smoking:Non-smokers have a lowered risk of recurrent heart attacks and cardiovascular disease.
- Staying hydrated:Drinking enough water allows the heart to pump blood more easily throughout the body.;;
Ways To Monitor Your Heart Rhythm
The method you use to monitor your own heart rhythm will depend on how often you have symptoms and how comfortable you are using medical tools or devices.
Some methods, like the classic two-finger pulse test and the stethoscope, are traditional. But today more innovative methods are available, like smartphone apps that can accurately monitor your heart rhythm no matter where you are. These may help diagnose paroxysmal atrial fibrillation even if episodes are infrequent.
1. Pulse Check
To check your pulse, place the second and third fingers of your right hand on the edge of your left wrist. Slide your fingers to the center of your wrist until you find your pulse.
While taking your pulse, its important to remember that youre checking your heart rhythm, not your heart rate.
Rather than counting the beats, check for a steady, regular rhythm, Calkins advises. Not all people find it easy to check their pulse, Calkins cautions, perhaps because of anxiousness.
Your doctor may use a stethoscope to monitor your heart rhythm, and this is something you can also do at home, Calkins says. Patients can buy a $20 stethoscope and listen to their heart to see if its beating nice and regularly, or if its jumping around, he says. But for some people, using a stethoscope may be difficult, triggering the same sort of anxiety thats associated with a pulse check.
3. Holter Monitor
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What Can Resting Heart Rate Readings Indicate
Resting heart rate is an indicator of fitness and general health. They are:
- In adults, a lower heart rate is correlated with a higher degree of fitness and a lower incidence of cardiac events, such as heart attacks.
- Highly trained athletes can have an RHR as low as 40. This may be because the lower rate translates to a heart muscle that is stronger and can pump blood more efficiently. Another explanation is that with vigorous exercise, there is the release of nitrous oxide in the hearts blood vessels, which increases the blood supply to the heart.
- However, a consistently higher heart rate has been associated with cardiovascular issues and premature death.
- A 2013 research that studied 3000 men for 16 years found that men with RHR greater than 90 were associated with triple the risk of death when compared to men with RHR below 80.
- An observational study conducted in Norway that looked at 20,000 participants found similar results, even when controlled for factors, such as body mass index and life.
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Myth: If My Heart Rate Is Slow It Means I Have A Weak Heart
Not necessarily. A slow heart rate can be a sign that you’re healthy and fit. An athlete’s heart muscle is in better shape, so it doesn’t have to work as hard to keep up a steady beat.
In general, Patel says, slow rates are only a problem if you also pass out, feel dizzy, are short of breath, or have chest pain. See your doctor if you have any of those symptoms.
What Abnormal Results Mean
Resting heart rates that are continually high may mean a problem. Talk to your health care provider about this. Also discuss resting heart rates that are below the normal values .
A pulse that is very firm and that lasts for more than a few minutes should be checked by your provider as well. An irregular pulse can also indicate a problem.
A pulse that is hard to locate may mean blockages in the artery. These blockages are common in people with diabetes or hardening of the artery from high cholesterol. Your provider may order a test known as a Doppler study to check the blockages.
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Calculate Maximum Heart Rate During A Laboratory Test
A much more formal way to calculate maximum heart rate would be to take a supervised laboratory test. Also known as VO2 max test, such analysis is a test of athletes physiological capabilities and, therefore, pushes athletes to the absolute maximum.
The protocol is quite simple athlete runs on a treadmill with an ever-increasing speed/power until complete exhaustion. Throughout the test a lot of data is gathered about athletes current fitness .
Ultimately, the test determines not only the Max HR, but also aerobic, anaerobic and lactate thresholds. All this data helps to analyse how training is impacting the body and if something should be changed/adjusted.
VO2 max tests are always supervised by exercise physiologist or cardiologist and/or other personnel, which makes it a much safer environment than a field test.
Charts Of Normal Resting And Exercising Heart Rate
The heart is an organ located just behind and slightly to the left of the breastbone, and pumps blood through a network of veins and arteries known as the circulatory system. The right atrium is sent blood from the veins, and delivers it to the right ventricle. It’s then pumped into the lungs where it is oxygenated. The left atrium is sent oxygen enriched blood from the lungs and delivers it to the left ventricle, where it’s then pumped throughout the body, and the ventricular contractions create blood pressure.
A pulse is the beating of the heart as it’s felt through the walls of an artery, such as the radial artery at the wrist. Pulse rates can also be felt and measured at the carotid artery located on the side of the neck, the temporal artery at the temple, or the femoral artery on the anterior side of the hip, and a chart showing normal heart rate can be used to check on your heart rate.
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Normal Heart Rate Chart When Resting
A resting heart rate is defined as a pulse that is taken when you are calm, sitting or lying down, and the best time to measure a resting heart rate is in the morning before you leave the bed. Generally speaking, a lower heart rate functions more effectively and efficiently.
How to Take Your Heart Rate
Check your own pulse by placing the tips of your first three fingers lightly on the inside of your wrist below your thumb. You can also check your pulse by placing two fingers on your neck beside the windpipe. You may have to feel around until you feel the pulse beneath your fingers. Once you feel a pulse, use the second hand of a watch or clock to time 10 seconds while simultaneously counting your heart beats. Then multiply the number of heartbeats by 6 to get your heart rate per minute, or number of beats = ______ x 6 = ______beats/min.
Then compare it to the normal heart rate chart below:
What Is The Pulse
These expansions rise and fall in time with the heart as it pumps the blood and then rests as it refills. The pulsations are felt at certain points on the body where larger arteries run closer to the skin.
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Factors That Affect Resting Heart Rate
Prolonged stress can increase RHR and lead to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke. Overall, 60% of the time WHOOP members input experiencing stress it results in an increase in resting heart rate. Our data indicates men and women see similar changes in RHR due to stress in most age groups. Other emotions, such as happiness, can also raise your RHR.
More factors that affect RHR include:
- Weightthere is a correlation between RHR and body mass index . High BMI is associated with elevated RHR according to this study.
- Consuming alcohol can increase RHR.
- Blood pressure medications such as Beta blockers and some migraine medications can lower RHR.
- Disorders such as anemia, hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can affect RHR.
- Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to a lower metabolism and raise RHR.
- High air temperatures and high humidity can increase RHR.
- Body positionRHR can be 3 bpm higher when sitting versus lying down and rises upon standing, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
When WHOOP members report stress, RHR increases by an average of 1 beat per minute.
What Is Maximum Heart Rate
The maximum heart rate is the highest heart rate achieved during maximal exercise. One simple method to calculate your predicted maximum heart rate, uses this formula:
220 – your age = predicted maximum heart rate
Example: a 40-year-old’s predicted maximum heart rate is 180 beats/minute.
There are other formulas that take into account the variations in maximal heart rate with age and gender. If you are interested in learning more about these more accurate but slightly more complicated formulas please see these resources:
- Gellish RL, Goslin BR, Olson RE, McDonald A, Russi GD, Moudgil VK. Longitudinal modeling of the relationship between age and maximal heart rate. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007 May;39:822-9. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17468581
- Gulati M, Shaw LJ, Thisted RA, Black HR, Bairey Merz CN, Arnsdorf MF. Heart rate response to exercise stress testing in asymptomatic women: the st. James women take heart project. Circulation. 2010 Jul 13;122:130-7. Epub 2010 Jun 28. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20585008
Your actual maximum heart rate is most accurately determined by a medically supervised maximal graded exercise test.
Please note that some medications and medical conditions may affect your heart rate. If you are taking medications or have a medical condition , always ask your doctor if your maximum heart rate/target heart rate will be affected. If so, your heart rate ranges for exercise should be prescribed by your doctor or an exercise specialist.
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Maximum Heart Rate Calculator
With our HRmax Calculator you can estimate your maximum heart rate based on age and gender. Knowing your own maximum heart rate is important in your own;personal exercise training. It is also of great importance for exercise stress testing to uncover cardiovascular disease. Our calculator will only give a rough estimate, and we also give recommendations on how to find your real maximum heart rate with an exhaustive exercise test.
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Myth: If My Pulse Is Fast It Always Means I’m Stressed Out
Stress is just one thing that can raise your pulse. Your heart rate may also speed up when you exercise, get excited, or feel anxious or sad.
When you stand up, your pulse may go up for 15 to 20 seconds before it goes back to normal. Even the weather, like high temperatures or humidity, can raise it.
If you take thyroid medication, a fast pulse may be a sign you’re taking too much. Talk to your doctor.
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What Is A Normal Or Resting Heart Rate
There are three general ways to classify;heart rate, 1) normal, 2) fast and 3) slow.
- A resting heart rate is normal between 60-100 beats per minute.
- A resting heart rate is fast at greater than 100 beats per minute.
- A resting heart rate is slow at less than 60 beats per minute.
A resting heart rate predicts longevity and cardiovascular disease, and current evidence suggests that it is also an important marker of outcome in cardiovascular disease, including heart failure. A normal heart rate is generally stated to be between 60-100 beats per minute at rest . However, recent studies have suggested that an ideal resting heart rate is between 50-70 beats per minute. It is well-known that the average resting heart rate for well-trained athletes is between 40-60 beats per minute! A heart rate can change dramatically while sleeping or with daily activity and exercise. Usually, a heart rate will be slower during sleep, faster during daily activities or with exercise, and recover quickly back to a resting rate after exercise. This means your heart has appropriate heart rate variability and recovery, which is associated with good heart health. Your resting heart rate can also be used to estimate how much energy your body uses, or your basal metabolic rate.
Can I Go Over My Estimated Maximum Heart Rate
The answer is yes.
But its not in a sense that the heart would explode if someone goes beyond what formula would suggest is Max HR. No, its because formula generalizes people and tends to get imprecise for very fit athletes and people of older age who are very active.
Maximum heart rate does decrease with age, but not nearly as much as formulas would suggest . It goes down mostly due to the decreased level of overall activity.
In fact, trained athletes dont really see a drop in maximum heart rate until they end their careers and reduce training volume. Its not uncommon to see a 40-year-old athlete with a maximum heart rate of 195 where a formula would suggest only 180.
Setting a Max HR benchmark too low would force athlete to under-exert himself and not get the optimal benefit from training.
In any case, if an athlete is serious about his training, estimating maximum heart rate should only be a starting point. After getting into a structured training or competing in races it should become clearer where the true maximum heart rate is.
Heart Rate Zone Training
Have questions about heart rate training? Need help with your new & fancy sports watch? Ready to take your training to the next level?
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Women May Have A Higher Resting Heart Rate Than Men
Research has found that women up to 55 years old have a higher resting heart rate when compared with men. According to the American College of Cardiology, this may have something to do with the difference in sex hormones, especially testoserone, which is higher in men.;
Parwani says some data has shown that sex hormones, body size, and heart size can have an effect on the differences in heart rate between men and women. But there are many factors that may influence someone’s heart rate, including:;
- Lack of sleep
Can Resting Heart Rate Be Too Low
While less common, some people may have a resting heart rate that falls lower than 60 beats per minute.
“When a person’s heart muscle is in excellent condition, it doesn’t have to work as hard to keep a steady beat. Therefore, people who exercise frequently and are very physically fit can have a resting heart rate that falls below 60 beats per minute. In fact, a trained athlete’s resting heart rate can be as low as 40 beats per minute,” explains Dr. Chebrolu.
Additionally, medications, specifically beta blockers, can also slow your heart rate.
“The time to worry about a low heart rate is if you’re not very active and you’re not taking medications but your resting heart rate frequently falls below 60 beats per minute, especially if you’re also experiencing dizziness, shortness of breath or fainting,” warns Dr. Chebrolu. “This can be a sign of bradycardia a slower than normal heart rate that can lead to poor oxygen flow to your vital organs.”
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What Is A Normal Exercising Heart Rate
To determine what a normal exercising heart rate is, you first need to determine your age-predicted maximal heart rate. Here is the generalized equation for predicting maximal heart rate in healthy adults:
HRmax = 208
For example, a 20-year-old person, the age-predicted maximal heart rate would be 194 beats per minute and for a 65-year-old person, the age-predicted maximal heart rate would be 163 beats per minute. A simplified age-predicted maximal heart rate equation is commonly used, but it overestimates maximal heart rate in young adults and increasingly underestimates the maximal heart rate in older adults.
What Is Resting Heart Rate
Your resting heart rate is how many times your heart beats in one minute while youre at rest. Its both a gauge of your heart health and a biomarker of aging.
RHR changes as you age and varies from person to person. Its important to know your RHR as it can help you assess your heart health over time. Being aware of changes in your RHR can help you uncover a heart condition early.
Resting Heart Rate Versus HRV and Blood Pressure
Resting heart rate, heart rate variability, and blood pressure are all important measures of heart health.
- Resting heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute.
- Heart rate variability is a measure of the variation in the time between consecutive heartbeats.
- Blood pressure is the force of blood flowing through your blood vessels .
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