Regular Exercise Can Lower Your Resting Heart Rate

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By Dr Robert Kelly

29 May, 2018

#Cardiologist


When it comes to resting heart rate, lower is better. A lower heart rate at rest implies more efficient heart function and better cardiovascular fitness. This means that your heart muscle is in better condition and doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain a steady beat.

A heart rate greater than 100 beats per minute at rest, is defined as a fast heart rate. Heart rates that are consistently above 100, even while you’re sitting quietly can mean that there is something that’s disrupting the normal electrical impulses that control the rate of your heart's pumping action. Certain medical conditions, medications, caffeine, alcohol, stress, dehydration etc can cause or contribute to the disruption in the heart's electrical system.

A high heart rate can also be a sign of heart disease, including coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathy (a problem with the heart muscle).


How does exercise lower heart rate?
It’s is a natural phenomenon that your heart rate increases while you exercise. In fact, this helps your heart pump more blood to meet the needs of the exercising muscles for a sustained period. However, when you exercise regularly, it strengthens your heart muscles and enables your heart to pump more blood per contraction.  Having stronger contractions to pump the same amount of blood throughout your entire body  will eliminate the need to increase the heart rate which would essentially lead to a slower resting heart rate.


What are the best exercises to keep your heart strong ?
While including any type of exercise lowers your resting heart rate, the ideal heart-healthy exercise plan includes aerobic and strength training. Aerobic exercises are those that get your heart pumping and have you breathing harder. This includes walking, jogging, swimming or bicycling.


Choose an activity that you enjoy and make them part of your daily routine. The goal is to come up with forms of exercise that you will enjoy and sustain doing for 30 minutes a day or at least 150 minutes a week.
Include Strength -Training activities twice a week for additional health benefits. Strengthening exercises involve using resistance to make your muscles stronger. For a healthy heart, these could include stretches, bends, push-ups, weights, resistance bands etc.


Exercising for heart health is important, yet if it's been awhile since you've exercised or if you have health concerns, it's always good to talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program.
To gain the most benefits of exercise and to be sure you are exercising safely, it is important that your heart rate be in the right range.


Ensure that you're exercising heart right …

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