Resting Heart Rate – Ways to Keep It Low

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The top way to lower your resting heart rate is through regular exercise

There’s a great deal of attention paid to blood pressure readings — for good reason, considering it’s a major indication of cardiovascular health — but if you’re trying to track your progress in terms of improving your overall wellness, you may want to consider also taking a look at your resting pulse.

Ways To Lower Your Pulse

The top way to lower your resting heart rate is through regular exercise, because that makes your cardiovascular system more efficient, according to Dr. Robert Greenfield, medical director of non-invasive cardiology and cardiac rehabilitation at MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Orange Coast Medical Center.

Losing weight also helps, because excess weight tends to cause the heart to work harder to supply the body with blood. Definitely try to cut down or quit smoking if you use tobacco products, since quitting tends to lower resting heart rates.

When To See A Doctor

Resting heart rate is mostly a health marker that’s worth noticing as a sign of progress in terms of fitness, but there are a couple of instances where it may warrant getting checked out.

Consider a checkup if your resting heart rate is consistently high, or if you notice your heart rate doesn’t come down within a few minutes after intense exercise. The fitter you are, the faster it should drop to normal.

Another consideration is if you’re seeing significant or even incremental increases in your resting heart rate. According to a recent Swedish study, people with stable heart rates had a lower risk of heart disease, but those who saw increases were considered at higher risk.

That’s because an increase in resting heart rate may be a warning sign of a cardiovascular change, like higher blood pressure or early heart disease, according to study co-author Salim Bary Barywani, of the University of Gothenburg. Other reasons resting heart rate may trend upward include a poor reaction to medication, elevated thyroid hormone levels, anemia or an underlying infection.

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