Our heart pumps blood every day from when we are born till we die! This is one muscle (organ) that we use extensively.. knowing how to keep it healthy helps! When I started panting while climbing stairs, I felt checking my heart rate would help… and I ended up buying a fitness gadget!
Then started my journey with seeing data that I was never used to! How many hours do I sleep, quality of sleep, food we eat, steps I have walked, floors climbed, with motivational badges to keep me going!
The heart rate monitor felt nice when I first saw the rate of my heart beating! Then, the panic that sets in when I am walking fast or faster or running, or climbing multiple stairs to check if I am at my peak of my heart rate, would it be an issue or when do I know when to stop! My mind has stopped to feel my symptoms and react and now relies on the gadget for decision making! I realized, I needed to know the benchmarks and then started reading about it! What I found was interesting!
What is resting heart rate?
Your resting heart rate (RHR) is the number of times your heart beats per minute (bpm) while at complete rest. It is an indicator of physical fitness as your resting heart rate will decrease as your heart becomes stronger with aerobic exercise training.
Recently, Harvard research has found that a resting heart rate near the top of the 60 to 100 range can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease and even early death. Your resting heart rate, when considered in the context of other markers, such as blood pressure and cholesterol, can help identify potential health problems as well as gauge your current heart health.
If your heart rate is generally higher, what can you do to lower it?
- Breathing exercises: Slow deep breathing, inhaling for 5 seconds, hold 5 seconds and exhale for 10 seconds. Repeat it for 2-3 minutes. This brings down your current heart rate to at least 10-20% lower! Make it a habit to do breathing exercises 3-4 times a day. Not only does it relax your mind, but also reduces your high heart beat rate
- Jog or brisk walk outdoors: Taking a breath of fresh air helps anyday. Going for a brisk 30 minute walk daily or at least 2-3 times a week helps! Jogging for 30 minutes twice every week helps as well! These are aerobic exercises and look to keep your lungs and heart healthy!
- Check your BP and Cholesterol: Periodic checks and ensure your diet / habits recommended are followed. While resting heart rate might be a leading indicator, the BP and cholesterol levels have a story to tell. Listen to your body and make amends before it is too long!
If you are an athlete or swimmer or dancer, and practice everyday and regularly, your resting heart rate might be on the lower side. Ensure you do not skip your meals and get enough rest. Your body needs the food and energy to gain its stamina to support your physical needs. You might experience dizziness or fatigue if you generally have a lower resting heart rate and have recently reduced your food consumption! Talk to your physician about it! Three meals a day and proper sleep for 2-3 days should get you back on track!