Why Does Exercise Lower Your Resting Heart Rate?
If you have a fitness tracker—you’re well aware of your resting heart rate. If you’re exercising more, you probably noticed that your resting heart rate has gotten lower.
But do you know why does exercise lower your resting heart rate?
We were curious, too. So we looked to the guys and gals in white lab coats to explain why your resting heart rate decreases after exercise.
First off—it’s a GOOD thing.
What is Resting Heart Rate
So you’ve been exercising for a few months and you notice your resting heart rate decreased, even though you’re not an athlete, persay. Or, maybe you want to know how to lower your resting heart rate naturally—the key to both of these questions is exercise.
Your resting heart rate reflects your level of activity—in addition to some environmental and nutrition impact.
But for the purpose of this blog, we’re focusing on the major impact of resting heart rate—exercise.
A normal resting heart rate for an adult is between 60 and 80 beats per minute. The higher the resting heart rate, the higher the risk for cardiovascular disease. If you’re holding down a couch for a few hours a day or more-you might have a higher heart rate than more active people. In fact, if you’re fairy sedentary—your heart rate can be even higher than 80 which is no Bueno.
So how do you lower your resting heart rate?
How to Decrease Your Resting Heart Rate
Well, this is no surprise—exercise. But the type of exercise matters. Cardio or aerobic exercise is your go to.
You should work out for at least 30 minutes doing moderate to high intensity aerobic exercise to improve your resting heart rate.
Doing so works large muscle groups which strengthens your heart because it has to pump more blood over that period—you’re essentially strength training your heart when you engage in this aerobics.
You can easily reduce your resting heart rate anywhere from 5-30 beats per minute.
Moderate to high intensity aerobic exercise is also proven to reduce arterial stiffness, increase physical fitness, lower the risk of heart disease and lower resting heart rates of people with metabolic syndrome.
So we know your heart gets stronger, so it takes less effort to pump blood, but that’s not the only benefit to lowering your resting heart rate.
How Much Should You Exercise to Lower Your Resting Heart Rate?
If you complete moderate to high intensity aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, you’ll get there. 150 minutes per week is the target for improved resting heart rate and health.
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