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What's the best way to lower my resting heart rate?
February 9, 2007 10:19 PM   Subscribe

What's the best way to lower my resting heart rate? I'm slightly overweight, and exersice just a few times a week. I've read a ton of literature that says a lower heart rate leads to a longer life. Any tips? Exercises that'll help?

I'm slightly overweight, and exersice just a few times a week. I've read a ton of literature that says a lower heart rate leads to a longer life. Any tips? Exercises that'll help?
posted by Geoffh to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Have you had a physical exam done by a doctor to determine whether you may have any heart or circulatory problems? If you're clear of any medical issues it's highly likely that you can lower your resting heart rate by improving the effeciency of your cardio vascular system. Cardio exercise 15 to 20 minutes a day three or more days a week is generally seen as a good basis. Walk, swim, bike or whatever you prefer but get that heart rate up into the 80% of max capacity range for 15-20 minutes and you'll find yourself on your way to lowered resting heart rate and a whole lot of other benefits.
posted by X4ster at 10:42 PM on February 9, 2007


I believe you have cause and effect backwards. People who will live longer have lower resting heart rates -- not the other way around.

To lower your resting heart rate, exercise lots and lose a lot of weight and eat well and get plenty of rest and remove stress from your life -- and you'll probably live longer, too.

But you might not have as much fun.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:47 PM on February 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


You just need to do cardiovascular exercise regularly. Running, biking, stairmasters - anything that gets your heart rate up. Lifting weights may help build muscle, but it doesn't do much for your cardiovascular system
posted by chrisamiller at 11:09 PM on February 9, 2007


three things: lose weight, get fit, meditate.
posted by edtut at 11:36 PM on February 9, 2007


My resting heart rate dropped from 80 to 60 within two months of me starting to run 3 days a week and lift weights 2-4 times a week. My doctor congratulated me and told me to keep it up.

I also experienced weight loss, elevated mood, increased confidence and a new appreciation for body after I began regularly exercising.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 11:59 PM on February 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Chiming in also with lots of cardio. I run fairly intense interval sets on the treadmill at the gym, and only yesterday, my doctor was actually slightly alarmed at my natural resting heart rate ... until I told her about the running. Everyone's on the right track (so to speak).
posted by mykescipark at 4:27 AM on February 10, 2007


Cardiovascular activity, and running in particular. I'm normally not a big fan of running because it tears up your knees and shins, but if you're just trying to lower your bpm, it's a great way to go. When I ran track in HS, my resting heart rate was in the high 40s. The captain of our team (also the son of Kip Keino), had a resting heart rate in the thirties.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:39 AM on February 10, 2007


This thread might help.
posted by loiseau at 9:17 AM on February 10, 2007


cycling.. no exercise beats cycling for lowering your heart rate.
The world record for lowest resting heart rate is held by a cyclist.. its 27 or something mental. Lance armstrong's is 32 a normal heart rate for a man is around 70.

The reason cycling is so good for your heart is because the cycling motion causes very little muscle fatigue, which means the only thing controlling your speed is just how fast your heart can pump oxygen around the body.

Cross country skiing is also good, most gyms have a machine that mimics it.
posted by complience at 5:10 PM on February 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


What everybody else said, losing weight an aerobic exercise are the biggies. Also: caffeine, smoking, smoking dope, and persistent stress will elevate your heart rate.
posted by nanojath at 12:15 AM on February 11, 2007


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