In order to improve heart rate it is necessary to get the heart pumping which in turn will lead to better heart health. With age we can experience changes in our heart rate; it can become slower, irregular or reveal an underlying heart condition you didn’t know existed. Therefore, it’s important to get our hearts pumping in order to improve our heart rates and overall heart health.
There are many factors aside from age which can affect heart rate: air temperature, body position, body size and medication. To best check your heart rate, place two fingers on your wrist, on the inside of your elbow, on the side of your neck or on the top of your foot. Once you find your heart rate simply count how many beats you feel within 60 seconds. A healthy heart rate should be between 60 and 100 beats per minute (bpm).
Sometimes our heart rates can be slower than 60 bpm, and although your first instinct may be to feel alarmed, a slow heart rate doesn’t necessarily indicate a problem with your heart. Beta blocker medications, for starters, could promote a slower heart rate. Additionally, athletes or those who are physically fit may have a slower resting heart rate simply because their heart is strong and is utilizing oxygen more effectively.
If you want to improve the strength and performance of your heart, the secret is to get your heart pumping.
All the major muscles in our body need to be physically worked in order to become stronger. This is not any different for your heart because it is also a muscle. When we start moving, or partake in exercise, the heart muscle needs to work harder to ensure blood and oxygen can get to all the parts of the body in order to perform the task at hand. The stress exercise puts on the heart makes it stronger by increasing the amount of pumps it makes.
Exercise is whatever gets your heart pumping, so don’t think you have to lift heavy weights or begin sprinting. Whatever activity you enjoy doing which increases your heart rate is a form of exercise – even if it’s cleaning the house or other chores. The key is finding something you enjoy, so you can stick to it and improve your heart health.
Whatever gets you moving will get your heart pumping, but if you’re stumped for ideas, try some of these:
Aerobic exercises: Aerobic exercises safely increase your heart rate. Aerobic activities include hiking, water aerobics, cycling, swimming, running, kickboxing and dancing. Picking the right aerobic exercise should be based on your personal needs, abilities and what you enjoy doing. If you’re just starting off with exercise, it’s a good idea to begin with lower impact and gentler moves, like walking and swimming. Once your heart starts to become stronger you can move up to longer hours of dancing or cycling.
Resistance training: Resistance training involves the use of weights or any other mechanism which adds resistance. When muscles are met with resistance they require more oxygenated blood which in turn increases heart rate.
At first you can use your own body as resistance, like in a push-up or squat position, but over time you can add additional weight. It’s advised that you should complete eight to 12 repetitions of at least three sets.
Stretching: You may not think that stretching can get the heart pumping, but it definitely can and is necessary for good heart health. Stretching increases flexibility and improves blood flow, so you don’t have to work as hard. You can boost your stretching by partaking in different styles of yoga.
Two things to keep in mind prior to beginning a workout are your medical condition and ability. It’s always important to have clearance from a doctor and even guidance before working out. Furthermore, know your limits. Although you may want immediate results, overworking yourself will only lead to injury and leave you unable to exercise. Take your time, start off slow and gradually build your way up.
Not only will exercise get your heart pumping, but it can reduce your risk of many common heart-related illnesses as your heart will become much stronger.