One of the things we love most about getting outside is its heart health benefits. Any activity that aids our health while also being pleasant makes us happy! Walking and other exercises can improve your resting heart rate. New research shows that our resting heart rate is even more indicative of health than we thought.
Your normal, or resting, heart rate is how fast your heart beats when you aren’t exerting yourself. Although it is called “normal,” that means normal for you, not others, as individuals’ heart rates can differ by up to 70 beats a minute! Many of us believe that our heart rate is largely unchanging from day to day. However, even our one “normal” heart rate can show variation. For instance, your heart rate tends to be faster in cold months and slower in the summer. As your pulse can reveal so much about your health, doctors are wondering if tracking a person’s pulse over a more extended period could help detect health problems early.
According to the researchers, “Day-to-day changes in resting heart rate could be the first true, individualized digital vital sign, which is only now possible to measure thanks to wearable sensor technologies. Variations in resting heart rate may allow for the identification of early unexpected changes in an individuals’ health.”
This may be a significant breakthrough, and we want to take some time to look at what heart rate can show and how you may be able to improve your own. Aging can make your heart beat faster and, for health benefits, you want your pulse to be slow. Tobacco, stress and weight can all stress out your health and make it beat faster. Working on losing weight, learning to handle stress and quitting tobacco can all be approaches to lowering your pulse.
Exercise may make your heart beat fast while you’re in the middle of it. However, it can slow your pulse over the long-haul. Exercise strengthens your muscles—including your heart. The stronger your heart, the more force behind each beat, causing it to beat less frequently but with more efficacy. Additionally, exercise can fill up time you might otherwise smoke during, can help you lose weight and some people find it soothing over time. So, not only will it strengthen your heart, it might make your other risk factors easier to manage!
People with lower heart rates live longer. An average, healthy rate is viewed to be 60-90 beats a minute. Above that may be linked to shorter lives. Looking at 92,000 people for 320, researchers saw that participants ranged from 40 to 110 beats a minute. They also noticed that, by and large, while an individual’s heart rate might vary over time, a healthy person’s doesn’t change very much.
“The variability of the resting heart rate may provide additional information, not only for cardiovascular health but also for pulmonary status, infectious disease detection, reproductive health, and possibly more,” said Giorgio Quer, the first author of the study, performed by Scripps Research.
Anything that you can do to get your pulse elevated can help lower your resting heart rate. “Even a brisk walking program can lower the resting heart rate in 10–12 beats per minute,” said Dr. Barry Franklin, director of preventive cardiology & cardiac rehabilitation at Beaumont Health.
So, get outside today and get your heart pumping. Your future self will thank you!