High resting heart rate – what does is mean and what to do about it
How are you holding up? How do you feel your health and physical condition is right now? In many ways we are living under a pressure these days. According to statistics many are experiencing stress and in western countries people’s physical condition is decreasing year after year – both being factors to resting heart rate. This blog lets you know what high resting heart rate is telling us and how it can be influenced.
Factors affecting resting heart rate
There are many factors that affect resting heart rate (and heart rate zones) such as lifestyle and genetics – the size of the heart being one of the biggest factors. If you have a small heart, it beats more frequently, when a big heart is naturally beating more calmly. So, you should monitor your own heart rate without comparing it too much with others’. The key factor is how fast after a strain your heart rate decreases and if your resting heart rate is remarkably high.
What does a high resting heart rate tell us?
From monitoring your own physical health and condition point of view, it’s good to monitor your heart rate, especially your resting heart rate and the possible changes in it. If your resting heart rate is remarkably high, it’s a signal of poor state of physical condition or overloaded autonomic nervous system often caused by stress, lack of sleep or too much physical strain without enough rest to counterbalance it. Needless to say, that in this case the heart not to work as well as it could.
How to affect high resting heart rate?
So, resting heart rate gives signals about your health and overall well-being. But what can you do to decrease your resting heart rate, or to keep it low? If the cause of high resting heart rate is stress, it’s essential to try to influence the stress factors. If the stress factors cannot be eliminated or even influenced too much, it’s very important to focus on recovering. What are the things that causes your mind to calm down and your heart rate to drop? Many studies show that nature has plenty of health improving affects – especially mind calming and heart rate dropping effects.
Also exercising has a remarkable effect on resting heart rate. The heart grows stronger when it’s strained with physical exercising. Exercise physiologist Jukka Kapanen reminds however that if you constantly exercise only within a high heart rate zone, there’s a danger of overexertion. So the importance of good basic physical condition cannot be too overemphasized, as it’s also the basis of improving the physical condition. According to UKK-institute there should be light movement as much as possible during the day.
The effect of the Gymba Board on resting heart rate
Because there should be light movement throughout the day as much as possible, for those working in offices it’s a challenge to get enough movement. They need to actively focus on taking breaks from being stationary. (Here are tips on how to add movement to your days at the office.)
Testing Lab gave Gymba Boards to a group of 10 to test for a month. They used the board for approximately 5 to 6 hours a day. One remarkable observation was the drop of resting heart rate after only one month of use! During the trial period, the testers' resting heart rate decreased by an average of 4.5 beats per minute. This supports of the fact that light movement throughout the day has health improving effects, and standing on the Gymba Board is exactly that: light movement. (You can read more about the test from here. Ps. All the testers wanted to continue using the Gymba Board after the trial period.)
Keep these in mind and your heart will thank you
- Test your resting heart rate every once in a while
- Avoid being stationary for too long during the day
- Strengthen you heart by straining it with high intensity workouts
- Monitor your heart rate while exercising so that you’ll know to have enough rest between high intensity workouts and avoid overexertion
- Ask help from a sports professional if monitoring your heart rate feels challenging or you don’t know your heart rate zones
- Watch your diet
- Obesity is known to strain the heart and has a connection to high resting heart rate
- Make sure you get enough sleep, rest and recovery
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