Did you know that the average adult heart rate is about 70 beats per minute? This means that in an hour, your heart should beat about 42,000 times. It’s common to have an increased heart rate from time to time, especially as a result of physical activity or situational stressors. However, if your resting heart rate is above the normal range frequently, this may indicate a health problem.
How to improve heart rate naturally includes making healthy lifestyle choices such as staying well-rested, exercising, practicing mindfulness, eating a healthy diet, and managing your stress.
What Does Heart Rate Mean for Your Health?
Heart rate is the number of contractions of the heart per minute. A healthy resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 bpm (beats per minute) and is an indicator of your overall health. Your heart rate can be affected by many factors, such as your current activity, your age, your stress levels, and your general health.
What Factors Affect Resting Heart Rate?
There are many factors that can affect your resting heart rate. Some of the things include age, gender, weight, physical activity level, stress level, and anxiety level. Below are some examples of how these factors may affect your resting heart rate:
- Gender — Men tend to have a lower resting heart rate than women.
- Weight — The heavier you are, the harder your body has to work to move blood through it which raises your heart rate.
- Physical fitness — People who are physically fit have a lower resting heart rate. They have learned how to improve heart rate naturally because their hearts work more efficiently.
- Stress — When you are stressed, your pulse rate will increase as a way for your body to be ready to respond; chronic stress leads to many problems including an increased resting heart rate.
A High Heart Rate Can Indicate Health Problems
A high resting heart rate may indicate an underlying health problem. Some health problems and conditions that cause a high resting heart rate include:
- Poor sleep
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Thyroid problems
- Heart disease
To avoid these and other health problems, check out the tips below to find out how to improve heart rate naturally.
How Long Does It Take to Lower Heart Rate?
Heart rate can be influenced by many different factors, so it is not possible to decrease your resting heart rate quickly and dramatically. While there are some things you can do to lower your heart rate in the moment, to bring about long-term changes, it takes a while to discover how to improve heart rate naturally. For most people, it takes at least a few months to reduce their resting heart rate to normal levels.
There are many things that you can do to learn how to improve heart rate naturally over time. If you are experiencing a high resting heart rate, you may want to consider lifestyle changes and stress-reduction techniques to see if you notice a change.
Consult with a naturopathic doctor or an integrative physician about how to improve heart rate naturally. Naturopathy and integrative medicine look at the overall health of your mind, body, and spirit to determine what factors may be contributing and the doctor can discuss with you how to improve heart rate naturally.
6 Tips for How to Improve Heart Rate Naturally
It is best to adopt a healthy lifestyle that can help you lower your resting heart rate over time. In particular, decreasing stress and increasing physical fitness are two of the best ways how to improve heart rate naturally.
Some lifestyle changes and stress-reduction techniques that can help you lower your resting heart rate include:
- Getting enough sleep
- Exercising regularly
- Practicing mindfulness, including yoga, meditation, tai chi, qi gong, and deep breathing
- Eating a healthy diet
- Managing your stress
- Avoiding caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol
Let’s take a look at each of these a little more.
Tip 1: Getting Enough Sleep to Improve Resting Heart Rate
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that most adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep every night to stay healthy. Sleep is vital for your overall health, but it can also impact your resting heart rate directly.
Adequate rest helps keep you calm and relaxed, which in turn is one way how to improve heart rate naturally. It also helps you recover from stress, which is another important factor for improving your resting heart rate.
Tip 2: How to Improve Heart Rate Naturally Through Exercising
Another way how to improve heart rate naturally is by exercising. Exercising is one of the best ways to improve your resting heart rate. The more you exercise, the more your heart will develop, and the lower your resting heart rate will become.
The key to exercising for a lower resting heart rate is to find an activity that you enjoy and stick with it. If you hate running or lifting weights, chances are you won’t keep it up long enough to see a real difference in your resting heart rate.
The best exercises to improve your resting heart rate are aerobic exercise, resistance training, and stretching.
- Aerobic exercise uses the large muscles in your body to produce energy. It’s also known as cardio, cardiovascular conditioning, or endurance training. Any activity that gets your heart pumping for a while will help with your overall fitness level which, in turn, is how to improve heart rate naturally. Some popular cardio exercises include running, swimming, walking, using an elliptical machine, playing a team sport, or dancing.
- Resistance training works your muscles to stimulate growth and increase strength. This type of exercise is often either lifting weights or using resistance bands.
- Stretching improves your flexibility, which helps you maintain good posture and reduce stress in your body. Flexibility also contributes to your ability to do other exercises such as cardio and strength training. Additionally, it improves the circulation of blood throughout your body, which can help reduce stress on your heart.
One of the best ways we’ve discovered how to improve heart rate naturally is to combine all three types of exercises into a daily routine.
Stretching first thing in the morning can help you wake up and focus on the day ahead, while aerobic exercise during lunch breaks or after work will give you a natural boost of energy when you need it most. Resistance training is great for building muscle mass and strength at night before bedtime so that you feel well-rested when it’s time to wake up again tomorrow.
Tip 3: Practicing Mindfulness as a Natural Way to Improve Heart Rate
Looking for a way to balance your mind body and soul? Mindfulness is a perfect practice for how to improve heart rate naturally.
You may have heard of mindfulness before, but you may not know exactly what it is. Mindfulness is a type of meditation that helps you become more aware of your body and surroundings. When you practice mindfulness, your heart rate naturally slows down, which helps reduce stress on your heart and allows you to think clearly.
One way to practice mindfulness is through yoga. Yoga combines stretching exercises that help improve flexibility with breathing techniques that help you focus on each individual breath. When you are completely focused on the present moment, there is no room for stress or worry about the future—and this has a positive effect on your heart rate and overall health.
Another form of mindfulness that can help lower your resting heart rate is tai chi. Tai chi is a Chinese martial art that focuses on slow movements, breathing, and meditation as a way to improve balance, flexibility, and strength in the body. It’s not designed for high-intensity workouts; instead, it’s meant to be performed at a slow pace so that you can focus more fully on each movement and breath.
Tip 4: How to Improve Heart Rate Naturally with a Healthy Diet
Your diet plays a large role in determining how fast or slow your heart beats at rest. Eating a healthy, balanced diet filled with whole foods can go a long way toward lowering your resting heart rate naturally over the long term. Here are some key recommendations:
- Eat plenty of organic fruits, veggies, and whole grains.
- Eat organic and locally grown lean protein sources.
- Avoid trans (toxic) fats. These tend to raise your cholesterol levels and your resting heart rate over time.
- Reduce your sodium intake. This is particularly important if you have high blood pressure or other cardiovascular issues. Sodium tends to increase your blood pressure and heart rate over time, which can lead to serious health problems down the road.
- Eliminate processed foods from your diet. Processed foods are filled with sodium, sugar, and unhealthy fats that can increase the risk for cardiovascular disease over time. Choosing unprocessed and unrefined foods can help keep your resting heart rate lower naturally.
As you make these changes to your diet, keep in mind that it may take several weeks before you notice any changes in how fast or slow your heart beats at rest.
A healthy, holistic diet can help reduce your resting heart rate in two major ways: by improving cardiovascular health, and by helping you lose weight. By eating the right foods, you’ll ensure that your body has what it needs to fight off disease and maintain proper function. And if you lose some extra weight, this will also help reduce stress on your body while improving overall cardiovascular health—two factors that can contribute directly to lowering your resting heart rate naturally over time.
Tip 5: How to Improve Heart Rate Naturally by Managing Your Stress
Did you know that stress can also cause your average resting heart rate to increase even when you’re not actively stressed out?
While this may sound counterintuitive, it’s true: chronic stress is a major factor in increasing your resting heart rate over time. This is because the body’s fight-or-flight response triggers a chain reaction in the body that leads to increased blood pressure, higher levels of adrenaline, and increased oxygen demand. All of these factors lead to an increased heart rate—often for no apparent reason!
Chronic stress affects people in different ways, which makes it especially hard to manage on your own. No matter what kind of stress you’re dealing with, though, there are some basic lifestyle changes that can help reduce its impact on your health such as exercising regularly and getting enough sleep.
Practicing relaxation techniques can not only help you manage stress but help you learn how to improve heart rate naturally. Try one of these:
- Meditation – Meditation is an effective way to reduce stress—and it’s also one of the best ways how to improve heart rate naturally. Not only does meditation have a host of other health benefits, but it also provides a unique, holistic way to deal with stress that can’t be replicated by other methods.
- Yoga or Tai Chi – Taking time each day for practicing yoga or tai chi can help lower your overall level of stress throughout the day and improve cardiovascular health. Both are not only great exercises to improve balance, strength and flexibility, but they are also a type of meditation with focused deep breathing.
- Deep breathing – Even just taking a few minutes every day to sit quietly and breathe deeply can help you focus, calm down, and lower your heart rate. Taking several slow, deep breaths can help you to regain your center and clear your mind from the stresses of the moment.
Tip 6: How to Improve Heart Rate Naturally by Avoiding Caffeine, Nicotine, and Alcohol
Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol can all cause your heart to beat faster at rest. All three of these substances also have negative effects on your overall health.
- Caffeine can cause high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease.
- Nicotine increases your resting heart rate and puts you at risk for several types of cancer.
- Alcohol can cause irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and damage to your liver and brain.
If you want to improve your resting heart rate, these are three substances that you will want to eliminate from your life.
Establish a Daily Routine for Improving Heart Rate
As you can see, there are many ways how to improve heart rate naturally. The key is to incorporate several of these methods into your daily life and stick with them for the long term. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t immediately see results; lowering your resting heart rate is a process that will take time and regular effort.
Learning how to improve heart rate naturally is a great way to take control of your health, decrease stress, and improve your overall quality of life.