A high heart rate can put an individual at risk for a number of different problems, from heart attacks and heart disease to strokes. Those who already have a high heart rate or those for whom heart disease runs in the family can take some steps to lower their heart rate; the most effective of these steps can include changes in lifestyle. An increase in physical activity can make the heart stronger and pump more slowly, while finding new and effective ways to control stress can also relieve pressure on the heart. Lowering heart rate won't happen overnight, and one of the most important things to remember is to continue on whatever regimen is started.
Lowering heart rate can be as easy as walking several times a week on a regular schedule. Exercise that temporarily increases the heart rate will make the muscle stronger over time, and the resting heart rate will begin to drop. Walking, bicycle riding, jogging, and any other type of cardio exercise can have a major impact on the strength of the heart even when done only a couple hours each week.
High levels of stress can speed the heart and flood the body with chemicals that can become dangerous if stress becomes chronic. Learning relaxation techniques can go a long way in lowering heart rate; yoga and meditation can help to train the muscles of the body to relax, and even getting a massage once a week can have benefits. Research has also shown that laughter can relieve the physical symptoms of stress and result in relaxed muscles and a lower heart rate.
Getting a good night's sleep can have a number of health benefits, and one of those is to help in lowering heart rate. When the body is well rested, it is stronger and more resilient not only to illness, but is better equipped to deal with stressors that can raise an individual's heart rate. Waking up repeatedly in the middle of the night not only weakens the body's defenses, but can also cause the heart rate to spike when coming suddenly out of a deep sleep.
When an individual learns how to pace strenuous exercise and activities, he or she can also begin to learn how to have a considerable effect on heart rate. Breathing and heart rate are closely linked, and by controlling and stabilizing breathing, it is also possible to lower heart rate at the same time. Learning to control breathing rate can be useful in situations from exercising to simply dealing with stressful situations, ultimately resulting in lowering heat rate.