You may have asked this question time and again – ‘why is my resting heart rate high?’
Let’s find out the answer to this question.
Your heart rate fluctuates minute by minute. It depends on whether you’re standing or lying down, whether you’re moving or sitting still, and whether you’re stressed or relaxed.
However, your resting heart rate is relatively constant from day to day. Resting heart rate is typically between 60 and 90 beats per minute. Above 90 is considered to be excessive.
You do not need to see a doctor to monitor your heart rate at rest. The optimal time to measure it is immediately upon rising from bed in the morning.
At the wrist or neck, you can determine your heart rate by placing one or two fingers over a pulse point, counting the beats in 15 seconds, and multiplying by four.
Why is My Resting Heart Rate High? Some Causes:
Tachycardia is caused by something interfering with the normal electrical impulses that regulate the rate at which your heart pumps. Numerous factors can either contribute to a rapid heart rate. These include the following:
- Consuming an excessive amount of caffeinated beverages
- Consuming an excessive amount of alcohol
- Hypertension (high blood pressure) or hypotension (low blood pressure)
- Electrolyte imbalance, the mineral-related substances required for the conductivity of electrical impulses
- Adverse effects of medication
- Thyroid hyperactivity (hyperthyroidism)
- Unexpected stressors, such as fear
- Cocaine or methamphetamine use
In some instances, the exact cause of tachycardia is unknown.
While you may regularly monitor your heart rate while running or exercising, research suggests that you may also want to monitor your resting heart rate: According to Swedish research published in the journal Open Heart in 2019, an increase in your normal beats per minute may indicate that something is wrong.
The purpose of the study was to determine whether heart rate at rest at the upper end of the normal range—60 to 100 beats per minute—had an effect on long-term heart health or the risk of premature death.
They randomly selected approximately 800 Swedish men born in 1943 and asked them about their lifestyles, whether any of their family members had any cardiovascular disease, and stress levels.
Additionally, they underwent a medical examination, which included determining the number of heart beats per minute when the body is at rest, technically called resting heart rate.
This figure varies according to factors such as age, obesity, smoking, cardiovascular disease, usage of other medicines, and even body position. (Athletes such as runners frequently have resting heart rates at the lower end of the normal range, or slightly below it, due to the effect of cardiovascular fitness on your rate.)
The researchers re-examined the men’s levels ten years later, and then again 11 years later with a final exam. Around 500 of those still alive expressed an interest in continuing participation; slightly more than 150 declined.
They discovered that those with a resting heart rate of 75 or greater—still within the normal range—at baseline had a nearly doubled risk of death from any cause, as well as an increased incidence of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease, compared to those with a resting heart rate of 55 or less.
However, changes in heart rate at rest were significant as well: individuals with stable heart rates at rest throughout the study had a 44 percent lower risk of heart disease than those with increased heart rates. Additionally, each additional beat increase in resting heart rate was associated with a 3% increased risk of death over the study’s duration.
Tips to Lower Your Heart Rate at Rest
Increase your physical activity. When you take a brisk walk, swim, or ride a bicycle, your heart beats faster during and shortly after the activity. However, daily exercise gradually reduces the resting heart rate.
Reduce your level of stress. Over time, practicing the relaxation response, yoga, tai chi, meditation, and other stress-busting techniques results in a decrease in heart rate at rest.
Abstain from tobacco products. Smokers’ heart rates at rest are higher. Quitting reduces it.
If necessary, lose weight. The larger the body, the more work the heart has to do to keep it supplied with blood. Weight loss can assist in lowering an elevated resting heart rate.