Lowering heart rate with sports

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Train your heart to combat hypertension and lower heart rate

Regular physical activity can lower your blood pressure and increase the efficiency and strength of your heart. Exercise also lowers your heart rate: resting heart rate is normally around 60-70 bpm, but training makes the number of beats per minute decrease over time, resulting in a reduction of cardiovascular risk. An important clinical study, known as BEAUTIFUL, shows that elevated heart rate is a negative prognostic indicator. Maintaining resting heart rate under 70 bpm is beneficial to your health and longevity.

Physical activity

Aerobic activity in particular (walking, running, swimming, cycling, aerobics), carried out 3 to 5 times a week, with a duration of 20 to 60 minutes and a muscular effort between 40 and 70% of your theoretical maximum, causes an average reduction in blood pressure values of 4-10 mmHg.

Mechanisms at the basis of the blood pressure reduction induced by aerobic physical activity seem to be related to a decrease in peripheral vascular resistance, which in turn is caused by a reduction in the activity of the sympathetic nervous system and endothelin 1 levels (which cause vasoconstriction), and an increase in nitric oxide (NO), which has a vasodilating effect.

Isometric physical activity, which involves a static muscular effort, can be carried out on two conditions: lower frequency (no more than 2-3 times a week) and light to moderate intensity (lighter weights). This kind of training involves 12-15 repetitions per set and a recovery time of at least one minute between sets. High intensity weight lifting such as bodybuilding should be avoided, as it causes a significant increase in blood pressure levels. Those who exercise in a gym should always combine isotonic workouts with aerobic ones.

Do not forget that regular physical activity is not only beneficial to blood pressure and heart rate, as it can also improve tolerance to sugars, reduce the levels of inflammatory cytokines, triglycerides, total cholesterol and LDL (also known as “bad” cholesterol), while increasing levels of HDL (also known as “good” cholesterol).

Increases in weight, a sedentary lifestyle and an incorrect nutritional regiment are all leading causes of increased heart rate and hypertension.

Appropriate nutrition, combined with physical activity are the best weapons for the prevention of hypertension and cardiovascular disease, lowering your heart rate and blood pressure for longevity.

 

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