What is heart rate?
Heart rate (HR), also known as pulse, refers to the number of heartbeats a person has per minute. A normal resting heart rate is 60-100 BPM. A lower resting HR is a sign of good health. However, a healthy HR will vary from person to person.
When should one be concerned with their high heart rate?
A heart rate that is over 100 BPM at rest is clinically diagnosed as tachycardia. This is a condition in which the heart beats faster than normal due to conditions that are unrelated to physiological or emotional stress. There are three types of tachycardia: sinus, supraventricular, and ventricular. These types can result from different rhythm disorders that affect the heart’s normal electrical impulses.
While tachycardia is a concern, sometimes it is also completely normal for a fast heart beat to occur. For example, it is normal for HR to rise during exercise, stress, trauma or illness.
If your heart rate is steadily increasing at rest, this is a marker of heart health worth watching.
11 ways to lower heart rate naturally overtime:
- Add more fatty fish to your diet
Research has revealed that increased intake of omega 3 fatty acids, including EPA and DHA, are linked to a lower resting heart rate. We love wild-caught fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring. Aim to consume fatty fish a minimum of 3-4 times per week and supplement daily with 1-2 caps of our Omega DHA for full heart rate support, as well.
- Reduce stress
Chronic stress is one of the top causes of a high heart rate. The higher your stress level, the higher your heart rate. Stress causes the heart to have to work harder which causes vasoconstriction and often results in a higher heart rate and blood pressure. Reducing stress is essential to getting HR down. Create a daily stress reduction protocol and commit to it daily. Try meditating, deep breathing, tapping, progressive muscle relaxation or simply sitting in silence.
- Increase physical activity
Exercise is one of the best ways to begin to normalize your heart rate over time. A sedentary lifestyle contributes to high heart rate.. While your HR increases acutely during exercise (this is normal and expected), what is actually happening over time is your heart is becoming stronger and more resilient. This means your heart is more efficient at pumping blood and as a result HR lowers during resting periods. Aim for some type of movement each day to get blood pumping and strengthen your heart. Exercising daily gradually helps to lower a resting heart rate.
- Take supplements
Supplementation is often needed to take the body out of a physiologically stressed state (where HR is high). Two favorites we use for this are garlic and low dose lithium. When HR is elevated, take 2-3 tabs of Garlic Force for a few days until it comes down. For maintenance, take 1 tab of Garlic Force per day. Also, add in our Li Zyme (low dose mineral lithium) and take 2 tabs 3 x per day for a high HR, and go down to 1 tab 3x per day for maintenance. If you want individualized help with supplements and dosing, please schedule with a coach here.
- See a chiropractor
Regular chiropractic is one of the best ways to improve your heart rate. Research has shown that the effects of spinal adjustments include a stable heart rate, reduced blood pressure and improved cardiac function. Your cardiovascular system is controlled by your nervous system and chiropractic adjustments ensure your nervous system is balanced and aligned. When the nerves are properly aligned this allows for good communication and thus good cardiovascular function.
- Ground in nature
Grounding, also known as “earthing”, is the technique in which you put your body in contact with the earth and its energy (in the form of electrons). Grounding can consist of walking, standing, sitting or sleeping directly in contact with the earth’s surface. This allows for the transfer of energy from the ground to the body. Research has shown that upon contact of the skin with the ground there is an immediate activation of the parasympathetic nervous system and a deactivation of the sympathetic nervous system, which is required for reducing the heart rate.
- Lose weight
Excess weight on the body is a stressor that can raise both heart rate and blood pressure. The more weight the body has, the harder the heart muscle must work to pump blood through the entire body and as a result heart rate increases to compensate. Losing weight helps to lessen the workload of the heart and lower an elevated resting heart rate.
- Get better sleep
Sleep is where the body resets itself and restores its functioning. Good sleep is crucial to good heart health. Sleep deprivation puts an immense amount of stress and strain on the whole body, especially on the heart. Aim for good quality and quantity of sleep. Go to bed with sundown and arise with sunrise. Eliminate electronics and artificial lighting prior to bed. Check out our top sleep tips here.
- Limit stimulants
Stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol obviously stimulate an increased heart rate. Stimulants also cause dehydration and can increase the work the heart must do. If an elevated heart rate is a concern for you then be sure to limit stimulant use throughout the day and limit any use after 2 PM.
- Stay hydrated
If the body is dehydrated, the amount of blood that is circulating (blood volume) decreases and this puts increased strain on the heart.To compensate for this, the heart rate increases and the heart beats faster to pump and circulate blood. Make sure you are staying fully hydrated each day with quality water that is mineral rich.
- Get tested
Know your intracellular micronutrient levels, including the essential minerals like magnesium and potassium. Also, utilize advanced cardiac testing, which takes into account all aspects of cardiovascular health such as cholesterol, inflammation, heart stress and hormones like cortisol and thyroid. In order to discern what is causing your high heart rate, you may need to do some detective work and that’s where the advanced testing comes into play.
How to lower heart rate in the moment:
If you’re having an episode of high heart rate and need to get it down quickly, try one of these options:
- Sit in a cool and relaxing place. Heat can raise heart rate.
- Take deep breaths to bring heart rate down. Use an app like Headspace or find a Youtube video. Keep sitting and breathing deep until HR declines.
- Try taking our HR-lowering supplement duo (listed above): Li Zyme and Garlic Force.
- Drink more water and ensure proper hydration.
- Go see your chiropractor for an “emergency” adjustment. Sometimes the simple act of adjusting the autonomic nervous system is just enough to balance the body and take it out of the sympathetic state where a high heart rate occurs.
What are the causes of high heart rate?
While there are many causes of an elevated heart rate, the following are some of the most common we see:
- Stress and anxiety
- Chronic sympathetic activation
- Excess weight
- Heart disease
- Sleep apnea
- Overactive or underactive thyroid
- Increased alcohol intake
- Use of stimulants
- Electrolyte (mineral) imbalance
What are the complications of high heart rate?
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Low energy
- Low physical fitness
- Low blood pressure
- Reduced circulation
- Heart failure
- Blood clot
- Heart attack
If you need help with a high heart rate or are interested in advanced testing to get to the root of your heart rate issues or simply want to talk to someone, please schedule a free appointment with a health coach here.