There’s a steady rhythm to life, echoed in the persistent beat of our hearts.
Our heart’s rhythm, the thump-thump echoing from our chest, is perhaps the most personal reminder of our mortality and vitality. But what is a ‘normal’ heart rate, and how does our lifestyle factor into this vital bodily function?
The heart, an engine of life, is elegantly simple yet remarkably complex. Nestled within our chest, this fist-sized powerhouse rhythmically contracts and relaxes, circulating oxygen-rich blood to every cell in our bodies. All day, all night, without rest. But like any well-oiled machine, the heart requires balance. A deviation in its rhythm – be it too slow or too swift – can signal underlying health concerns.
A ‘Normal’ Heart Rate
In the calm before the storm, at a state of rest, the adult heart paces between 60 and 100 beats per minute (BPM). This spectrum accommodates variations in age, fitness level, and overall health. A well-conditioned athlete, for instance, might have a resting heart rate that dips below 60 BPM, a nod to their heart’s efficiency. Meanwhile, an individual facing chronic stress might teeter towards the upper limit.
This resting heart rate serves as a baseline, but life isn’t a constant state of rest. For example, strong emotions or vigorous exercise may cause a temporary spike in heart rate. This is the brilliant heart’s intuitive response to our physiological and emotional demands.
As a general rule, research indicates that a lower resting heart rate (RHR) – within reason – correlates with better health. For example, a 2013 study of close to 2,800 people found that a person’s RHR was closely tied to their longevity.
The study found that the risk of death was more than triple for men whose resting heart rate exceeded 90 beats per minute, compared to men with a resting heart rate of 50 or less. Furthermore, every rise of 10 beats per minute in a person’s resting heart rate boosted their death risk by 16 percent. The authors concluded that a higher resting heart rate could indicate potential health issues and an elevated risk of death.
Understanding Your Heart Rate
To comprehend heart rate, one must first grasp the heart’s electrical system. The sinoatrial (SA) node, the heart’s natural pacemaker, sends electrical signals that dictate the frequency of heartbeats. Stress, intense physical activity, exposure to toxins, the use of medications, and other factors can cause this node to send signals more frequently, briefly accelerating the heart rate.
Yet, it’s essential to differentiate between a temporary increase and a sustained, irregular heartbeat. If the heart rate doesn’t decelerate back to normal after removing stimuli, it could indicate an issue that requires attention. It’s like a car engine revving when it shouldn’t – there’s a reason, and it’s critical to find out why.
Discovering the Root Cause
A heart that flutters beyond the norm or lags behind isn’t merely a symptom – it’s a vital clue. By uncovering the cause of an abnormal heart rate, we can address the issue holistically, tracing the threads of symptoms back to their source.
So, what could cause your heart to beat above or below the normal rate? Inflammation is nearly always the culprit behind a heart that is not functioning the way it should. Underlying reasons for this inflammation may include:
- Stress and emotional turmoil
- Consumption of certain foods and drinks
- A diet high in chemicals and low in essential nutrients
- Lack of quality sleep
- Imbalanced nervous system
- Over-exposure to electrosmog
- Toxins, such as mold and heavy metals
- Underlying health conditions
- Medication side effects
Guided by Nature’s Wisdom
In our fast-paced world, it’s easy to seek quick fixes. Yet, treating the heart rate isn’t about pacifying symptoms with medications. It’s about delving deeper, discovering the root cause, and nurturing your body back to health naturally.
Feed your body with nourishing, unprocessed foods. Engage in regular exercise. Get outside and embrace nature. Limit exposure to environmental toxins. Take control of stress. Sleep well. See a chiropractor.
These simple but profound actions foster a healthy heart rhythm. Embrace evidence-based supplements and innovative biohacking strategies to optimize heart health. And remember, the path to a healthy heart begins with understanding your body.
At Natural Heart Doctor, we walk this path with you. Our health coaches, armed with the wisdom of nature and informed by modern science, are ready to help you uncover the factors impacting your heart rate.
Our approach is personalized, comprehensive, and rooted in the belief that nature has profound healing powers. Let us help you nurture your heart back to its normal rhythm, naturally. Schedule a free 20-minute health coaching call and be well on your way to your 100 year heart.