Q: What is a healthy resting heart rate, and how can I get mine down?
A: The normal range is between 60 to 80 beats per minute (BPM). An athlete could be 40 to 60 BPM. Consult your doctor if your resting heart rate is consistently above 100 BPM. The best way to improve your resting heart rate is with exercise. Start off slow and work up to interval training, in which you run hard, then slow down, and repeat for a specified amount of time or repetitions, once or twice a week.
Intervals strengthen your heart, allowing it to recovery faster, so your heart rate drops safely after intense exercise and stays lower when you're at rest.
Long endurance workouts are also important. Unlike other muscles in the body, you have to work the heart with longer "reps" and "sets." You might do three sets of 10 reps for your back muscles, for instance, but extend those sets and reps for your heart by doing 1- to 2-minute sprints (or reps) or 5- to 10-minute intervals, for example.
© Core Performance
Abbott Nutrition strongly recommends that you consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program and perform exercises under the supervision of a certified fitness trainer or conditioning coach. The effect of any specific exercise on a medical condition should be determined by your health care professional. The suggestions here are in no way intended to substitute for medical advice.