5 Tips to Lower Your Resting Heart Rate

In the worlds of physical fitness and cardiac health your resting heart rate – the number of times your heart beats per minute when you are sitting quietly – is as important as getting your heart into the “zone” for maximum calorie burning efficiency.

For athletes, a low resting heart rate is usually a sign of good health, though for those who are extremely sedentary it can be a sign of heart disease.

Generally speaking, your resting heart rate should be no higher than 70 bpm (beats per minute), and having a higher one, according to an Italian survey, can increase the risk of dying from heart disease by up to 78%.

How, then, can you reduce your resting heart rate, and improve your overall health at the same time?

Lower Your Resting Heart Rate

  1. Stay hydrated. Drinking water isn’t just good for your skin and your digestive tract, it helps keep your blood flowing through your veins as well. Eight glasses of water a day is the general rule, but you should increase that if you live in an extremely dry climate, or routinely engage in extreme physical activity.
  2. When you’ve got to go… This may be a little bit delicate, but it’s really important to your heart, as well as your kidneys, to relieve yourself when you feel the urge. Don’t hold it. A full bladder stresses your entire circulatory system, and can increase your heart rate by up to nine beats per minute.
  3. Get some rest. An Australian study that involved rousing volunteers from their sleep many times a night (often with loud noises) found that being startled from sleep can increase your heart rate by 13 beats per minutes.Even without being rudely awakened by loud noises, however, sleep is an important part of fitness and health. Weight loss, for example, is almost impossible without regularly getting about eight hours of rest each night.
  4. Get a massage. Massage, meditation, a warm bubble bath – anything that puts you into a relaxed state also reduces your resting heart rate. A British study even found that when volunteers received hour-long reflexology treatments, their resting heart rates decreased by an average of eight beats per minute.
  5. Exercise regularly. Cardio is the key – aerobics, running, biking, swimming – anything that gets your blood pumping is good, and it also increases the efficiency of your heart, reducing the number of beats per minute required to keep your circulatory system functioning whether you’re active or resting.If you’re already exercising routinely, consider increasing the intensity of your cardio workouts: if you’re already walking, jog. If you’re a jogger, start running. The trick is to vary the pace: do three minutes at 70% of your maximum heart rate, followed by four at 90%.

Reducing your normal resting heart rate temporarily is easy. Keeping it low takes work and patience.

Be sure to seek medical advice before starting any exercise regime if you’ve never exercised before, and pay attention to your body.

What’s your resting heart rate? The best time to test is first thing in the morning before even getting out of bed.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Hi,really i admire your blog.Especially your 5 Tips to Lower Your Resting Heart Rate is very good.Thanks!!

  • Your article is really interesting. I would like to know if any research has been done to reduce the heartbeat rate over long term.

    Nilendu Bhattacharya


  • The only way to reduce your resting HR is to increase blood volume (BV), thus increasing stroke volume (SV), meaning a greater amount of blood is pumped with each beat, reducing the amount of beats the heart needs to circulate that blood.

    Andrew Bjorklund M.S.



  • Hey i do all of this,
    but what about when your not resting say your a hunter who uses a scout sniper
    and you want to lower your heart rate for just a few seconds lower than your normal heart rate what would you suggest doing?

    • Theo,

      What I do to lower my heart rate quickly is to breath in through the nose (for 4-5 seconds) then hold your breath for 6 (if you breathed in for 4) or 7 (if you breathed in for five) then slowly and controlled let the air out of your mouth for 5-6 seconds. So the pattern is in 4 hold 6 out 5 or increase each number if you have greater lung capacity. It lowers mine from the 80s per minute to about 76 per minute after just a couple cycles!

  • In ancient eastern practices, there is a known exercise that you do, to reduce your heart rate – controlling the amount you breath in and out.

    This takes a lot of practice – and requires a focused mind to practice – but is the fastest way to reduce heart rate naturally.

    Doing intense Cardio is not ideal as it burns up vital life force – but gentle exercises are just as good – such as walking for an hour.

    Good post – not very many sites talking about this in this much depth.

  • So, how long does it take to lower your Resting heart rate, would a month show any results?

  • I am 27 years old and when I was doing p90x plyometrics cardio at night at maximum heart rate of over 160 bps, and my resting heart rate when up to over 90 usually around 92 just by laying down. This hr has stayed like this for a few days now. I couldn’t even sleep. so I learn not to go over max hr because it will kill you.

  • my fast heart beat rate results into fidgeting any help

  • Thanks for the advice. I have one question though, is there any certain foods I can eat to help?

  • im 18, currently doing A levels and relatively healthy. i live in thailand so i drink water regularly and used to go jogging around 3/4 times a week, although the last 2 weeks my resting heart rate has been to high for me to do any exercise as if i do i nearly faint within the first minuet. even just walking up stairs or getting too excited seems to push my heart rate up quickly.

    i dont know how to push it down, and apparently my blood pressure is normal, although it feels high. i want to try and lower my heart rate at home before seeking medical attention because it is expensive and i don’t fancy spending a day in hospital as here they just seem to give you loads of drugs to fix everything.

  • Wow great tips fitbuff! Love your website.

  • Hi, I am 74 years old & have been distance running & weight training, over the last 40 years.My resting heart rate, recorded on a 24 hour worn hospital fitted cardiac holter, showed resting heart rates in the low 30s, in line with my own observations over the years, on quite a few occasions, the RHRs do slip into the high 20s too. Have had no adverse symptoms over my decades long training regime. On the day of the holter test, did a hospital supervised Tread mill test, reching 100% of the targeted heart rate at a MET score of 15.9. The echocardiography too yielded satisfactory results.
    Personally, i attribute the RHRs i have to the exercises i have been doing, noticeably & significantly increasing the stroke volume- am mainly on vegbetarian diet, focussing on proteins, Carbs, high fibre courses, the blood cholestrol rtates are well within range.

  • That’s false Andrew. Anybody who tells you their is “only” one way to do something is either an idiot of lying to you.

  • Need info on highhart rate100 or over and bp is ok. Please advise.

  • good advice!

  • awsome! super sonically brilliant advice! I have a bp of 199/26…. should i be worried?? or dead……..

  • i think Fitbuff is freakin awesome, i look it up every day for advice to keeping healthy. i have a resting heart rate of 46 bpm. i am an elite athlete and i am going to compete in the rio 2016 olypimcs. go team gb!

  • Having a aerobic capacity test done on Monday to determine Met level count. Now it’s 8.00 requirements for my job is 9.00. Need advice on how to build it up and sorry such a short notice. Need HELP.

  • Hi
    After taking some sinus meds I noticed my bp was up like
    169/ 100. p97 next morning 130/ 70 heart rate still 104
    What can I do…
    I did take my bp pill 2 keep from going 2 er I took 1 & half pill
    It was bed time so I took a Xanax .5 mg I take every ..shouldn’t that lower my
    H.rate after resting all nite ????? Bp was better ……HELP ME. Thanx

  • I need help with my aerobic HOUR I had a physical for a job today..my resting pulse was 64 after 2 min of cardiovascular it went to 136 they want it at 110, I am 57.. i am 5’4″ and about 40lbs over wt I have 1 week!! Help

  • I am 62 got dizzy. This morning thought it was from diebeties. But my blood press was high cNt walk very well how can I lower my blood pressure have alote on my mind and not sleeping well my husband has been told he has terminal cancer not long to live but I don’t want to have a heart attack I must hold on have children and grandchildren that count on me what can I do

  • i am in excellent health. eat vegan. lift weights normal heart rate is 48 resting i read i book about a Ranger that became captured and tortured he said he was able to take his heart rate to an almost indistinguishable low rate. His captors thought he was dead. i want to learn how to do that. any suggestions?