Your heart rate is a term that describes how fast or slow your heart beats every minute. If your heart beats faster than normal, you may be diagnosed with medical conditions such as hypertension. Your heart is made up of four chambers, each of which needs to work effectively and in synchronization for optimal function. A normal resting heart rate averages between 60 and 100 beats a minute, according to the Mayo Clinic. Your resting heart rate is based on your age, weight and physical condition. You can improve your heart rate in a number of ways.
Exercise every day for optimal health and wellness. Exercise improves cardiovascular health and strength, which makes your heart beat more efficiently. A strong heart is able to beat slower while at the same time pumping adequate amounts of blood into and out of the lungs and into the blood vessels serving the body for more effective transportation of oxygen and nutrients. A slower heartbeat helps to prevent excess "wear and tear" on the heart muscle, leading to greater efficiency and long-term heart health.
Maintain an adequate weight based on your height. Being overweight or obese increases the stress on your heart to adequately pump blood through your body. Obesity can lead to conditions such as hypertension or high blood pressure, as well as high cholesterol, which causes buildup of plaque inside the blood vessels, which decreases blood flow into and out of the heart, according to the American Heart Association. Due to this reduction of blood flow, the heart must beat harder and faster to make up for the decrease, leading to an accelerated heart rate.
Reduce stress and anxiety wherever you can in your work and home environments. Stress can accelerate the heart rate and cause hypertension. Stress has been found to be a major cause of heart disease among men and women. Stress causes the heart rate to increase, according to Heart Healthy Online. Increased blood pressure leads to cardiac stress. Stress also causes release of fatty acids into the body that in turn increase levels of triglycerides and cholesterol, which may increase your chances of experiencing a heart condition, heart attack or stroke.
Talk to your doctor about medications you may be taking that cause an increase in heart rate. If you feel any heart or chest palpitations, dizziness, chest pain or sense your heart skipping beats or beating too fast, call your doctor immediately. Request your doctor to consider alternative medications that help slow the heart rate, such as digitalis, but that will be effective in treating your current medical condition.