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How to Lower the Heart Rate While Running

author image Andrea Cespedes
Andrea Cespedes is a professionally trained chef who has focused studies in nutrition. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, RYT-200 and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University.
How to Lower the Heart Rate While Running
Run flat terrain instead of hills to lower your heart rate. Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

Running is generally defined at a pace of at least 10 minutes per mile. Anything slower is defined as jogging. Runners who race can determine their maximum heart rate by taking 220 and subtracting their age. Generally racers calculate a percentage of this maximum heart rate to plan their workouts. If you prefer to run and lower your heart rate for medical reasons or to boost your fat-burning level, there are a few ways to do that.

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Step 1

Decrease your running speed. This means that instead of running at an eight-minute mile, slow down to a 10-minute mile. Check your pulse after you have been running for at least 15 to 20 minutes to gauge where you are exactly.

Step 2

Lower your arms to reduce your heart rate. Were you to pump your arms raised at chest level running, your heart rate will increase as you are moving your arms at or above the level of the heart, creating a greater level of exertion. To lower your heart rate, lower your arms so they swing closer to your hips or even lower as you run.

Step 3

Run on flat terrain outdoors or with no hills or inclines on a treadmill to reduce your overall exertion and also lower your heart rate. This will become immediately obvious when you take your heart rate while running up a hill outdoors and again running on flat ground. Any incline will elevate the heart rate. Generally, people who run will be working at a heart rate that is about 70 percent of their maximum heart rate, depending on their age and fitness level.

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