There are other ways to lower a fast resting heart rate besides exercise and meditation.
Suppose you’re healthy but your resting heart rate remains fast, despite regular exercise and attempts at stress management or meditation.
What can you do to bring down your resting heart rate?
“There are not too many good ways to reduce resting heart rate from stress without medication,” says Dr. Sameer Sayeed, a cardiologist at ColumbiaDoctors of Somers, NY.
“But one can try filling their office with pleasing pictures or imagery and look at it while working if possible; this has been shown to reduce high resting heart rate from stress.
“Avoiding excessive caffeine and nicotine can help.
“Slow breathing and more abdominal breathing or alternating nostril breathing has been somewhat effective but difficult to learn.”
You probably already know that consistent aerobic exercise will lower resting heart rate, and this lowering effect will also carry over to stressful times when the resting pulse soars—it will be sped up, but not as high as it would be if you didn’t exercise.
However, overtraining can cause a fast resting heart rate. Make sure you’re not excessively exercising, though if you’re a competitive athlete, you have no choice but to train many hours per week.
What else can lower a fast resting pulse besides exercise and stress management?
“Adequate sleep will help combat higher RHR from stress,” says Dr. Sayeed. “Frequent bladder emptying also helps to reduce RHR and prevent as high a rise with stress.”
“Fish oil tablets may have some effect on lowering RHR and preventing as high a rise with stress.”
“Finally, the most effective way of reducing RHR with stress that is also beneficial and proven would be by prescribing the person a beta blocking or calcium channel blocking medication.”
Additional methods that might help lower a fast resting pulse is to increase water intake and also see what happens with a daily 81 mg. aspirin.
If you’re overweight, losing fat will help, depending on the level of overweight.
Dr. Sayeed performs echocardiograms and stress tests at the Midtown Manhattan and Westchester offices at Columbia Doctors. He is also trained in cardiac CT imaging.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.