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The normal resting heart rate for children above the ages of 10 and adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats a minute. For athletes, their heart beats average 40 per minute. Usually, a lower (not low) heart rate is indicative of an efficiently functioning cardiovascular system. However, in certain cases people might want to know how to increase heart rate.
But why is that?
The biggest reason to increase your heart rate (via physical activities) is because it increases the amount of oxygen being absorbed by your blood. This results in:
The American Heart Association recommends at around 2hr 30 minutes worth of basic exercise once a week, or 1hr 15 minutes worth of high intensity workout. Keep in mind to never go over 100 heart beats per minute, as it can result in less oxygen being pumped to the blood. This in turn gives you fatigue, dizziness, chest pains and might even result you in fainting during your workout sessions.
The easiest, best and safest way for you to increase your heart rate in a completely natural and side effect free manner is to increase your physical activities. Listed below are several activities and you are free to choose those that suit your time, body and energy levels.
Most people think that stretching is good for, well, stretching your body, muscles and joints. But the truth is that rigorous and consistent stretching can easily get your heart pumping as well. It is the best option for those with physical injuries, limitations or conditions like stiff joints, which prevent them from being physically active.
If you're the adventurous, outdoorsy type, then how about a non-traditional workout like hiking? Not only will you be in touch with nature and get to breathe fresh air, but you will simultaneously work on your cardiovascular fitness. The steeper the hill, the better the workout for you.
How to increase heart rate? Well, if you're a gym rat, then aerobics sessions are a good option for you. However, if you're new to cardio exercises, I'd suggest you begin with low impact exercises for at least a couple of weeks before progressing to moderate or even high impact exercises.
Who says you can't being a child? Not saying that jumping rope is a child's activity, but you get what I'm saying, right? Bring out your ropes, and start jumping. It will be tough in the beginning as your body isn't used to such intense exercise, but don't let that discourage you. All it takes is a few days to adjust your body to this exercise!
If you feel you don't have enough rhythm in your body to move like a pro during your aerobics class, well then you have spinning to save you. It is low risk, helps burn fat and reduce your cholesterol and blood pressure levels as well.
Sit down and spin, stand up and spin, raise your hands forward and spin – the combinations are endless. You can even do spinning in a group setting if you feel it's too boring or lacks enough motivation for you!
If aerobics isn't your thing, then you can work on how to increase heart rate by focusing on weight training? Resistance training puts pressure on your muscles, which forces them to get out of their comfort zone and work extra hard. The focus here is on less reps and heavy weights. Pro tip: if you're able to lift your dumbbell beyond 12 reps, then your weight isn't heavy enough.
You can also use your body to work out, especially if you are the kinda person who doesn't have the time or money to go to a fancy gym:
Doing cardio or aerobics for 20-30 minutes is great, sure. But what's even better is doing high intensity workouts for short periods of time. High Intensity Interval Training has the capacity to burn maximum calories in a minimum amount of time, which is why an increasing number of fitness trainers across the globe have begun incorporating it in their clients' workout schedules. 10 minutes is all you need to get one HIIT session done.
These are fantastic because not only do they work instantly to increase heart rate, but are so easy that they can be done practically anywhere and anytime. Got 15 minutes? Great. Got 5? No problem!
If you're like the average Joe for whom going hiking is too much effort and going to the gym is too much of a commitment, then how about jogging? Early mornings and evenings work best, so bring out those shoes of yours, and get going! It's a great exercise for those who are older as jogging allows you to build your pace slowly and at your own convenience.
Warning: Please do understand that this article is in no way supposed to act as a substitute for a professional trainer or doctor's advice. You are encouraged to talk to either (or both) before starting any workout, especially if you're new to it.