An increased heart rate is a major part of most forms of exercise. Although a pounding heart can feel uncomfortable, it provides your heart with exercise that can lower blood pressure, decrease pulse and improve circulation over time. However, some people have been instructed by their doctors to keep their heart below a certain level, and many novice exercisers struggle to bring their heart rate down during and immediately after an exercise routine. There are several things you can do to lower your heart rate.
During exercise, your body produces more carbon dioxide and requires more oxygen. When you're not taking in sufficient oxygen, your heart rate may increase in order to deliver oxygen from the blood to your organs. By focusing on your breathing, you can lower your heart rate. Breathe in at a slower rate than you breathe out. This ensures that you take in sufficient oxygen. If you're doing strength training, breathe out while exerting yourself -- such as while lifting a weight -- and inhale immediately before exerting yourself -- such as when you are lowering a weight back down.
Dehydration can cause an elevated heart rate even when you're not exercising, and exercise can greatly exacerbate symptoms. When the cells in your body don't have enough water, your heart compensates by beating faster. To avoid this, drink plenty of water before and after exercising, and take frequent breaks, particularly if you're exercising in hot weather.
Hot weather quickly drains your body of vital fluids through sweating, and your heart may compensate for this loss by increasing your pulse. If you find that your heart rate quickly gets too high during exercise, try exercising indoors when it's hot outside.
Some exercises exert your heart less than others. If you've been advised by your doctor to avoid elevating your heart rate, try a low-intensity aerobic exercise such as walking or swimming. Yoga is also an excellent way to stretch and tone your muscles without dramatically elevating your heart rate.
Cool Down Routine
If you sit down to relax immediately after exercising, your heart rate may actually increase. Instead, begin a cool-down routine when you're done exercising. Stretching, walking and focusing on breathing will all help to steadily lower your heart rate.