As any other muscle in our body it needs training and conditioning in order to keep healthy. Every once in a while it should be forced from it's resting beats per minute to a more active one.
In average, males will have something like 60 to 80 beats per minute, and females a little higher than that.
Measure your own BPM by locating an artery and pressing gently against it so you can feel the pulse, then simply count how many there were in a minute. It's important to make sure you're in a comfortable upright position, and that you haven't eaten or drunk coffee before the measurement, both of these things increase the heart rate. And obviously that you're calm, not fresh out of the gym.
If your BPM is above 85, it means your heart is not getting enough exercise. You might want to start moving your butt and doing at least some walks every day, or stationary bike, swimming, hoola hoop, whatever, as long as your heart reaches about 90% of its maximum beats per minute for at least 20 to 30 minutes.
What's your maximum BPM? Subtract your age to 220, so for example if you're 18, it should be around 202 bpm.
Some other tips:
- Stay away from cigarettes, excess alcohol and drugs (even legal ones). Smokers have twice the chance of a heart attack than non-smokers.
- Try eating healthy. I'll make another post in the future about this, but rule of thumb, try to have many different colors in your food. If you look down and everything in your plate is yellow, then that's bad news. Also don't eat too salty, bad for the blood pressure.
- Keep active, 30 minutes of exercise a day is not that much when you think of it. Do it while watching TV with a stationary bike. Swimming is both great cardio and muscle building activity. Walking and hiking can be great fun and also clear your mind of troubles which brings us to:
- Try to manage your stress, life can be complicated yes, but try keeping a positive outlook and not to worry in excess, this can lead to many problems, one of which is heart disease.
- If your family has a history of heart problems, be specially careful with all the above points and if you feel chest pains, go to your doctor immediately, even if they go away after resting.
I hope that was informative and that it leads to healthier and happier hearts. Cheers!