In a large study of people with a high-normal resting heart rate of 80 to 99 beats per minute (bpm) it was found they had a 40% shorter lifespan than those with a desirable heart rate of 60 to 69 bpm.
The good news is that moderate exercise (such as brisk walking) can help.
Usually 15 to 30 minutes a day of moderate activity will bring the resting heart rate down and help extend life expectancy.
The average heart rate over a lifetime is the issue. In the animal kingdom, the faster the heart rate, the shorter the lifespan. For example, on average, a mouse or rat has a heart rate of 500 to 700 bpm and lives 2 years, whereas a whale has a heart rate of 6 bpm and lives 80 years.
In humans as in animals, a fast heart rate means the heart has to work harder. For example, if one person has a resting heart rate of 60 bpm and another person has a resting heart rate of 90 bpm, this adds up to an extra 315 million beats in 20 years. Read more at “Mortality Rises With High-Normal Heart Rate, but Exercise Limits Effect” Better yet, join me for a morning walk.
Nancy Neighbors, MD