What factors can influence heart rate and or blood pressure?

So, you think your heart rate is high? And your blood pressure’s through the roof? Well, don’t worry – it’s probably just because of one of these factors:


While we may not like to admit it, sometimes things are simply out of our control. Our genes play a significant role in determining our heart rate and blood pressure. If someone in your family has high blood pressure or heart disease, you’re at increased risk too.


Getting older isn’t any fun (trust me on this). One unfortunate side-effect of aging is that both our resting heart rate and systolic blood pressure tend to creep up over time.

Physical Activity

Ah yes, good old exercise! Whether you’re into running marathons or just taking a leisurely walk around the block after dinner, there’s no denying that physical activity plays a big role in keeping our tickers healthy. Regular exercise can lower both your resting heart rate and your bloo-…you know what? Just forget I said anything about lowering anything. Let’s focus on all those endorphins instead 🙂

Type of Exercise Matters!

Of course not all types of exercise are created equal when it comes to influencing health markers such as HR and BP.
– Aerobic Training: If you want maximal benefits for HR/BP regulation then aerobic training would be an ideal choice (think jogging/rowing/swimming).
– Resistance Training: Strength training also promotes cardiovascular fitness but changes in HR/BP increases will likely be less dramatic compared with generalized aerobics.


Food glorious food…it affects every part of us including how quickly our hearts beat (well done, cake fans!). A diet rich in sodium can increase blood volume which leads to higher BP while foods with excess sugar content can raise insulin levels leading eventually to hypertension (boo, sweet treats fans!).

Beneficial Foods

There are many foods which can help regulate HR and BP, including:
– Cold water fish rich in Omega3s (e.g. salmon)
– Leafy greens with high magnesium content (spinach/kale/cabbage/bok choy etc.)
– Fiber rich fruit e.g. berries for anthocyanins/polyphenols


If you’ve ever stayed up until the wee hours watching a binge-worthy show then you already know that lack of sleep can lead to heart palpitations and increased blood pressure (give those eyes a break, people!). Aim for at least 7 hours per night.


Cue moaning. Yes, stress is bad for pretty much everything but research shows it’s particularly harmful to our cardiovascular health as is elevates cortisol levels resulting again in heightened HR/BP values (shock horror).

Relaxation Techniques

Try practicing some relaxation techniques such as meditation/yoga or deep breathing exercises to %slow down brain activity& while doing plenty of asanas.


Certain medications can alter both your resting heart rate and your blood pressure; so ‘always read the label.’ Patients with pre-existing conditions like diabetes may also require medication/supplements/vitamins that could increase their susceptibility to changes in either variable.

Substantial alcohol consumption might induce sharp spikes/drops in both HR/BP by increasing vasodilation/vasoconstriction waves throughout time leading ultimately to adverse effects on the body system overall (%Time without% hangovers seems becoming increasingly desirable right now!)

As we’ve discovered today simply being alive exposes us all to multiple factors that affect physiological processes such as heart rate and blood pressure each day, yet there are proven ways we can manipulate these external stimuli/maintain good habits giving ourselves every safeguard possible against unwanted increases/decreases in our vital signs for better heart health overall.