Why does resting heart rate decrease?

Have you ever noticed how your heart rate decreases when you’re relaxing or sleeping? Or have you been exercising regularly and noticed that your resting heart rate has gotten lower over time? Well, fear not my dearest reader, for I am about to impart upon you some knowledge on why our hearts beat the way they do.

The Anatomy of the Heart

Before we go into why the resting heart rate decreases, let’s take a quick look at what makes up our hearts. The human heart is a magnificent organ made up of four chambers (two atria and two ventricles) and an impressive network of blood vessels. The right side of the heart pumps oxygen-poor blood from our body to our lungs where it gets re-oxygenated. Once oxygenated, this blood returns to the left side of our heart where it gets pumped out through arteries to supply all parts of our body with life-giving oxygen and nutrients.

But enough with boring jargon. Let’s get to the good stuff!

Activities That Can Affect Your Resting Heart Rate

Our bodies are amazing machines capable of adjusting itself according to different activities we engage in throughout the day; exercise being one such activity that can significantly affect your resting pulse rate.

The Effect Of Exercising on Resting Pulse

Now before you decide to shun exercise for eternity, hear me out! When we engage in physical activity whether weight lifting or jogging around Central Park (#fitnessgoals), many systems within us start working a little bit harder than if we were simply lounging around watching Netflix (#guiltypleasure). Our muscles require more energy than usual as they contract constantly during exercise which means an increased demand for oxygenated blood by those muscle fibers.

To meet this increased need for fuel, your cardiac output — which is basically how much blood your heart pumps per minute — increases thereby raising your pulse rate. Over time, regularly engaging in physical activity teaches your body to adapt much better and more efficiently too; improving respiratory function for enhanced oxygen uptake along with strengthening cardiovascular muscles which leads to a decrease in resting pulse rate.

The Relaxation Effect

While we’re on the topic of lounging around and relaxing (something I’m sure all pandas are experts at), this is as good a time as any to mention that relaxation can play an important role in maintaining optimal heart function.

When our body’s stress-response system is activated after encountering say…a swarm of bees or a deadline that crept up on us (#procrastinatorsunite!), our heart starts beating faster. This response also causes constriction of blood vessels in peripheral tissues — like those found in arms and legs — thereby shunting blood towards vital organs such as the brain, lungs etc., essentially preparing us for fight or flight situations.

During relaxed states though – when we aren’t confronted with life threatening dangers –our heartbeat slows down, lessening demands placed upon the cardiac muscle fibers (#goodforhealth). High levels of chronic stress over time have been associated with high resting pulse rate (>100 beats/min)1 indicating chronic hyperactivity of the sympathetic nervous system; so deep breaths my dear reader

Factors That Can Influence Resting Heart Rate

A variety of factors could be responsible for reducing your resting pulse:


Like fine wine or well-aged cheese produced by happy cows, aging gradually affects various functions within our bodies including weakening/cardiac muscles or dissolving fats deposit within cells.
As you grow older so does your musical taste differentiates from what was popular back then(#oldfashioned) . Studies done indicate that
resting2 Pulse tends to slightly lower ##(60 bpm)##as age progresses


Some medications such as beta blockers used mainly to treat hypertension among other things affect the autonomic nervous system activity; blocking sympathetic influences on cardiac function leading to decreased pulse rate. While a useful medication in certain ailments always follow prescription guidelines.

Sleep Duration

I know what you’re thinking –‘Seriously? Is that a thing?’– but it is, dear reader. Studies have shown that individuals who consistently derive optimal amounts of sleep typically exhibit lower resting heart rates than those who do not.

And generally better productivity too,#striveforgrowth

How To Check Your Resting Heart Rate

Now don’t go rushing out to buy some fancy equipment just yet! Here’s a simple way to determine your resting pulse rate:

  1. Place two fingers (index and middle) on the carotid artery located on either side of your neck.
  2. Count the number of beats within one minute or for 30 seconds if short time period exists available.
    3.. Calculate reading accordingly i.e double for 30 second count etc..

Pat yourself on the back panda!! You did it!


Alas, we’ve come to the end! We can now breathe easy knowing why our hearts beat slower when we nap or relax after engaging in physical activity (wink). Identifying factors that contribute towards reducing resting pulse rate can aid us in devising healthy lifestyle changes as well as help monitor abnormalities should they develop (winning)
So don’t hesitate my darling Pandas make healthy life choices, exercise regularly and most importantly remember…you are worth all effort put forth(heart)

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