Researchers have found that people with higher heart rates ranging from 80-100 face higher risk of a premature mortality than those with lower heart rates. In fact, people with resting pulses of 80 beats per minutes die four to five years earlier than those with pulses of 65 beats per minute. Experts says that: “To put that into perspective, it is the same difference in life expectancy, in the same individuals, as having a lifetime cancer diagnosis or not".
Apparently, the link between heart rate and life expectancy is not a scoop. In effect, the correlation between the two components has been known for more than a decade. These findings are mainly based on an analysis of nearly 3000 men who were followed for 16 years in the 1970, when they were middle-aged. But also, other researches have been conducted throughout the years that helped to establish a connection. Basically, researches have found that the risk of death increased by 16 percent for each 10-beat-per-minute in resting heart rate.
Unsurprisingly, physically fit people have in general a lower heart rate compared to those adept of the couch potato attitude. That’s right, those who exercise regularly and on a linear constant can have a heart rate as low as 40 and 60 beats per minute. That would mean up to one beat per second, which is pretty much excellent. And once again, it would come as no surprise that higher heart rates are the first signs of underlying diseases, such as heart disease, lung diseases or even diabetes.
A very wise man, Steve Jobs, once said: “nobody wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven do not want to die to get there”. I believe him. It is not to say that having a healthy lifestyle will protect you from death. However, it will most likely protect you from an earlier death. We know that high heart rates can be dangerous. We know that if you do not exercise you probably have a high heart rate. Then, the solution is simple: start exercising. Doing a physical activity on a regular basis will lower your heart rates, and you’ll get to see your children, partner or even explore your dreams for a little while longer.
In addition to exercising, stop smoking. Yes, giving your lungs a break will lower your heart rate as well. Better yet, be hero and involve your whole family in the adventure to better health. For example, adolescents can reduce stress, lose weight build strength, increase stamina, and most of all lower their risk of developing a chronic illness with regular physical activity and exercise. So really, if this article has made you raise your eyebrows or if you know someone that should consider changing his lifestyle for the better, than just do it. It’s as simple as that, involve your wife, children, husband, friends, etc. and just do it.
The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Engage Africa Foundation's Staff.
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