Get your heart rate up. Regular activity strengthens the ticker so it won’t have to work as hard to supply the body with oxygen.
Bring your heart rate down by speeding it up. Regular cardiovascular exercise that gets your heart pumping can lower your resting heart rate. That’s important because research shows people with a higher-than-average heart rate have a greater risk of death. How fast the heart beats reflects the amount of work it must do to fuel the body with oxygen. Getting your heart in tip-top shape can ease some of that day-to-day workload. The heart, as with any other muscle, can be strengthened through exercise. As we become more fit, our resting heart rate falls. While resting heart rates average 60 to 80 beats per minute, they can exceed 100 bpm in middle-aged sedentary people. To make sure you’re working your heart when exercising, use this rule of thumb: You should be able to carry on a conversation but not carry a tune.