5 Health Benefits of Increased Heart Rate

 The heart is a beautiful organ. It regulates blood flow to all other parts of the body, it beats 24 hours a day without tiring out, and it never turns its back on you or lets you down when times get tough.

The heart is also quite complex for such a small organ--it's made up of four different chambers that work together to make sure blood gets pumped around your body the way it should be.

Along with these chambers are valves that regulate which direction can blood flow through them at any given time. When everything works as designed, the heart is capable of pumping enough oxygen-rich blood throughout your body so you can enjoy all kinds of health benefits.  

Here's how:

1.) Increased Heart Rate Means More Calories Burned

It's common knowledge that one of the best ways to lose weight is to increase your heart rate.  But why exactly does increased heart rate make you burn more calories?

Your heart typically pumps about 5 liters of blood each minute, or roughly 21,000 liters every day.  This means that your heart pumps about 25 million liters throughout an average lifetime.

You're probably wondering how much energy this expends--the answer is a lot!  The caloric cost of pumping 25 million liters can be estimated at 250 x 10 = 2,500 kcal.  This leads us to our next point...

2.) A Higher Heart Rate Helps With Weight Loss And Maintenance

If you're trying to lose weight, it comes as no surprise that you'll need a steady supply of energy.  To burn fat and lose weight, your body requires a certain amount of calories each day.

If you consume less than this calorie allowance, your body will turn to stored fat for energy instead.

But if the number of calories your body derives from food intake is equal to or greater than the number of calories your active lifestyle expands, then there's no reason to move towards weight loss. Overeating can cause you to gain weight. This brings us back to point number one--increasing your heart rate increases the number of calories burned per day by up to 15%! 3.) A Higher Heart Rate Can Improve Your Cardiovascular System

For your heart to pump blood more efficiently, it needs a strong foundation from which to pump.  Your body provides this foundation by building new capillaries along the walls of the heart's four chambers and its large blood vessels. In time, these newly formed capillary beds can deliver oxygen-rich blood throughout your body at an increased rate, creating greater efficiency in how your cardiovascular system operates.

4.) A Healthier Heart Means Better Blood Flow

Having healthy cardiovascular capabilities means that your heart is better equipped to push blood throughout your body.  Along with benefiting all other organs in your body, having clean arteries also ensures that all systems within the brain are working nominally. This is especially important for people who are obese or overweight--not only is their heart burdened with pumping blood against greater pressures, the brain isn't getting as much blood flow as it should be.  But when you begin to lose weight, this increases your heart rate and puts less strain on your cardiovascular system.  As a result, your brain's systems receive more oxygen-rich blood than they would if you were still at an increased body size.

5.) A Higher Heart Rate Can Improve Your Mood

You're probably not surprised to hear that faster heart rates can lead to improved moods.  Increased levels of endorphins act like morphine in the brain by reducing pain sensation and increasing feelings of pleasure. This means that if you're feeling stressed or anxious, increasing your heart rate can help increase endorphin levels, which will improve both your mood and mental state.

Although there are many benefits to increasing heart rates through various activities, it's important to be mindful of the fact that too much is never a good thing.  When you exercise strenuously or begin exercising intensely for the first time, talk with your doctor about how you should approach this new lifestyle change.

By maintaining an active lifestyle paired with a balanced diet, you're more likely to see improved cardiovascular functions--which can lead to greater overall health!  Additionally, learn about the best foods for weight loss here on our blog!


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