How To Lower Heart Rate While Cycling? Valuable Tips
After high-intensity exercise, it leads to a high heart rate. It isn’t an ideal situation. How to lower heart rate while cycling? Click here for the best way.
Cycling brings us many benefits, including increased cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength & flexibility, improved joint mobility, etc. Yet, while giving your heart a regular exercise to help it operate more effectively, pushing it too hard might be risky due to a high heart rate.
Thus, cyclists are often interested in how to lower heart rate while cycling. No worries. In this paper, we would like to give you some recommendations to handle this problem to improve the effectiveness and fitness of working out.
How To Lower Heart Rate While Cycling
A high heart rate index during physical activity is a normal phenomenon. However, it should only be as high as it should be, which means it is in an acceptable range. In cases where the threshold is exceeded, it can lead to chest pain, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, and even palpitations.
Therefore, regulating the heart rate while cycling is a good thing to do. Slowing that rate can help you reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, achieve greater physical fitness, and help to prolong life expectancy.
Read the suggestions below to lower your rate while cycling.
When at a slower pace, you can control your breath better
In short, the beating heart helps pump blood to the organs for activities in daily life. During cycling, the working organs and muscles need more blood and oxygen, so the beats increase to meet the body’s needs.
When your rate is high, one of the simplest and most effective ways is to reduce the intensity. In other words, you should slow down. When at a slower pace, you can control your breath better as well as avoid undesirable problems.
Practice Breathing Techniques
Take a big and deep breath help you to get the most out of your lungs.
You need to take the oxygen in when you cycle. Given the case that you have trouble breathing or shortage of breath, your heart may not get enough oxygen that needs to function properly.
Therefore, the right and suitable breathing techniques should be carefully considered when participating in this sport.
One of the most effective and basic breathing ways while cycling is to deepen your breath. It can make sure you get the most out of your lungs. The lungs’ capacity is fixed, so you need to maximize their potential. To do this, instead of sipping the air, take a big and deep breath.
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Better Breathing Techniques
- Check your gesture and position
The diaphragm is essential when it comes to breathing properly on a bike. Hence, you should ensure the gesture and position while cycling gives the diaphragm maximum movement ability for breathing.
It is recommended that you should try different positions to find out which one works best for you depending on your own conditions, such as type of bike, height, weight, etc.
- Breathe out hard, breathe in easy
This effective technique attributed to Alexi Grewal’s championship at the Olympics in 1984.
It is called “Zooming” by Ian Jackson, a cycling expert. As Jackson explained, “Instead of just sucking in and letting it out, try pushing the air out and then let it back in.”
Later, the Zooming technique can significantly increase endurance and aerobic capacity by more than 17 percent by Daniel Wojta’s study.
- Inhale through the mouth, exhale through the nose
According to research, breathing in via your mouth delivers more oxygen, and breathing out through the narrower area of your nostrils is slower, giving your lungs more time to absorb as much oxygen as possible from each breath.
Feasible Breathing Exercises
1. Three in and three out
This exercise emphasizes the time you inhale and exhale, 3 seconds for each action. According to research, if you can reduce your breathing to roughly 10 breaths per minute, it’s beneficial for your physical capability.
One of the advantages of a 3-second breathing exercise is that you can practice anywhere and anytime. 10 minutes or more per day will help you improve a lot in breathing while cycling.
2. Pedal stroke breath counting
While cycling, it’s hard to control your breathing well. Therefore, an exercise to improve concentration on breathing is pedal stroke breath counting.
Counting your breaths based on the rhythm of your pedal strokes can bring your focus back to breathing. According to We Love Cycling, a famous online magazine, you should set a cadence of 90-95 RPMs (Rounds Per Minute) in a moderate gear and breathe as below:
- Breathe in for 3 down-strokes. Let the air in naturally.
- Then, breathe out for 6 down-strokes. Control the air out with an audible “sss”.
N.B. You can change the number of pedal strokes depending on the terrain types and your lung capacity. However, remember to always put more strokes to the exhale.
Keep Your Mind At Ease
Normally, when experiencing stress, mental pressure, over-thinking, anxiety, etc., the beats go faster because the body reacts according to the autonomic nervous system (ANS).
Thus, all you need to notice is staying calm, putting your mind at ease, and avoiding stress as well as mental issues to control your breathing and heart rate better.
Stimulants will increse your heart rate after using it.
In general, stimulants are not good for your body, physically and mentally. Of course, it’s even worse when we are active in sports, specifically cycling here.
Foods that contain stimulants, such as tea, coffee, alcohol, or cigarettes (containing caffeine, nicotine, etc.), are something you should not consume before and during cycling.
Such stimulants promote dehydration, which can put additional stress on your heart. In other words, your beats per minute will increase after using it.
Use Fish Oil
Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which benefit heart health.
According to research published in 2008 in the “Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology“, fish oil can reduce heart rate and oxygen consumption during exercise. This is totally a piece of good news!
Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which benefit heart health. You should take fish oil into consideration for long-term improvements. Supplying your diet with omega-3 would enhance your health much, so ask for the doctor’s advice about adding it to your routine.
Why Is My Heart Rate So High When Cycling?
Basically, the heart rate indicates the number of beats per minute when it pumps blood through the body.
Blood circulates through your muscles and organs, providing them with the oxygen and nutrition they need to function properly. Your heart rate will rise in accordance with your pace and intensity of working out.
In other words, the beats are at a faster pace to quickly pump blood to your organs and muscles as they require higher blood and oxygen to keep going when cycling.
The whole process is the body’s response. The more intense you ride, the faster your heart may beat.
Warning Signs Of High Heart Rate While Cycling
As I explained above, a higher-than-normal heart rate when cycling is understandable. However, if you have any of the following signs and symptoms when cycling, you should pay close attention to avoid unwelcome health problems.
You need to know the reason for your chest pain
During cycling, if you experience chest pain, often also spreading to the shoulders, arms, and neck, especially when it comes to exertion, you may have angina.
Angina is a condition that causes chest pain, resulting from the hurt in the heart muscles when it is not supplied with enough oxygen that it needs.
Angina is generally short-lived. Even so, it might be a sign of a life-threatening cardiac issue.
Therefore, if you, unfortunately, experience this kind of pain, it’s necessary to determine what’s going on and what you can do to prevent a heart attack later.
Shortness Of Breath
When riding, you need to provide more oxygen to your body. Thus, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or gasping for breath is undesirable when cycling.
In addition, they can be some of the symptoms of exercise-induced asthma. This is a type of asthma caused by strenuous activity that narrows the airways in the lungs.
At that time, the body does not have enough oxygen, which will cause other problems, such as fatigue, dizziness, poorer performance, etc.
Lightheadedness Or Blacking Out
Lightheadedness is a state in which you feel faintness, dizziness, or being close to passing out. An abrupt drop in blood pressure is the most prevalent cause of lightheadedness.
Additionally, it can come from dehydration, prolonged exposure to hot weather, low blood sugar, high heart rate while hard cycling, etc.
On the other hand, lightheadedness might have a more serious underlying cause, such as cardiac problems.
Lightheadedness while cycling is really dangerous. First, you do not control the steering wheel, leading to falls, broken legs or arms, or even other dangerous complications. Furthermore, you may cause traffic accidents, which is not good for you and the community.
To prevent this problem while cycling, follow some tips below.
- Getting enough water, especially in hot weather.
- Consuming sweet or simple carbohydrate-based foods or beverages.
- When feeling faint, stop and give your body a rest.
Another sign of a high heart rate is palpitations. It makes your heart feel like it’s fluttering, pounding, or beating irregularly. You may notice them in your throat, chest, or neck.
Normally, palpitations are not a serious problem while cycling. However, in rare cases, palpitations can be a warning sign of a serious problem. Some heart conditions tied to palpitations include:
- Prior heart attack
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart failure
- Valve problems
- Heart muscle problems
Therefore, in the case of having those below notices while cycling, you need to check it out with the doctor.
- Intensive frequency of palpitations
- The long length of palpitations
- Concentration loss because of palpitations
However, it is not only when you experience the above symptoms that you should see a doctor. If you feel any unusual phenomena, please pay attention to them and have appropriate treatments. In addition, you should also learn more ways to avoid injuries when cycling to protect your health.
Do I Need To Wear A Heart Rate Monitor While Cycling?
In reality, it is possible to bike and control based on feel. Besides, there are multiple measurements to predict and check your condition and health during cycling. Nevertheless, heart rate monitors would make your cycling more effective.
Riders may make the errors of riding too hard when they should be slower or going too slow when they should be faster in the case they don’t have a monitor to objectively and correctly gauge intensity.
Nowadays, finding qualified heart rate monitors at affordable prices is not difficult. The monitors help ensure that you optimize the effectiveness within your training time.
So, I recommend you equip yourself with a heart rate monitor while cycling because of its visible benefits to your training.
How Do I Determine My Max Heart Rate For Cycling?
According to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), a simple equation to estimate your maximum age-related heart rate is
220 – ages = estimated maximum rate
For example, if you are 35 years old, the estimated maximum heart rate based on your age should only be calculated as 220 – 35 = 185 beats per minute (bpm). If this threshold is exceeded, many dangerous symptoms can threaten your health. Apply the methods above to lower it.
What is a good average heart rate when cycling?
After knowing your maximum rate, you would like to know about the desired target heart rate zone. It is the level at which your heart is trained and conditioned but not overworked.
According to the American Heart Association, a goal heart rate should be:
- Moderate exercise intensity: 50 percent to approximately 70 percent of your maximum rate
- Vigorous exercise intensity: 70 percent to approximately 85 percent of your maximum rate
So, 75 percent of your max heart rate is a number in the range of rate zone while you’re cycling.
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In conclusion, heart rate monitoring while cycling is essential. All you need to know is to choose some or all of the above practical techniques to answer how to lower heart rate while cycling.
Then, apply them to your training sessions to prevent unwelcomed damages to health and improve your fitness level. Remember that breathing techniques are a key factor of high-intensity workouts like cycling.
I believe that you will be happy and gorgeous inside out if you keep cycling and continuously improving your skills day by day!
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