Raise your heart rate slowly with light stretching.
Increasing your heart rate even slightly can increase your health and life expectancy. Anytime you start moving, your muscles begin to call on your heart to deliver more oxygen. The more your heart works, the more it's conditioned to pump blood and deliver oxygen effectively. This decreases your risk of heart disease and gives you the ability to perform more work with less effort over time. By slowly increasing your heart rate, you can prepare your body for a high-intensity workout or maintain the moderately challenging level for lighter exercise or everyday activity.
Walking is an effective way to increase your heart rate slowly and can be used as a pre-workout warm-up or as a complete exercise session. Even slow walking raises your heart rate above the sedentary level and increases the blood flow to your muscles. If you are planning for a high-intensity workout such as running or cycling, walk at a brisk pace for five minutes to gradually raise your heart rate. If walking is your workout, warm up your body and slowly increase your heart rate by walking at slow to casual pace for five minutes.
Stretching helps increase your heart rate slowly by drawing blood to the muscles and stimulating movement. Performing gentle stretches first thing in the morning and before exercise prepares your body for activity, decreases your risk of injury, increases your flexibility and enhances your circulation. Because stretching is a low-intensity activity, it raises your heart rate slowly and allows you to ease into greater motion without excessive stress.
Yoga is a mind-body exercise that increases your heart rate slowly and provides health benefits such as increased flexibility, better balance, stronger muscles, improved lung capacity and decreased risk of heart problems. As a stress-relieving activity, yoga also provides mental health benefits including decreased anxiety, better sleep and improved concentration, which helps promote proper heart function overall. Perform a series of gentle yoga poses including Mountain pose, Downward Dog, Warrior pose and Tree pose for 10 to 15 minutes to raise your heart rate and see results.
Instead of standing on flat feet, gently raise your heart rate by standing tip-toed on the balls of your feet when doing everyday activities such as brushing your teeth, cooking, reading or watching TV. This increases your activity level and your heart rate at a slow pace and allows you to multi-task your exercise. By raising onto your toes you also work your legs and build muscle for an increased metabolism and stronger lower body.