Why Does Your Heart Rate Increase When You Exercise?

We all know that exercise is good for our body and while in the long term this is definitely true, intense exercise in the short term often feels like we are on the verge of collapse.

From the sweat pouring off our brows to the aches in our muscles, exercising is hard work and painful and since it is hard to equate pain with something being good for us, intense exercise doesn’t feel worth it.

Why does your heart rate increase when you exercise?

One of the most worrying things to happen during a workout is the increase in a heart’s beating.

It can feel like one of our most important body parts is trying to actively escape from our body during these moments.

Obviously, this can appear as something to worry about, especially if you are unfit when you first start using the machines. 

However, there are reasons that this happens, and they are not necessarily bad ones.

No improvement to lifestyle comes without sacrifice, and this is a prime example of that.

Today, we will take a closer look at exercising and examine why your heart rate increases when you exercise. 

How Does Exercise Affect the Body?

Exercise has been proven to be incredibly beneficial for our bodies over time.

If you have ever tried to go through life without doing any physical activity, then you will understand how much more difficult life would be.

While some people may claim that they can get by just fine without any sort of physical activity, chances are that you would be dead within five years, or worse – living an exceptionally unhealthy life. 

In fact, even though many people say that they don’t need to do anything other than sleep, this isn’t exactly true because sleeping is not really enough to keep us healthy and well-functioning.

In addition to this, having no exercise means that our blood circulation is affected, which leads to a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. This is why it is so vital that we exercise regularly. 

While exercising can lead to increased sweating and muscle soreness, the benefits far outweigh this. Exercise builds up our muscles and helps them become stronger.

This is an amazing thing because when we are older, our bones tend to break easier.

However, regular exercises help strengthen those bones and make them less likely to break. In addition to this benefit, exercise also makes our hearts healthier. 

When we exercise, our heart beats faster in order to provide extra energy to the muscles for the next set.

This is very helpful because high levels of stress can cause our heart to beat irregularly and this can eventually lead to cardiac arrest. 

As such, exercise has both mental and physical benefits, but unfortunately, this only applies after a period of time.

The reason for this is that the first few times we exercise, our body gets used to it and thus, requires less effort to achieve the same results. 

What Causes the Heart to Speed Up During Exercise?

If you’ve never exercised before, then you might find that your heart rate increases when working out.

This is perfectly normal and should not be viewed as a negative sign.

Instead, it is actually a positive sign because it shows that your body is responding positively to exercise. 

The reason your heart starts to race when you exercise is because it needs to pump more oxygen into your body in order to meet its demands.

During exercise, your muscles require more oxygen than usual because they are working harder and therefore, they need to receive more oxygen than usual.

This is why your heart starts racing: it pumps more blood around your body in order to supply your muscles with the necessary amount of oxygen. 

As mentioned earlier, the first few times that you start exercising, your body gets accustomed to it.

This means that it takes longer for your heart to raise your resting heart rate, and it doesn’t respond quite as quickly to exercise. 

Over the course of several weeks, your body becomes better at coping with exercise.

Your body learns to cope with exercise on a day-to-day basis. As such, if you exercise consistently, your heart will learn to respond quicker to exercise.

Moreover, as your body adapts to exercise, you’ll notice that your heart responds even quicker to exercise. 

When Should I Be Worried About My Heart Rate When Exercising?

When Should I Be Worried About My Heart Rate When Exercising?

There are instances where you should be concerned about your heart rate when exercising.

For example, if you experience chest pains while exercising, or if you feel like your heart is beating too fast, then you should stop immediately.

These symptoms indicate that there could be something wrong with your heart, and you need to see a doctor right away. 

On the other hand, if you feel good during exercise and your heart feels strong, then it’s okay to continue.

It is important to note that these symptoms will occur only once in a blue moon. Therefore, if you experience one of these symptoms, try to ignore it.

You shouldn’t worry about it and instead, you should focus on improving your health. 

It is recommended that you speak with your doctor if you have any concerns regarding your heart rate when exercising or if you experience any other symptoms.

He/she will be able to tell whether your heart rate is increasing due to anxiety or from actual problems. 

If it is due to anxiety, then your doctor will suggest ways to reduce your anxiety level so that you don’t have to worry about your heart.

There are many methods for doing this, and it all depends upon what kind of anxiety you’re dealing with.

For instance, some people find that listening to music reduces their anxiety, whereas others prefer to walk outside. 


All in all, a beating heart happening while you exercise is not something to be too concerned about.

Much like your other muscles, it too is getting a workout and over time your heart will beat less fast when you are doing cardio. 

However, if you experience chest pains or an incredibly rapid heart beat maybe tone back the intense cardio and speak to your doctor, just to be safe. 

Thank you for reading!

Kevin Harris