What's a normal resting heart rate?

Answer From Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.

A normal resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute.

Generally, a lower heart rate at rest implies more efficient heart function and better cardiovascular fitness. For example, a well-trained athlete might have a normal resting heart rate closer to 40 beats per minute.

To measure your heart rate, simply check your pulse. Place your index and third fingers on your neck to the side of your windpipe. To check your pulse at your wrist, place two fingers between the bone and the tendon over your radial artery — which is located on the thumb side of your wrist.

When you feel your pulse, count the number of beats in 15 seconds. Multiply this number by four to calculate your beats per minute.

Keep in mind that many factors can influence heart rate, including:

  • Age
  • Fitness and activity levels
  • Being a smoker
  • Having cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol or diabetes
  • Air temperature
  • Body position (standing up or lying down, for example)
  • Emotions
  • Body size
  • Medications

Although there's a wide range of normal, an unusually high or low heart rate may indicate an underlying problem. Consult your doctor if your resting heart rate is consistently above 100 beats a minute (tachycardia) or if you're not a trained athlete and your resting heart rate is below 60 beats a minute (bradycardia) — especially if you have other signs or symptoms, such as fainting, dizziness or shortness of breath.

From Mayo Clinic to your inbox

Sign up for free, and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips and current health topics, like COVID-19, plus expertise on managing health.

To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.

Oct. 02, 2020 See more Expert Answers

See also

  1. Slide show: 5 smart exercise choices for psoriatic arthritis
  2. 6 tips for an active getaway you'll remember
  3. Accentuate the positive to make lasting health changes
  4. An appointment to exercise? You bet!
  5. Are you ready for a workout?
  6. Blood Doping
  7. Boot camp workout
  8. Can I exercise if I have atopic dermatitis?
  9. Core exercises
  10. Create a home gym without breaking the bank
  11. Did you exercise today? Reward yourself!
  12. Don't have an exercise budget? Go cheap!
  13. Dress smart for winter workouts
  14. Early bird or night owl? Plan exercise accordingly
  15. Exercise benefits
  16. Exercise and chronic disease
  17. Exercise and illness
  18. Stress relief
  19. Exercise: Every minute counts!
  20. Exercising with arthritis
  21. Exercise: Check with your doctor
  22. Exercising regularly? Track your progress!
  23. Fitness program
  24. Fitness: Take it 1 step at a time
  25. Fitness motivation
  26. Fitness ball exercises videos
  27. Fitness barriers: Bust 'em
  28. Fitness for less
  29. Fitness program
  30. Fitness takes more than huffing and puffing
  31. Fitness tip: Get physical at home
  32. Fitness tip: Get physical at work
  33. Fitness tip: Include your friends
  34. Fitness training routine
  35. Getting in shape after having a baby
  36. Going up? Take the stairs
  37. Golf injuries
  38. Golfers: Know when to call it quits
  39. Golfers: Tee up common sense
  40. Hanging out with friends? Activity counts!
  41. Hate to exercise? Try these tips
  42. Heat and exercise
  43. Hockey Flywheel
  44. How fit are you?
  45. Is exercise a chore? No more!
  46. Keep your workout fun
  47. Know when to move your winter workout indoors
  48. Marathon and the Heat
  49. BMI and waist circumference calculator
  50. Mayo Clinic Minute: How to hit your target heart rate
  51. Miss a workout? Don't give up!
  52. Need a gym to get fit?
  53. Need exercise motivation? Put it on paper
  54. Need motivation to exercise? Try a diary
  55. No pain, no gain? No way!
  56. No time for exercise? No way!
  57. Overuse injury prevention
  58. Pregnancy and exercise
  59. Core-strength exercises
  60. Guide to stretches
  61. Balance exercises
  62. Fitness ball
  63. Starting a fitness program? Take it slow
  64. Starting an exercise program: Take time to rest
  65. Travel and work
  66. Strength training: How-to video collection
  67. Too busy to exercise? Get up earlier
  68. Too sick to exercise?
  69. Walking for fitness: Getting started
  70. Want to get fit? Try backyard aerobics!
  71. Cold-weather exercise
  72. Winter weather tip: Watch for signs of frostbite
  73. Working out? Remember to drink up
  74. Workout blahs? Don't go it alone!