The heart rate, also called the pulse, is the number of times the heartbeats per minute (BPM).
According to the American Heart Association, a normal resting heart rate is between 60 (beats per minute) and 100 (beats per minute) for people 15 years and older.
Heart rate can be dangerous if it is too high (tachycardia) or too low (bradycardia), which can vary depending on a person’s age and physical condition. In general, a fast heart rate for adults is over 100 beats per minute (bpm) and a slow heart rate for adults is below 60 bpm.
However, a low heart rate can also be common in athletes, people who are physically fit, or people who take medications such as beta-blockers.
See a doctor if you have an unusually high or low heart rate accompanied by symptoms such as:
What Is a Normal Heart Rate?
Normal resting heart rates by age are as follows in the table below:
Heart Rate (beats per minute, or BPM)
|15 years and older||
How Do I Calculate Maximum Heart Rate?
- To estimate the maximum target heart rate during exercise, subtract your age from 220. For example, for a person who is 50 years, the estimated maximum age-related heart rate would be calculated as 220 to 50 years = 170 bpm.
- For moderate-intensity physical activity the target heart rate should be between 64% and 76% of the maximum heart rate. For that same 50-year-old, that would mean their target heart rate for moderate-intensity physical activity should be between 109 to 129 bpm.
- The target heart rate for vigorous-intensity physical activity should be between 77% and 93% of the maximum heart rate. That means a target of 131 to 158 bpm for that same 50-year-old.
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