What is a Resting Heart Rate Chart?

B. Miller

A resting heart rate chart is a chart that illustrates the ideal range for the resting heart rate for people of all ages and fitness levels. The resting heart rate refers to the number of beats per minute of the heart when it is at rest; i.e., not exercising. It is an excellent measure of physical fitness.

Physically fit people tend to have lower resting heart rates.
Physically fit people tend to have lower resting heart rates.

A resting heart rate chart is typically broken up into approximately six different rows and columns. Generally, the columns across the top are in reference to age range; for instance, one column might reference ages 18 to 25, while the next will consider ages 26 to 35, and so on. The rows down the side refer to one's existing level of physical fitness; typically, the chart ranges from a very fit person or professional athlete to one who virtually never exercises and has very poor fitness levels.

Resting heart rate increases with age.
Resting heart rate increases with age.

The best time to measure resting heart rate is immediately upon waking in the morning. Simply place the fingers on the wrist and count the number of beats in one minute. For the most accurate measure, some people choose to do this on a few mornings in a row, and then take the average; this will give a more complete picture of one's actual resting heart rate. Then, one can consult a resting heart rate chart to learn what the numbers mean.

Simply find the age range and fitness level that applies, and see what the resting heart rate should be according to the resting heart rate chart. If the resting heart rate is much higher than the chart indicates it should be, it may be necessary to incorporate more exercise into one's daily routine. Those who are particularly concerned may want to consult a doctor.

In general, a person who is more physically fit will have a lower resting heart rate. Younger people also generally have lower resting heart rates, and men tend to have slightly lower resting heart rates than women. The resting heart rate increases with age. In general, a resting heart rate between 60 and 80 beats per minute is considered average, though anything between 45 and 100 beats per minute is also possible.

A resting heart rate chart may be found for free simply by searching online. Most gyms and fitness centers offer them as well; they are also typically posted doctors' offices. Taking a measure of resting heart rate is a great way to start improving one's physical health, and it is also important to note that those in better physical shape will find it easier to return to their resting heart rate after exercising than those in poor health.

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