Normal Resting Heart Rates by Age

The normal resting heart rate, also known as your pulse, varies by age. In adults, a resting heart rate of 60 to 100 beats per minute (bpm) is generally considered normal. Babies and young children have higher resting heart rates than older kids, teens, and adults.

Resting heart rate is your heart rate while at rest. It serves as an indication of your general fitness. A lower resting heart rate generally indicates a higher degree of fitness. Even so, certain medical conditions can cause an abnormally low or high resting heart rate.

This article explains what the resting heart rate should be for different age groups, how it is measured, and what low or high resting heart rates say about your health.

Woman checking her pulse

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Normal Resting Heart Rate by Age

From birth to adulthood, the resting heart rate varies. In babies and children, the rate is generally higher, mainly because their hearts are smaller. The rate will gradually decrease until age 10 when the expected range of values will stabilize through adulthood.

The resting heart rate range, measured in bpm, is the expected range of values seen in 95% of people in that age group.

 Age Resting Heart Rate Range 
0–1 month 70-190 bpm
1–11 months 80-160 bpm
1-2 years 80-130 bpm
3–4 years 80-120 bpm
5–6 years  75-115 bpm
7–9 years  70-110 bpm
10 years and older 60-100 bpm
Well-trained athlete 40-60 bpm

How to Measure Your Heart Rate

Though there are smartwatches and heart rate monitors able to measure your heart rate automatically, all you really need is a watch with a second hand. To get an accurate resting heart rate reading, you need to be at rest.

To measure your heart rate, place a finger over your radial artery or carotid artery. The radial artery is found at the base of the wrist on the side of the thumb. The carotid artery is found on the neck to the side of the windpipe, just under the jaw.

Once you have located the artery, place your index and middle fingers over it and count the number of pulses you feel in one minute. (A quicker method is to count the number of beats over 15 seconds and multiply this by four to determine beats per minute.)

Common Mistakes

There are certain things that can increase your resting heart rate and throw off your reading, including:

  • Having just exercised
  • Walking or doing physical activity
  • Smoking a cigarette
  • Eating a big meal
  • Drinking a lot of caffeine
  • Feeling stressed

If you're doing or feeling any of these things, it is best to wait an hour or two before measuring your heart rate to get the most accurate reading.

What Causes a Low Resting Heart Rate?

A lower-than-normal resting heart rate is called bradycardia. Having a low heart rate is not necessarily a bad thing. Performance athletes like long-distance runners, for example, can have a resting heart rate in the low 40s and still be considered healthy.

However, for most people, a low heart rate may be a sign of a problem, especially when accompanied by:

  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion

There are many different causes of bradycardia, including:

What Causes a High Resting Heart Rate?

A heart rate higher than 100 bpm is called tachycardia. Aside from recent exercise, many medical conditions are associated with tachycardia, including:

Serious Causes of Tachycardia

Some potentially life-threatening conditions can also cause a high resting heart rate, including:

Seek immediate medical help if you have rapid heartbeats accompanied by chest pain, difficulty breathing, dizziness, or fainting.

How to Lower Your Resting Heart Rate

You can lower your resting heart rate by improving your physical fitness and making some lifestyle changes. Regular cardio exercise (like running, swimming, or biking) trains the heart to become more efficient over time.

In addition to exercise, other lifestyle modifications may improve your resting heart rate, including:

The aim is to improve what is known as your target heart rate zone. This is your heart rate during moderate-intensity activities (defined as 50% to 85% of your maximum heart rate).

The target heart rate zone and maximum heart rate vary by a person's age.

 Age (years) Target Heart Rate Zone (50-85%) Maximum Heart Rate (100%) 
20 100-170 bpm 200 bpm
30 95-162 bpm 190 bpm
35 93-157 bpm 185 bpm
40 90-153 bpm 180 bpm
45 88-149 bpm 175 bpm
50 85-145 bpm 170 bpm
55 83-140 bpm 165 bpm
60 80-136 bpm 160 bpm
65 78-132 bpm 155 bpm
70 75-128 bmp 150 bpm


Your resting heart rate is an indicator of your general fitness, with lower values associated with better health outcomes. For most adults, the normal resting heart rate is 60–100 bpm. It can be even lower in athletes or people who regularly engage in strenuous physical activity.

People can improve their resting heart rate by routinely exercising, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol and caffeine intake, and managing stress.

4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. American Heart Association. Target heart rate charts.

  2. UCSF Benioff Children Hospitals. Pulse.

  3. American Heart Association. Bradycardia.

  4. American Heart Association. Tachycardia: fast heart rate.

By Angela Ryan Lee, MD
Angela Ryan Lee, MD, is board-certified in cardiovascular diseases and internal medicine. She is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and holds board certifications from the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology and the National Board of Echocardiography. She completed undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia with a B.S. in Biology, medical school at Jefferson Medical College, and internal medicine residency and cardiovascular diseases fellowship at the George Washington University Hospital. Her professional interests include preventive cardiology, medical journalism, and health policy.