What is a normal heart rate?

Dr. Jason I. Koontz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

A normal heart rate, also known as a pulse, varies based on your age and fitness level. For adults, a normal resting rate is 60 to 100 beats per minute. Athletes may have a rate as low as 40 bpm because their hearts are trained to efficiently pump blood. If your heart rate is consistently below 60 or above 100, you may have a heart condition, such as arrhythmia. Talk to your doctor if you experience other symptoms including shortness of breath, chest pains, and dizziness.

When an adult is at rest, a normal heartbeat occurs about 60 to 100 times each minute.

Dr. Imran A. Niazi, MD
Cardiac Electrophysiologist

The heart normally beats about 60 to 80 times every minute when a person is at rest. This is called the heart rate. In some people, the heart rate may be even less than 60 beats per minute (bpm), and this is perfectly safe as long as they feel well, have normal blood pressure and their heart speeds up with exercise.

Olympic athletes commonly have heart rates of 30 to 40 bpm. Their hearts are so strong that they do not need to beat more frequently at rest. A heart rate of 30 bpm in a sedentary person may be cause for concern. It can sometimes be caused by medication. Pacemakers are used to treat slow heart rates when they don’t respond to medical therapy (medication).

Some people will have a heart rate of 90 or even 100 bpm while they are at rest. This may be normal for that person if he or she feels well. More commonly, faster heart rates are due to anxiety, an overactive thyroid, lung disease or medications. Heart rates faster than 100 bpm at rest are usually abnormal. A rate that fast usually needs evaluation by a heart rhythm specialist if the usual causes (anxiety, overactive thyroid, etc.) have been ruled out. Inappropriate sinus tachycardia, supraventricular tachycardia and postural orthostatic tachycardia are some of the common causes of fast heart rates that require diagnosis and treatment.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

A normal resting heart rate—your heart rate when you're completely at rest—for the average adult is 60 to 80 beats per minute. People who are very physically fit often have slightly lower resting heart rates. Also, heart rate, much like weight, tends to increase with age. The best time to find your resting heart rate is first thing in the morning before you get out of bed, and preferably after a good night’s sleep.

A normal heart rate is 60 to 100 beats per minute for older teenagers and adults.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.