What is a good resting heart rate, for adults and kids
- A good resting heart rate for an adult is usually between 60 and 90 bpm.
- Athletes can often have a resting heart rate closer to 40 bpm, and for physically fit adults, this is an exceptionally good resting heart rate.
- Women may have a higher resting heart rate than men, and several other physiological factors can affect what is considered good for you.
- This article was reviewed by Jason R. McKnight, MD, MS, a family medicine physician and clinical assistant professor at Texas A&M College of Medicine.
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Your resting heart rate is the number of heartbeats per minute while you're awake and at rest, like when you're sitting down or standing in place. And it can say a lot about your heart health.
Though what your resting heart rate is - and what's considered healthy - depends on your age, gender, level of physical fitness, and overall lifestyle.
Here's what medical experts consider to be a healthy heart rate for you and your loved ones.
A good resting heart rate for adults
Usually, the resting heart rate for an adult can range from 60 to 100 beats per minute (bpm), according to the American Heart Association.
A good resting heart rate, however, should stay under 90 bpm - and lower is usually better. Research has shown that a higher resting heart rate is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.
If your resting heart rate is too high, you may be able to lower it with regular exercise. For example, a 2018 review found that endurance training and yoga can significantly decrease resting heart rate in both men and women, when compared to non-exercising participants.
"Athletes generally have a lower resting heart rate due to better cardiovascular fitness and functional capacity," says Purvi Parwani, MD, director of Women's Heart Care at Loma Linda University International Heart Institute.
The heart is a muscle that gets stronger with exercise. According to Parwani, a stronger heart allows a larger amount of blood to pump out into the body with each heartbeat. "And due to a larger stroke volume, the heart doesn't have to beat that fast," she says.
That's why endurance athletes tend to have a lower heart rate - their heart is working more efficiently. In fact, a good resting heart rate for a well-trained athlete may be closer to 40 bpm.
A good resting heart rate is different for kids
According to Parwani, children tend to have a higher resting heart rate than adults because of a faster metabolism. "For example, a newborn heart rate of 100 to 150 bpm is considered normal," Parwani says.
However, the average heart rate of a child also depends on age and activity level during the day. According to the US National Library of Medicine, the resting heart rate range for children changes every few years until around 10 years old:
- Newborns 0 to 1-month-old: 70 to 190 bpm
- Infants 1 to 11 months old: 80 to 160 pm
- Children 1 to 2 years old: 80 to 130 bpm
- 3 to 4 years old: 80 to 120 bpm
- 5 to 6 years old: 75 to 115 bpm
- 7 to 9 years old: 70 to 100 bpm
- 10 years and older: 60 to 100 bpm
Women may have a higher resting heart rate
Research has found that women up to 55 years old have a higher resting heart rate when compared with men. According to the American College of Cardiology, this may have something to do with the difference in sex hormones, especially testosterone, which is higher in men.
Parwani says some data indicates that sex hormones, body size, and heart size can have an effect on the differences in heart rate between men and women. But there are many factors that may influence someone's heart rate, including:
- Lack of sleep
- Prolonged stress
- Smoking and drug usage
- Health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes
- Certain medications such as beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers
If you're worried about resting heart rate being consistently too high or too low, and you're not sure why, it's a good idea to consult with a doctor about what may be causing it.
Related stories about heart health:
- How to lower blood pressure with a heart-healthy diet and exercise
- What foods lower blood pressure and make up the DASH diet
- What causes high blood pressure and how to know if you have hypertension
- How to lower cholesterol with the right diet and exercise regimens
- 7 of the most dangerous things that put you at risk of a heart attack
- How to check your heart rate on an Apple Watch in 3 different ways