The chart below shows
the normal range of a resting heart rate (pulse rate after resting 10 minutes)
in beats per minute, according to age. Many things can cause changes in your
normal heart rate, including your age, activity level, and the time of
Resting heart rate
| Age or fitness level
|| Beats per minute (bpm)
Babies to age 1:
Children ages 1 to
Children ages 11 to
Your pulse usually has a strong steady or regular
rhythm. Your blood vessel should feel soft. An occasional pause or extra beat
is normal. Normally, your heart rate will speed up a little when you breathe
deeply. You can check this normal change in your pulse rate by changing your
breathing pattern while taking your pulse.
Many conditions can
change your pulse rate. Your doctor will talk with you about any abnormal
results that may be related to your symptoms and past health.
A fast heart rate may be caused
- Activity or exercise.
- Some medicines, such as decongestants and those used to treat
- Some types of heart
- An overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism).
- Stimulants such as caffeine,
amphetamines, diet pills, and
- Drinking alcohol.
A slow resting heart rate may be caused
- Some types of heart disease and medicine to treat heart disease.
- High levels of fitness.
- An underactive
thyroid gland (hypothyroidism).
A weak pulse may be caused by:
Heart rate during exercise
Many people use a
target heart rate to guide how hard they exercise. Use this
Interactive Tool: What Is Your Target Heart Rate? This
tool calculates your target heart rate using your maximum heart rate (based on
your age), your resting heart rate, and how active you are.
exercise, your heart should be working hard enough for a healthy effect but not
so hard that your heart is overworked. You benefit the most when your exercise
heart rate is within the range of your target heart rate. You can take your
pulse rate during or after exercise to see if you are exercising at your target