Have you ever wondered what a normal heart rate is? Well, you aren’t alone. Your pulse, or heart rate, is the number of times your heart beats each minute.\nIt is important to know that your normal heart rate can be different from other people.\nWhat Is a Normal Heart Rate?\nWhat’s normal depends on your age and activity level, but generally a resting heart rate of 60-80 beats per minute (BPM) is considered to be in the normal range. If you are an athlete, a normal resting heart rate can be as low as 40 BPM.\nHow To Calculate\u00a0Resting Heart Rate\nTo check your normal resting heart rate, you can use a heart rate monitor, or use this 10-second pulse count method:\n\nTake your pulse at either the base of your thumb on the palm side of your wrist, or the base of your neck on either side of your windpipe.\nUsing two or three fingers, press lightly on your skin until you can feel your blood moving underneath.\nCount the beats for 10 seconds, then multiply that number by six.\n\nRELATED:\u00a0Everyday Ways to Help Your Heart\nNormal Heart Rate: What Is a Healthy Resting Heart Rate?\nFor most adults, normal heart rate is\u00a060 to 80\u00a0BPM. Well-trained athletes can have a normal heart rate of 40 to 60 BPM.\nWhat Should My Active Heart Rate Be?\nWhen you work out, your heart rate will get higher. This is called your\u00a0active heart rate. Active heart rates, like resting heart rates, differ in people and change as you age.\nGenerally, a healthy active heart rate is 60 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate, or the highest your heart rate should safely go. This is called your maximum\u00a0heart rate. A guideline for calculating your maximum heart rate is to subtract your age from 220, like this:\n220 – your age = your maximum\u00a0heart rate\nEstimated target heart rates\nThis table shows estimated target normal heart rates for different ages. Your maximum heart rate is about 220 minus your age.\nIn the age category closest to yours, read across to find your target heart rate. Heart rate during moderately intense activities is about 50-69 percent of your maximum heart rate, whereas heart rate during hard physical activity is about 70 percent to less than 90 percent of the maximum heart rate.\nThe figures are averages, so use them as general guidelines.\n\n\u00bb Learn how to use a heart rate monitor while you’re exercising.Table provided by the American Heart Association\nDoes Heart Rate Increase Or Decrease With Age?\nAs you grow older, your resting heart rate does not change very much, though your heart can’t beat as fast during physical activity or stress as it did when you were younger, according to the National Institute on Aging.\nRELATED:\u00a0Five Tips for A Healthy Heart\nIrregular Heart Rate Causes\nMany factors can contribute to an abnormally high heart rate, including:\n\nAge\nMedications\nFitness level\nStress\nBody size\nBody position\n\nIf your resting heart rate changes drastically, talk to your doctor. A higher resting heart rate can be a sign of a heart problem, so if you are an adult with a resting heart rate of 80 to 100 BPM, you might be at risk.\nKeeping track of your heart rate can help you improve your overall health and adjust your exercise routine to stay healthy. Want to learn more about your heart? Visit the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute online.