According to the American Heart Association, ones resting heart rate is best measured first thing in the morning, and varies from 60-80 beats per minute (bpm). It is lower in those who are athletic, and rises with age.
But that above-linked page doesn’t give any indication of how much it lowers with fitness level, nor does it say how much it rises with age.
I’ve been interested lately in my own heart rate, because I think that keeping track of my heart rate during a run can be helpful in structuring my training. Also because I think it would be really cool to have a nifty new gadget like a heart rate monitor. Hey, at least I’m honest – I like gadgets.
So this morning, I kept my watch next to my bed, and first thing after my alarm went off, I grabbed my watch and timed my heart rate. It took me a bit to find my pulse. After the first measurement (12 beats in 15 seconds, which means 48 bpm), I was stunned. That just seemed too low. Did I mis-count? I tried it several times after that, and the numbers came in between 12-14 beats per 15 second period.
Whoa. That means my resting heart rate is anywhere from 48-56 bpm. That seems low for a 42-year old formerly-chubby guy.