Understanding how the heart works can help people become more attuned to their personal health and wellness. For example, recognition of the importance of heart rate may shed light on aspects of heart health that people may otherwise never think about.
According to HealthDirect, heart rate, or pulse, is the number of times the heart beats per minute. A resting heart rate refers to the heart rate when one is relaxed, sitting down or lying down. For normal, healthy adults, a resting heart rate ranges between 60 and 100 beats per minute.
The American Heart Association indicates that resting heart rate is the heart pumping the lowest amount of blood needed because the body is not exerting itself. A lower resting heart rate is common among people who are very physically fit — sometimes as low as 40 bpm. This results from the heart muscle being very athletic and not having to work very hard to maintain a steady beat.