Athletes Vs. Non-Athletes Heart Rate

Rest the index finger and middle finger of one hand on the inside of the opposite wrist and you'll feel an artery throbbing under your fingers. To measure your heart rate, or pulse, count the number of throbs in a minute. If you are an extremely athletic person, you may have a rate below the average for the rest of the population.

A woman is measuring her heart rate. (Image: Crdjan/iStock/Getty Images)

A Normal Rate

Most people have a resting heart rate of around 60 to 100 beats per minute, according to the American Heart Association. A resting heart rate is the number of times your heart beats each minute when you are sitting or lying down and are calm and peaceful.

Fittest of the Fit

People who are moderately active will likely have a resting heart rate similar to the rest of the population -- 60 to 100 beats per minute. Professional athletes, on the other hand, can develop extraordinary cardiovascular efficiency. A very fit person may have a resting heart rate as low as 40 beats per minute. According to "National Geographic," the resting heart rate of five-time Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain was once recorded at 28 beats per minute.

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