To find the resting heart rate, locate the pulse and count the beats for 60 seconds. The best places to feel the pulse are on the wrist, inside of the elbow, at the side of the neck and on the top of the foot, according to the American Heart Association.
The resting heart rate occurs when a person is quietly sitting or lying down and the body is demanding the least amount of blood, explains the American Heart Association. The normal range of a resting heart is 60 to 100 beats per minute. Medications such as beta blockers can cause the resting heart rate to fall below 60. A person in good physical condition can also have a resting heart rate below 60 because the heart muscle does not need to work as hard to maintain a steady beat.
A heart rate that is consistently higher than 100 can signal a serious problem, explains WebMD. Studies show that a high resting heart rate is linked with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and sudden cardiac arrest. Some research shows that each 10-beat increase in the resting heart rate increases the risk of dying from a heart attack by 10 percent in men and 18 percent in women.