The normal heart rate for a specific age can be found at a variety of sources, but Mayo Clinic states that the normal heart rate for adults can range from 60 to 100 beats per minute. To check an individual's heart rate, simply place the index and middle finger on the radial artery in the neck, next to the windpipe, to measure the pulse. The number of beats in a 15-second period can be multiplied by 4 to calculate the beats per minute.
Typically, athletes and those who have more efficient heart and cardiovascular function will have a lower resting heart rate, perhaps closer to 40 beats per minute, as stated by Mayo Clinic. Many other factors can affect a person's heart rate, such as air temperature, body position, emotional state, body size and possible medications that are being taken. An abnormal heart rate can be normal in certain circumstances; however, if a person's resting heart rate is consistently beyond the normal range of 60 to 100 beats per minute, and there are no other apparent causes, such as an athlete who has a lower heart rate due to better cardiovascular function, it could be a sign of another underlying cause, such as bradycardia (where the heart beat is consistently lower than 60 beats per minute) or tachycardia (where the heart beat is consistently higher than 100 beats per minute).