If you exercise regularly and put some real wellie into it, there’s a good chance you’re fairly fit – and as long as you feel fit and healthy, that’s all that matters. But if you really want to know just how fit you are, a good way to tell is by finding out your resting heart rate.

Your resting heart rate is simply the average rate at which your heart beats per minute, at rest. The best time to take your resting heart rate is first thing in the morning – before it can be affected by activity or caffeine. Take it at the same time, three days in a row and calculate an average for a more precise reading. If you don’t have a heart rate monitor at home, the best way to do this is to count your pulse over 15 seconds and multiply it by 4. Many wrist-worn fitness trackers with heart-rate monitors will also calculate your resting heart rate.

Anything between 60 and 100 beats per minute is considered normal, although those who exercise regularly, and professional athletes especially, may have lower resting heart rates than this.

Newcomers to exercise will also find it useful to take note of their resting heart rate to track progress over time.

This article first appeared in Women’s Fitness

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