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I know that resting heart rate is talked about as an important indicator of your fitness level. But, how do I know what a good resting heart rate is for me? Is RHR consistent enough across similar body types/ages/fitness levels etc. to make decent comparisons?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Ultimately a "good" resting heart rate must be determined by you and your doctor/physiologist/licensed personal trainer. Many things go into determining what is a "good" resting heart rate.

However, a good rule of thumb is the lower the better. As you increase your aerobic fitness, your heart rate will usually drop.

A personal example: At the peak of my personal fitness (wrestling and running the 400m dash in high school), my resting heart rate was 45-48 BPM. At the low point of my personal fitness (about 6 months ago), it was 85-ish BPM. January 1st it was 75-ish. Today it's about 65.

I don't have the time to get all hooked up with all of the tests that coaches/trainers use to determine optimal heart rate zones, so I'm aiming for maximum fitness and the reduction in resting heart rate has been a byproduct.

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