The pulse rate measures the number of times your heart beats each minute as it pumps blood throughout the body. The circulation of blood maintains life by bringing necessary oxygen to the brain and other organs. Each time the heart beats, you can feel the surge of blood in your arteries at pulse points, which include the wrist, throat, inside of the elbow and back of the knee. The pulse rate is an indicator of heart health.
For most healthy adults, including seniors, a normal resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. In general, women have slightly higher heart rates than men. Professional athletes may have healthy resting heart rates as low as 35, a number that would cause serious concern for the average adult. As you age, your heart rate may slow. It may take longer for your heart rate to speed up during exercise, and longer for it to slow down after physical exertion.