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Heart Rate

Average Resting Heart Rate:  75 beats a minute for men, 77 for women

The Goal:  Less than 60 beats a minute for men; less than 64 beats per minute for women.

What to Do:  To measure your heart rate, sit quietly for 5 minutes, then use your fingertips to find a pulse at your wrist or neck.  Count the number of beats in 30 seconds and multiply by 2.  If your rate is above 75, consider consulting with a health-care provider.

Why it Matters:  Women with a resting heart rate above 90 beats per minute were three times more likely to kies of heart disease than those with a rate below 60 beats a minute, according to a 2010 study of 22,000 people.  Men with rates above 90 were twice as likely to die of heart disease.  Research suggests that risk starts to rise substantially at about 75 beats per minute.

— taken from Consumer Reports on Health Vol23, No1