A typical pulse at rest varies from 60 to 100 beats per minute. The best time of day to calculate resting heart rate is first thing in the morning, before physical activity. Measure this by setting a stopwatch for 15 seconds, then pick up your heart rate. To find your pulse, trace your fingers down the outer thumb, stopping just below the fleshy part of the palm. Multiply that number by four for your resting heart rate. Athletes and people with peak physical fitness tend to have a lower heart rate because their heart is so well conditioned that they do not have to work so hard to pump blood into the body.