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Are Pulse And Heart Rate The Same Thing

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How To Monitor Heart Rate

Blood Pressure and Heart Rate: What’s the Difference and Why Should You Care

Individuals can quickly check their heart rate manually by placing the tip of their index, second and third finger on the palm side of their wrist. Furthermore, they can put their index and second fingers on either side of the windpipe.

Apart from that, an electrocardiogram or ECG machine is ideal for checking heart rate. It is a very reliable tool and provides extensive information regarding the heart.

Furthermore, wearable devices available nowadays can easily measure an accurate heart rate. The small arteries within the wrist transiently increase their volume with every heartbeat. As a result, the amount of light reflected back to the conductor in a device changes. The frequency of this fluctuation is the heart rate.

Your Maximum Heart Rate

The rate at which your heart is beating when it is working its hardest to meet your body’s oxygen needs is your maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate plays a major role in setting your aerobic capacitythe amount of oxygen you are able to consume. Several large observational studies have indicated that a high aerobic capacity is associated with a lower risk of heart attack and death. And a small controlled trial demonstrated that men and women with mild cognitive impairment who raised their aerobic capacity also improved their performance on tests of memory and reasoning.

Target Heart Rates During Exercise

The heart rate increases during exercise.

When training for fitness, it is important not to put too much strain on the heart. However, an individual needs the heart rate to increase while exercising to provide more oxygen and energy for the rest of the body.

While the heart rate increases as a result of physical activity, an overall decrease in target heart rate is possible over time. This means that the heart is working less to get the necessary nutrients and oxygen to different parts of the body, making it more efficient.

Cardiovascular training aims to reduce the target heart rate. The ideal target heart rate reduces with age. It is also worth noting the maximum heart rate. This demonstrates the full capability of the heart, and it is normally reached through high-intensity exercise.

The American Heart Association states that the maximum heart rate during exercise should be roughly equal to 220 bpm minus the age of the person.

As the body of each individual will react to exercise differently, the target heart rate is presented as a range known as the target heart rate zone.

The following table shows the appropriate target heart rate zone for a range of ages. A persons heart rate should fall within this range when exercising at 50 to 80 percent intensity, also known as exertion.


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Body Size Mass And Fitness

A person who is very petite and has an average fitness regimen, or who is physically large but not overweight or unhealthy, may have pulses, or heart rates, which fall outside of the normal range. This is not indicative of a health problem it is just a factor of body mass and, perhaps, corresponding heart size and vascular capacity.

However, excessive weight can cause the heart to beat faster at all times, and this condition may lead to tachycardia, a condition characterized by a heart rate that is frequently or regularly 100+ beats per minute. Heart and vascular damage, and even failure can result. Fitness, on the other hand, especially if extreme, may result in a person’s resting heart rate being as low as 40 bpm, which is not likely to be an indication of bradycardia, or a regular resting heart rate below 60 bpm in someone who is not athletic.

How Is Heart Rate Measured

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Heart rate is a measure traditionally computed from the ECG, and thus is derived from electrical cardiac activity. The ECG signal is recorded by placing electrodes in contact with the skin – usually on the chest but also sometimes on the wrists. This ECG represents electrical cardiac activity. The electrical activation of the hearts main pumps – the ventricles – is reflected in an ECG signal via the QRS complex. The dominant peak of this QRS complex is known as the R wave. Heart rate is typically calculated by considering the average time between adjacent R wave peaks . This rate can be changed or modulated by the central nervous system in response to various internal stimuli and external stimuli .

A healthy ECG signal.

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What Is The Heart Rate

It is the number of times a heart contracts or beats every minute. Heart rate varies from one person to another based on their age, physical condition, and if they have any existing medical conditions. Additionally, the ideal heart for humans varies based on their age, here is a list

  • Infants, i.e. day 1 to age 3 it is 70-190 bpm

  • Children age 3-9 years old, it is 70-130 bpm

  • 10-20 years old, teen and pre-teens it is 60-100 bpm

  • Over the age of 20 years, it usually stays the same.

  • Heart rate can be monitored manually and with the help of machines.

Is The Heart Rate And Pulse The Same Thing

No the Heart Rate and Pulse are different things but they areobviously related.

To say they are the same is a massive contradiction of clinicalassessment. Anyone who says this isnt true should look upSupraventricular Tachycardia . You can have a patient who, onassessment, has a pulse rate of 60 beats per minute when measuredat the radial pulse. However, when you connect the patient to anECG their heart rate can be massively elevated, to say, 180bpm.Therefore the heart rate is 180bpm but the pulse rate is 60bpm.They are different. Without doing an ECg on a patient like thie youmight record the Pulse rate as 60bpm, strong and regular but theactual heart muscle is contracting at 180bpm. A patient left athome with symptoms like these will probably have an extremely poorprognosis should the cardiac rhythm not be corrected.

Anybody like to correct me? If so then please explain thedifferent PEAs that occur also. Pulse will not be present yet theheart still has electrical activity which creates Beats Per Minute.Again, heart rate could be 60bpm with pulse rate at 0bpm.

If Im wrong then every single clinician must be getting itwrong when they assess a patient with SVT. Id like to see aclinician that has the ability to stand up in court and justify whythey left an SVT patient at home because their Pulse Rate was60bpm even though the ECG showed a tachycardic patient at180bpm.

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What To Expect At The Doctors

Your doctor may use a variety of diagnostic tools to help diagnose your condition, including:

  • Electrocardiogram. Also referred to as an ECG or EKG, this diagnostic tool uses small electrodes to record the electrical activity of your heart. Your doctor can use the information collected to determine if heart abnormalities are contributing to your condition.
  • Imaging tests. Imaging can be used to assess if there are any structural abnormalities in your heart that may be contributing to your condition. Possible imaging tests can include echocardiogram, CT scan, and MRI scan.
  • Laboratory tests. Your doctor may order blood tests to determine if your condition is caused by something such as an electrolyte imbalance or thyroid disease.

Once a diagnosis is made, your doctor will work with you to develop a plan to treat and manage your condition.

Depending on the findings from the diagnostic tests, your doctor may refer you to a cardiologist. A cardiologist specializes in treating and preventing diseases of the heart and circulatory system.

What Is Your Heart Rate

Difference Between Heart Rate and Pulse Rate

Your heart rate, or pulse, is the number of times your heart beats in 1 minute. Heart rates vary from person to person. Itâs lower when youâre at rest and higher when you exercise.

Knowing how to find your pulse can help you figure out your best exercise program. If youâre taking heart medications, recording your pulse daily and reporting the results to your doctor can help them learn whether your treatment is working.

Blood pressure vs. heart rate

Your heart rate is separate from your blood pressure. Thatâs the force of your blood against the walls of your blood vessels.

A faster pulse doesnât necessarily mean higher blood pressure. When your heart speeds up, like when you exercise, your blood vessels should expand to let more blood pass through.

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Can Resting Heart Rate Be Too Low

While less common, some people may have a resting heart rate that falls lower than 60 beats per minute.

When a persons heart muscle is in excellent condition, it doesnt have to work as hard to keep a steady beat. Therefore, people who exercise frequently and are very physically fit can have a resting heart rate that falls below 60 beats per minute. In fact, a trained athletes resting heart rate can be as low as 40 beats per minute, explains Dr. Chebrolu.

Additionally, medications, specifically beta blockers, can also slow your heart rate.

The time to worry about a low heart rate is if youre not very active and youre not taking medications but your resting heart rate frequently falls below 60 beats per minute, especially if youre also experiencing dizziness, shortness of breath or fainting, warns Dr. Chebrolu. This can be a sign of bradycardia a slower than normal heart rate that can lead to poor oxygen flow to your vital organs.

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Measuring Pulse Rate & Heart Rate

Something you may be wondering now is how to measure your heart rate and your pulse rate. First off, the heart rate is most accurately measured with the transmitter of a heart rate monitor or the electrodes from an EKG machine, right from the thorax.

On the other hand, the pulse rate can be measured using a pulse meter from the earlobe. Just keep in mind that pulse meters are only accurate indoors, particularly in settings with moderate amounts of ambient light. Due to changes in lighting, pulse meters are generally not accurate outdoors.

Your pulse rate can also be measured by palpating during rest. You can use your index fingers and thumb, hold them at the base of the thumb or wrist, and count hot many times your heart beats in 15 seconds, then multiply it by 4 to get an estimate of how many times per minute your heart is beating.

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What Is Body Temperature

The normal body temperature of a person varies depending on gender, recent activity, food and fluid consumption, time of day, and, in women, the stage of the menstrual cycle. Normal body temperature can range from 97.8 degrees F to 99 degrees F for a healthy adult. A person’s body temperature can be taken in any of the following ways:

  • Orally. Temperature can be taken by mouth using either the classic glass thermometer, or the more modern digital thermometers that use an electronic probe to measure body temperature.

  • Rectally. Temperatures taken rectally tend to be 0.5 to 0.7 degrees F higher than when taken by mouth.

  • Axillary. Temperatures can be taken under the arm using a glass or digital thermometer. Temperatures taken by this route tend to be 0.3 to 0.4 degrees F lower than those temperatures taken by mouth.

  • A special thermometer can quickly measure the temperature of the ear drum, which reflects the body’s core temperature .

  • A special thermometer can quickly measure the temperature of the skin on the forehead.

Body temperature may be abnormal due to fever or hypothermia . A fever is indicated when body temperature rises about one degree or more over the normal temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Hypothermia is defined as a drop in body temperature below 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

What Is Maximum Heart Rate

Feedback From Heart Rate On Your Swim Training ~ Feel For ...

The maximum heart rate is the highest heart rate achieved during maximal exercise. One simple method to calculate your predicted maximum heart rate, uses this formula:

220 – your age = predicted maximum heart rate

Example: a 40-year-old’s predicted maximum heart rate is 180 beats/minute.

There are other formulas that take into account the variations in maximal heart rate with age and gender. If you are interested in learning more about these more accurate but slightly more complicated formulas please see these resources:

  • Gellish RL, Goslin BR, Olson RE, McDonald A, Russi GD, Moudgil VK. Longitudinal modeling of the relationship between age and maximal heart rate. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007 May 39:822-9.
  • Gulati M, Shaw LJ, Thisted RA, Black HR, Bairey Merz CN, Arnsdorf MF. Heart rate response to exercise stress testing in asymptomatic women: the st. James women take heart project. Circulation. 2010 Jul 13 122:130-7. Epub 2010 Jun 28.

Your actual maximum heart rate is most accurately determined by a medically supervised maximal graded exercise test.

Please note that some medications and medical conditions may affect your heart rate. If you are taking medications or have a medical condition , always ask your doctor if your maximum heart rate/target heart rate will be affected. If so, your heart rate ranges for exercise should be prescribed by your doctor or an exercise specialist.

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Summary Heart Rate Vs Pulse Rate

The confusion between the terms heart rate and pulse rate can be solved based on its definition. Heart rate refers to the contraction and relaxation rate of the cardiac muscles. In contrast, pulse rate refers to the contraction and relaxation rate of the arteries following the entry of blood into arteries. Pulse initiates following the heart beating. Therefore, the heart rate and the pulse rate are similar in healthy individuals. Both are dynamic and change rapidly with factors like exercise, stress, injury and illness. This summarizes the difference between heart rate and pulse rate.


1. Heart Rate Monitoring & Pulse Measurement: Max & Target Heart Rate. WebMD, WebMD. Available here

Image Courtesy:

1.1375324 by ellisedelacruz via pixabay2.pulse, rate, determined, doctor by Amanda Mills viapixnio

What Causes Oxygen Saturation To Drop

Your oxygen saturation can drop for any number of reasons, depending on your overall health, activity level, location and breathing. Some very normal activities, like sleeping, can cause your O2 saturation to drop, though your O2 sat levels are likely to remain within the normal range. Changes in oxygen availability, as experienced in an airplane or at high altitudes, can also cause drops in your oxygen saturation level. If you have a lower concentration of hemoglobin, like those with iron deficient anemia have, you may also experience lower O2 saturation. Finally, illnesses and conditions that affect your breathing, your lungs ability to absorb enough oxygen or that cause problems with gas exchange within the body can cause significantly lower oxygen saturation.

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What Are Heart And Pulse Rates

Heart rate is measured by counting the number of heart beats in one minute beats per minute. A heart beat is the sounds of the heart valves opening and closing in response to pressure differences. During each heart beat blood is pushed throughout the body, augmenting blood pressure and therefore the pulse rate in the main arteries. Accurate heart rates can be measured from the thorax with a heart rate transmitter or by electrocardiograph .

Pulse rate is the measure palpable blood pressure increases throughout the body that occurs with each heartbeat. Pulse rate is basically the physical sensation of a heart beat felt through the arterial vascular system. Pulse can be measured from the earlobe with a pulse meter known as a Photo Reflectance or Infrared Sensor Monitor. Your pulse can vary with body movements and should, therefore, be measured while at rest. An easy way to measure pulse rate is to place your fingers at the base of the thumb at the wrist, or at the neck, just next to your windpipe.

Factors That May Influence An Spo2 Reading

What Is A Healthy Heart Rate – What Affects Heart Rate – What Is Maximum Heart Rate

Most oximeters are reasonably accurate, giving you a reading of 2% over or 2% under what your oxygen saturation would be if measured by an arterial blood gas study.2 A pulse oximeter reading may be less accurate, however, if any of the following apply:

  • If you have poor circulation and/or cold hands.
  • If you wear nail polish or artificial nails.
  • If you are shivering or your hands are trembling.
  • If you have heart arrhythmias.
  • If you smoke.
  • If you have very dark skin.

Because SpO2 levels vary from person to person, the best way to ensure you are getting accurate readings is to begin by recording your oxygen saturation level at rest and at different activity levels over a period of time. Getting a baseline O2 saturation allows you to see your typical range throughout the day, which then allows you to see when there are any abnormal drops in your SpO2. Generally speaking, a drop of about 3 or 4% from your usual oxygen saturation is a concern.

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What To Expect At Your Office Visit

Your provider will examine you and ask questions about your medical history and symptoms.

You may be asked:

  • Do you feel skipped or stopped beats?
  • Does your heart rate feel slow or fast when you have the palpitations?
  • Do you feel a racing, pounding, or fluttering?
  • Is there a regular or irregular pattern to the unusual heartbeat sensations?
  • Did the palpitations begin or end suddenly?
  • When do the palpitations occur? In response to reminders of a traumatic event? When you are lying down and resting? When you change your body position? When you feel emotional?
  • Do you have any other symptoms?

An electrocardiogram may be done.

If you go to an emergency room, you will be connected to a heart monitor. However, most people with palpitations do not need to go to an emergency room for treatment.

If your provider finds you have an abnormal heart rhythm, other tests may be done. This may include:

  • Holter monitor for 24 hours, or another heart monitor for 2 weeks or longer

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