How To Check Your Pulse
This article was medically reviewed by Erik Kramer, DO, MPH. Dr. Erik Kramer is a Primary Care Physician at the University of Colorado, specializing in internal medicine, diabetes, and weight management. He received his Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from the Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2012. Dr. Kramer is a Diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine and is board certified.There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 13 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,667,824 times.
Your pulse tells how fast your heart is beating. It also can signal how well your heart is working and even your health and fitness level.XTrustworthy SourceAmerican Heart AssociationLeading nonprofit that funds medical research and public educationGo to source It may sound difficult, but checking your pulse is easy and doesnt require any special equipment. You can check your pulse by hand or by using an electronic pulse meter or heart rate monitor.
Best Devices For Measuring Heart Rate
So now you know all the different kinds of heart rate and how to measure them using clocks and math. Even though the traditional methods aren’t all that hard, there are easier — and potentially more accurate — ways to measure and track your heart rate.
Of course, the most accurate readings will come from a lab test or other clinical method. But since most people don’t have access to and don’t need those methods, these devices will work just fine.
How Do I Track Heart Rate With My Fitbit Device
Learn how Fitbit tracks your heart rate day and night, and see tips to get a more accurate reading.
When your heart beats, your capillaries expand and contract based on blood volume changes. To determine your heart rate, the optical heart-rate sensor in your Fitbit device flashes its green LEDs many times per second and uses light-sensitive photodiodes to detect these volume changes in the capillaries above your wrist. Then your device calculates how many times your heart beats per minute . The optical heart-rate sensor detects a range of 30-220 bpm.*
We use green LEDS because they maximize the signal detected from the capillaries near the surface of the skin. The optical heart-rate sensor also uses infrared light to determine when the device is on your wrist to improve the accuracy of your heart-rate data.
*This range applies during sleep; while youre awake, the range is 40-220 bpm. On Fitbit Versa 2, the range is 30-250 bpm.
Swipe up on your clock face to see your current heart rate and either your heart-rate zone or resting heart rate . To see heart rate details, tap ;or swipe .
If your device has an Exercise app, you can check your real-time heart rate and heart-rate zone during a workout. Note that your device doesn’t track your heart rate during swims.
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Fitbit Allows You To Set Custom Heart Rate Zones Do You Need Them
If you own a Fitbit Alta HR, Fitbit Charge 2, Fitbit Blaze, or Fitbit Surge and have entered your birthday into your profile, youve probably noticed a colorful bar graph pop up in your workout summaries. This chart tracks how much time you spent in each heart rate zoneranges that represent a percentage of your max heart rate and correspond to different exercise intensities.
For example, youre considered in your Fat Burn zone when your heart rate is between 50 and 69 percent of your max heart rate. Targeting specific heart rate zones can help you exercise more efficiently and hit your fitness goals fasterbut only if youre using the right ones.
How can you know whether youre exercising at the right intensities? You have to verify your max heart rate. Why? Well, that requires a brief math and science lesson. Dont worry, you wont be tested on this later.
How To Lower Your Heart Rate
Find out why your resting heart rate is so high in the first place, says Dr. John Elefteriades, who directs the Aortic Institute at Yale University. Someone struggling with heart or lung problems, for example, will have an elevated pulse that needs to be corrected immediately with medicine. But even with no serious health problems, lowering the number of times your heart beats in a minute can decrease its burden. Once you determine your resting heart rate by making several measurements count the beats for 30 seconds, then double that number start exercising regularly for a long period of time. If youre a couch potato, your pulse rate might go up just by doing normal activities, Elefteriades says.
For someone who is not inclined toward exercise, just walking is great, he says. Walk one to two miles, five times a week, or bike three times as far as you would walk or run. In addition to reducing your resting heart rate, such exercise will improve the efficiency with which your heart pumps blood to various bodily tissues. But dont overdo the workouts. Endurance athletes use lowering heart rates as a badge of honor, which is not necessarily a good thing, Elefteriades says, adding that the heart wasnt made to operate for much more than one hour in a high aerobic state.
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Find The Dog’s Pulse And Do The Math
First, prepare a watch, clock, stopwatch or phone and have it beside you.
Step one. To find your dog’s pulse, you must first place your hand under a dog’s left front paw where the paw meets the body, or the dog’s armpit, if you will .
Holding your hand there, you should be able to easily feel your dog’s heart beating.;If you don’t feel it, try moving your hand around that area, slowly feeling for the heartbeat. You will find it eventually.
Step two. Once you find the heartbeat on a dog, you’ll need that phone, watch, clock with a seconds hand, or a stopwatch. Count the number of times the dog’s heart beats in a 15 second time period.
Now, multiply that number by x4. The number you get from that is the number of time your dog’s heart beats per minute.
For example, in my video above, you will see that with my dog Chloe, I counted 21 beats in 15 seconds time frame. So doing the math, it’s 21 x 4 = 84.
That means my Chloe’s heart rate was 84 beats per minute here, which is right in the middle of the normal range, which is good.
Again, if you find your dog’s heart rate to be more than 140 beats per minute or less than 60 beats per minute, there’s some problem and you must contact your vet immediately.
For The Best Measurement Results
Samsung Health measures your heart rate using lights and sensors located on the back of your watch. But youll need to make sure you’re doing things properly to get the best measurement results. Check out the following information:
For a mid-workout measurement, take a brief break before taking your heart rate.
Take measurements when seated and when you are relaxed for the most accurate reading.
Do not move your body while taking heart rate measurements. Doing so may cause your heart rate to be recorded inaccurately.
If the measurement is very different from the expected heart rate, rest for 30 minutes and then measure it again.
If your heart rate is extremely high or low, measurements may be inaccurate.
Wear the watch snugly above the wrist. Do not fasten the watch band too tightly. Avoid attaching third-party bands to your watch, and only use the band included with your watch or a Samsung-approved band specifically designed for it.
Measurements;may need to be repeated at least five times for the most accurate results.
Remove the protective plastic from the heart rate measurement sensor before taking measurements.
If the heart rate sensor is not working properly, wipe the sensor, and adjust the position of the watch to sit above your wrist.
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Introduction: How To Measure Radial Pulse
Pulse, or the tangible beating of the heart, is used by medical professionals to determine a patients heart rate. It is measured in beats per minute and can indicate the general health or fitness level of a patient.
Resting heart rate is taken when a calm individual is sitting or lying down. A normal resting heart rate for an adult is between sixty and one hundred bpm. High resting heart rate may be caused by exercise, illness, certain medications, heart disease, and stress. On the other hand, various medicines and a high level of fitness can cause low resting heart rate.
Pulse can be felt through the skin in the wrist, neck, elbow, or foot. This tutorial highlights the measurement of pulse through the radial artery in the wrist. This specific pulse is called the radial pulse.
In order to measure radial pulse, the heart rate must be counted for at least fifteen seconds. However, it can also be measured for twenty, thirty, or sixty seconds. If you are measuring a pulse for fifteen, twenty, or thirty seconds, you must multiply the number you count by four, three, or two, respectively, to calculate the heart rate in bpm. This Instructable carries out the measurement of the radial pulse for fifteen seconds.
For this Instructable, you need:
- A volunteer
- A stopwatch or a watch with a second hand
- A calculator
How Do You Check Your Pulse
You can measure your heart rate manually by checking your pulse. Follow these three steps.
- Find your pulse in your wrist .
- Count each beat for a total time of 30 seconds.
- Double the number of beats you counted. This is your heart rate or pulse, measured in beats per minute.
Also make a note of whether your heart beats at an even or uneven rhythm. A normal heart beats at a steady rhythm like a clock, tick tock tick tock.
Some people like to use a heart rate monitor to measure their heart rate. These monitors are often included in fitness trackers, which are now widely available in sports stores and other retail outlets. However, their accuracy depends on the quality of the device.
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What Factors Can Affect Resting Heart Rate
Several factors can affect resting heart rate: stress, alcohol or caffeine intake, or fever usually raise resting heart rate, while regular exercise or meditation can lower it. Air temperature and certain medications can also affect resting heart rate.
Heart-rate zones, which are percentages of your maximum heart rate, can help you determine the intensity of your workout or activity.
What’s A Normal Heart Rate
Most adults have a resting heart rate;between 60;and 100bpm.
The fitter you are, the lower your resting heart rate is likely to be. For example, athletes may have a resting heart rate of 40 to 60bpm, or lower.
See a GP to get checked if you think your heart rate is continuously above 120bpm or below 40bpm, although it;may simply be that this is normal for you.
Visit the British Heart Foundation for more information on checking your pulse.
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When To See A Professional About Heart Rate
Certain medications or irregularities in your heart rate may warrant a visit to your doc. For example, many people on beta blockers are asked by their doctor to monitor and log heart rate. Keeping tabs on your heart rate can be helpful for your doctor when determining dosage or other treatment.
Additionally, if your pulse is very low, very high or switches frequently between the two, tell your doctor right away. Your pulse is an insightful tool into the status of your health and fitness level. Always check with a doctor before beginning an exercise program.;
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.;
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
How Do I Take My Child’s Pulse
You will need a stopwatch or a watch with a minute hand. Have your child relax without running, jumping, crying, etc., for at least 5 minutes.
Taking an Infant’s Pulse
The best spot to feel the pulse in an infant is the upper am, called the brachial pulse. Lay your baby down on the back with one arm bent so the hand is up by the ear. Feel for the pulse on the inner arm between the shoulder and the elbow:
Taking a Child’s Pulse
The best spot to feel the pulse in a child is the wrist, called the radial pulse. Gently feel on the inside of the wrist on the thumb side.
If you can’t easily find the pulse on the wrist, you can try the neck, which has the carotid pulse. Gently place your fingers on one side of the windpipe:
When To See A Doctor
A consistently low heart rate is called bradycardia. In healthy young adults or trained athletes, a low heart rate with no other symptoms is usually the sign of a very healthy heart muscle.
However, a low heart rate can be a sign of a serious underlying problem. If your heart rate is lower than 60 bpm and youre experiencing chest pain, call 911. If youre experiencing dizziness, weakness, fainting, or other concerning symptoms, call a doctor.
A consistently high heart rate is known as tachycardia. Its normal to have an elevated heart rate when youre exercising, stressed, anxious, sick, or have consumed caffeine.
Its not normal to have a heart rate over 100 bpm when youre resting, especially if youre also experiencing:
How Do I Check My Resting Heart Rate
To check your heart rate:
- Sit down and rest for 5 minutes.
- Turn your wrist so your palm is facing up.
- Feel for a pulse at thumb side of your wrist.
- Once you feel it, count how many times you feel a beat in 30 seconds. Then double it.
If you cant find your pulse at your wrist, put 2 fingers on the side of your neck, next to the windpipe.
If you still cant find a pulse, ask someone else to feel it for you.
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Finding Your Pulse Is The First Step To Calculate Heart Rate
There are many aspects involved in living a heart-healthy lifestyle, and knowing how to locate your pulse is one of them. Being aware of your pulse can help you when you need to calculate heart rate to monitor your level of fitness and recognize emerging health troubles.
Finding Your Pulse
Your heart rate is the number of times your heart beats in a minute, and your pulse is the throbbing of your arteries as blood moves through them, pumped by your beating heart. The National Institutes of Health explains that your pulse can be found where an artery passes close to the skin, and that two of the most common areas to locate a pulse are the side of your neck and your wrist.
- Wrist: Hold your hand out with your palm facing upward and your elbow relaxed and slightly bent. Using your other hand, put your first and middle fingers on the inside of your wrist, slightly under the base of your thumb.
- Neck: With your first and middle fingers, gently press the side of your neck in the hollow area next to your Adam’s apple or wind pipe, which is where your carotid artery is. If you are age 65 or older, use caution to not apply too much pressure to the carotid artery, as it can make you feel lightheaded.
How to Measure Your Heart Rate
To get the most accurate heart rate reading, place your first two fingers over your pulse. Using a stopwatch or a watch with a second hand, count the number of beats that you feel over 60 seconds.
When Should I Take My Child’s Pulse
Usually, there’s no need to take your child’s pulse. Your doctor will check it during office visits.
Sometimes, though, a parent may need to take a pulse. You might do this if your child has:
- a medical condition that requires you to monitor their heart rate. Your doctor will let you know if you need to do this, and if you should do it regularly or only on occasion. If you’re not sure, ask your doctor.
- a skipping, pounding, or racing heart
- chest pain
- fast breathing
Go to the ER or call 911 right away if your child has any of the symptoms listed above and:
- is hard to wake up
- has trouble breathing. Look for muscles pulling in between the ribs or the nose puffing out with each breath.
- has pale or grey skin, or blue lips
The 911 operator may ask you to take your child’s pulse and count the heart rate.;
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