What Abnormal Results Mean
Resting heart rates that are continually high may mean a problem. Talk to your health care provider about this. Also discuss resting heart rates that are below the normal values .
A pulse that is very firm and that lasts for more than a few minutes should be checked by your provider as well. An irregular pulse can also indicate a problem.
A pulse that is hard to locate may mean blockages in the artery. These blockages are common in people with diabetes or hardening of the artery from high cholesterol. Your provider may order a test known as a Doppler study to check the blockages.
How To Check Your Pulse
As the heart forces blood through the arteries, you feel the beats by firmly pressing on the arteries, which are located close to the surface of the skin at certain points of the body. The pulse can be found on the side of the neck, on the inside of the elbow, or at the wrist. For most people, it is easiest to take the pulse at the wrist.;If you use the lower neck, be sure not to press too hard, and never press on the pulses on both sides of the lower neck at the same time to prevent blocking blood flow to the brain. When taking your pulse:
Using the first and second fingertips, press firmly but gently on the arteries until you feel a pulse.
Begin counting the pulse when the clock’s second hand is on the 12.
Count your pulse for 60 seconds .
When counting, do not watch the clock continuously, but concentrate on the beats of the pulse.
If unsure about your results, ask another person to count for you.
If your;doctor has ordered you to check your own pulse and you are having difficulty finding it, consult your;doctor or nurse for additional instruction.
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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What Is Target Heart Rate
- You gain the most benefits and lessen the risks when you exercise in your target heart rate zone. Usually this is when your exercise heart rate is 60 to 80% of your maximum heart rate. In some cases, your health care provider may decrease your target heart rate zone to begin with 50% .
- In some cases, High Intensity Interval Training may be beneficial. This should be discussed with a healthcare professional before beginning. With HIIT exercise, heart rates zones may exceed 85%.
- Always check with your healthcare provider before starting an exercise program. Your provider can help you find a program and target heart rate zone that matches your needs, goals and physical condition.
- When beginning an exercise program, you may need to gradually build up to a level that’s within your target heart rate zone, especially if you haven’t exercised regularly before. If the exercise feels too hard, slow down. You will reduce your risk of injury and enjoy the exercise more if you don’t try to over-do it!
- To find out if you are exercising in your target zone , stop exercising and check your 10-second pulse. If your pulse is below your target zone , increase your rate of exercise. If your pulse is above your target zone, decrease your rate of exercise.
Influences From The Central Nervous System
The heart rate is rhythmically generated by the sinoatrial node. It is also influenced by central factors through sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves. Nervous influence over the heart rate is centralized within the two paired cardiovascular centres of the medulla oblongata. The cardioaccelerator regions stimulate activity via sympathetic stimulation of the cardioaccelerator nerves, and the cardioinhibitory centers decrease heart activity via parasympathetic stimulation as one component of the vagus nerve. During rest, both centers provide slight stimulation to the heart, contributing to autonomic tone. This is a similar concept to tone in skeletal muscles. Normally, vagal stimulation predominates as, left unregulated, the SA node would initiate a sinus rhythm of approximately 100 bpm.
Norepinephrine binds to the beta1 receptor. High blood pressure medications are used to block these receptors and so reduce the heart rate.
Input to the cardiovascular centres
Increased metabolic byproducts associated with increased activity, such as carbon dioxide, hydrogen ions, and lactic acid, plus falling oxygen levels, are detected by a suite of chemoreceptors innervated by the glossopharyngeal and vagus nerves. These chemoreceptors provide feedback to the cardiovascular centers about the need for increased or decreased blood flow, based on the relative levels of these substances.
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How To Take Your Childs Pulse
Your heart rate, also called your pulse, is the number of times your heart beats every minute. You can measure your childs pulse by placing your finger on his or her wrist, inside the elbow, the side of the neck, or the top of the foot.
These sites are areas of the body where an artery lies just under the skin. For example, the carotid artery is in the neck and the radial artery is in the wrist.
The Difference Between Blood Pressure And Heart Rate
Blood pressure and heart rate are two different measurements. While they are frequently measured at the same time in the doctors office, they are distinctly different factors in heart health.
Blood pressure is the force exerted against the artery walls when blood pumps through the body, usually measured with two numbers. The top number measures the pressure as the heart beats and moves blood into the arteries. The bottom number measures the pressure as the heart relaxes between beats. A blood pressure reading of 120/80 is considered normal.;
Heart rate, also called pulse, is the number of times your heart beats per minute. Heart rate can change based on activity level, age, medication, and other factors throughout life. For most adults, a resting heart rate of 50 to 100 beats per minute is considered normal. People who exercise regularly often have lower resting heart rates.;
In some situations, such as periods of acute stress or danger, blood pressure and heart rate may both increase at the same time, but thats not always the case. Your heart rate can increase without any change occurring in your blood pressure. As your heart beats faster, healthy blood vessels will expand in size to allow increased blood flow, which helps your blood pressure remain relatively stable. This is often true during exercise, when your heart rate can increase substantially but your blood pressure may only change slightly.;
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How To Calculate And Analyze Heart Rate Variability
How HRV is calculated though is where things can get tricky. Methods work in different ways, and the results from each might not be directly comparable getting it right is therefore critical for your work or research.
Before we get there though, there are some things to know about the way the monitored ECG signal appears. The image below shows a prototypical heartbeat.
This is known as the QRS complex, with each letter corresponding to a different part of the hearts action. The important thing to note is that the R of the complex is the area from which the values for analysis are taken. When we have several heartbeats next to each other, then the distance between each R is defined as the RR interval .
One of the main divisions for the way in which HRV is calculated is by either using time or frequency. In this context, time-domain methods mean that the beat-to-beat amount within an amount of time is used, while frequency-domain methods count the amount of low and high frequency beats that occur. This is explained further in the image below.
The extent to which the heart rate changes within a set amount of time, or the extent to which it is spread over different frequencies, will determine the amount of HRV.
There are also other ways in which to analyse the heart rate data, including geometric and non-linear methods. These methods offer new ways of examining the data, yet are not currently as widely employed.
What Should You Know About Your Heart Rate
Even if youre not an athlete, knowledge about your heart rate can help you monitor your fitness level and it might even help you spot developing health problems.
Your heart rate, or pulse, is the number of times your heart beats per minute. Normal heart rate varies from person to person. Knowing yours can be an important heart-health gauge.
As you age, changes in the rate and regularity of your pulse can change and may signify a heart condition;or other condition that needs to be addressed.
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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.
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.
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What The Experts Do
Monitor Heart Rate for Motivation
For Johns Hopkins cardiologist Michael Blaha, M.D., M.P.H., most workoutstake place on an elliptical trainer in his home. His machine has electrodeson which he can place his hands to automatically see his heart rate. Itgives me a sense of how hard Im working, he says.
Blaha also uses his targeted heart rate to guide the course that heprogrammed into the machine, so that he works up to where he wants to be interms of exertion. Knowing your target heart rate and trying to achieve itcan be very motivating, he says.
Stay on Top of Your Heart Health
If you have a new or existing heart problem, it’s vital to see a doctor. Our heart health checklist can help you determine when to seek care.
What Is A Healthy Heart Rate What Is Optimal
An optimal heart rate about one beat per second; at rest, or . Consequently, for every 10 beats per minute increase, theres a 10 to 20% increased risk of premature death.
Theres strong evidence showing that everyone with a high heart rate is at risk , even otherwise healthy individuals. But there are ways that you can slow your heart rate naturally.
First, check your resting heart rate before you make any changes using the method in section 2. This reading will be your baseline number to track your progress and test which programs work for you. Secondly, record your heart rate after any changes you make.
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Before You Measure Your Blood Pressure:
The American Heart Association recommends the following guidelines for home blood pressure monitoring:
Don’t smoke or drink coffee for 30 minutes before taking your blood pressure.
Go to the bathroom before the test.
Relax for 5 minutes before taking the measurement.
Sit with your back supported . Keep your feet on the floor uncrossed. Place your arm on a solid flat surface with the upper part of the arm at heart level. Place the middle of the cuff directly above the bend of the elbow. Check the monitor’s instruction manual for an illustration.
Take multiple readings. When you measure, take 2 to 3 readings one minute apart and record all the results.
Take your blood pressure at the same time every day, or as your healthcare provider recommends.
Record the date, time, and blood pressure reading.
Take the record with you to your next medical appointment. If your blood pressure monitor has a built-in memory, simply take the monitor with you to your next appointment.
When blood pressure reaches a systolic of 180 or higher OR diastolic of 110 or higher, seek emergency medical treatment.
Ask your doctor or another healthcare professional to teach you how to use your blood pressure monitor correctly. Have the monitor routinely checked for accuracy by taking it with you to your doctor’s office. It is also important to make sure the tubing is not twisted when you store it and keep it away from heat to prevent cracks and leaks.
What Is Your Pulse
When your heart beats it pushes blood around your body. This heart beat can be felt as your ‘pulse’ on your wrist or neck.;
Your pulse is measured by counting the number of times your heart beats in one minute. For example, if your heart contracts 72 times in one minute, your pulse would be 72 beats per minute . This is also called your heart rate.;
A normal pulse beats in a steady, regular rhythm. However, in some people this rhythm is uneven, or ‘jumps about’. This is known as an irregular pulse.
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When To Call Your Pediatrician
A very fast or slow heart rate can be a medical emergency, especially if your child has any symptoms associated with it, such as:
Seek medical attention right away in this situation.
It’s also important to talk to your pediatrician if your child always seems to be at either the upper or lower limits of normal. For example, tell your child’s doctor if:
- Your child is at the low end of the age range for their pulse rate, even when running around and playing.
- They are always at the upper end of normal for their pulse rate, even when sleeping.
A heart rate above the upper limit of normal may be a sign of an underlying heart condition. It could also be a clue;to other problems in the body, such as an infection or a metabolic condition.
In addition to the pulse rate , the rhythm of the pulse can also be regular or irregular. An irregular heart rate can signal a heart problem.
It’s a good idea to contact your pediatrician if you think your child’s pulse feels erratic or unsteady, especially if it happens often or lasts a long time.
Any type of abnormal heart ratewhether in the rate or rhythmis called arrhythmia. Not all arrhythmias are a cause for concern. Some are harmless, but others may require medical treatment.
What Things Affect Heart Rate
Other than exercise, things that can affect your heart rate include:
- Weather. Your pulse may go up a bit in higher temperatures and humidity levels.
- Standing up. It might spike for about 20 seconds after you first stand up from sitting.
- Emotions. Stress and anxiety can raise your heart rate. It may also go up when youâre very happy or sad.
- Body size. People who have severe obesity can have a slightly faster pulse.
- Medications. Beta-blockers slow your heart rate. Too much thyroid medicine can speed it up.
- Caffeine and nicotine. Coffee, tea, and soda raise your heart rate. So does tobacco.
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Women May Have A Higher Resting Heart Rate Than Men
Research has found that women up to 55 years old have a higher resting heart rate when compared with men. According to the American College of Cardiology, this may have something to do with the difference in sex hormones, especially testoserone, which is higher in men.;
Parwani says some data has shown that sex hormones, body size, and heart size can have an effect on the differences in heart rate between men and women. But there are many factors that may influence someone’s heart rate, including:;
- Lack of sleep
About The Digital Monitor
The digital monitor is automatic, with the measurements appearing on a small screen. Because the recordings are easy to read, this is the most popular blood pressure measuring device. It is also easier to use than the aneroid unit, and since there is no need to listen to heartbeats through the stethoscope, this is a good device for hearing-impaired patients. One disadvantage is that body movement or an irregular heart rate can change the accuracy. These units are also more expensive than the aneroid monitors.
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