How To Measure Heart Rate
Wondering how to measure your heart rate? Your pulse, or heart rate, is the number of times your heart beats per minute. Measuring your heart rate can give important information about your health, because a number outside the normal heart rate can indicate a problem. To measure your heart rate, follow these easy steps:
- First, you have to find your pulse. You can take your pulse either at your wrist or on your neck. To take your pulse at the wrist, place your index and middle finger on the inside of the wrist of the opposite hand, and press firmly until you feel the pulse beat. On the neck, place the index and middle finger on the left side of your neck straight down from your ear, and press firmly until you feel the pulse.
- To determine your heart rate, you must take your pulse when you have been resting for at least ten minutes.
- After you find your pulse, count the beats for one full minute, using a stopwatch or the second hand of a clock. The resulting number is your heart rate.
- Normal heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute. If your resting heart rate is low, consistently high, or irregular, this may indicate a health problem. A pulse that is hard to feel may indicate blockages in the arteries. In all of these cases, you should consult your physician.
- In addition to resting heart rate, you can also determine your maximum heart rate (the number you should strive for when exercising). Subtract your age from 220, then multiply that number by .6 and .85 to find the range of heart rate to aim for when exercising. If you are healthy, you should be able to exercise to this heart rate for 30 to 45 minutes at least three times a week.