Measuring Heart Rate

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Pulse is the transmitted wave of pumped out blood every time the heart contracts successfully. It can be best felt where a medium sized artery crosses the bone. The two favorite sites are just proximal to the thumb, on the wrist, and on the inner side of the front of the elbow.  You can make an estimation of your heart rate by measuring your pulse rate.

  • Take a watch with a seconds hand.
  • Place your fingers over the front of the wrist near the base of the thumb. You should feel a long groove where the artery lies. Adjust your fingers till you can comfortably feel the beats.
  • Warning : Do not press hard. Be gentle. Pressing hard will block the artery and hence no pulse will be felt.
  • Wait for the second hand to come over the XII mark of the watch. Start counting the beats from “0”. Now continue to count till the second hand again comes to the XII mark and STOP. That is the pulse per minute.
  • The pulse at rest is usually 60 to 90 per minute. The better the heart, the slower the beat. Beats slower than 60 or faster than 90 may require a doctors attention.
  • The heart rate during exercise may be allowed to go up to (220 – age) beats per minute. If chest pain / discomfort / pain in left arm / unusual breathlessness or sweating appears at any time during exercise, sit down or lie down wherever you are, for 10 minutes. Then call for help or a cab to take you to a doctor