Your pulse rate, or heart rate, is the number of times your heart beats per minute. A normal resting heart rate is 60-100 beats per minute. Your pulse rate can change depending on your level of physical activity, emotions, medications, and other factors.
Heart rate is measured by feeling the pulse at certain points on the body, such as the wrist, neck, or elbow. To measure your pulse rate:
- Place your index and middle fingers on your neck to the side of your windpipe.
- Use your other hand to slowly slide your fingers up and down until you find your pulse.
- Once you find your pulse, count the number of beats in 15 seconds and multiply by 4 to get the number of beats per minute.
You can also measure your pulse rate by using a heart rate monitor. This is a device that straps around your chest and uses sensors to detect your heart rate. Some fitness trackers and smartwatches also have heart rate monitors built-in.
If your heart rate is consistently above 100 beats per minute, this is known as tachycardia. If it’s below 60 beats per minute, this is called bradycardia. These conditions may need to be treated by a doctor.
Your pulse rate can give you important information about your heart health. It’s important to know what a normal heart rate is for you and to pay attention to any changes.