Checking your pulse allows you to determine your heart rate without any special equipment. This can be useful if you’re trying to lose weight or you have a brain condition. Read on to find out how easy and painless it is to check your pulse.
Use your index finger and middle finger when finding your pulse. Don’t use your thumb, as its own pulse is strong enough to interfere with your reading.
Find the radial pulse. This is the pulse on the side of the wrist nearest your body. Use the pads of your fingers. Place them just below the wrist creases on the thumb side. Press lightly until you feel the blood pulsing under your skin. If necessary, move your fingers around a bit until you feel the pulse. (It’s there,just not always easy to locate.)
Check and record your heart rate. Use a watch or clock with a second hand or digital second display. Count the number of times you feel a throb for one minute (60 seconds). This is the most accurate method.
If you’re in a hurry, you could count the beats you feel for 15 seconds and multiply by four or count beats for 30 seconds and multiply by two. These options will work but are not quite as accurate as counting for a full minute.
Establish your normal heart rate. The normal resting heart rate for an adult is 60-100 beats per minute. Normal heart rate for children under 18 is 70-120 beats per minute. This applies to a person who is at rest. Any physical activity will increase the pulse rate.
4. Check the strength of the pulse to see if it is strong or weak. The strength of your pulse cannot be calculated precisely, but experienced professionals will characterize a pulse as “weak”, “faint”, “strong”, or “bounding”. This is an indication of the health of the heart and vascular system.
5. Check the rhythm of your pulse. You’re looking for regularity of pulsations and the pauses between them. If your pulse is steady, note it as “regular.” If you detect a skip or other fluctuation in the pulse, it may be termed “irregular.” This is not necessarily a cause for alarm, but if you note a consistent irregularity, you should seek medical advice.