How to calculate your pulse
The human pulse, also known as the heart rate, is a vital indicator of one’s health and overall well-being. Regularly monitoring your own pulse can provide valuable insights into your cardiovascular health and help you monitor progress in physical fitness training. Fortunately, calculating your pulse is a simple and straightforward process that can be completed in a matter of minutes. Follow these steps to accurately measure your pulse:
1. Find a suitable site for measuring your pulse.
The most common sites for calculating your heart rate are the radial artery, located on the inner side of your wrist, and the carotid artery, found on either side of your neck just below your jawline. These locations are chosen due to their easy accessibility and proximity to the major blood vessels related to heart function.
2. Position your fingers correctly.
Use the tips of your index and middle fingers together (avoid using your thumb) and gently but firmly place them over the chosen artery site.
3. Apply moderate pressure.
Press slightly onto the artery with your fingertips until you feel a pulsing sensation. Be careful not to apply too much pressure, as this may block blood flow and generate misleading results.
4. Count the beats.
Hold a watch or timer set to 60 seconds nearby and begin counting each heartbeat you feel through your fingertips.
5. Record the count.
Note down the number of beats counted in one minute or 60 seconds as this will give you an accurate representation of your pulse at rest.
6. Analyze the results.
Compare your findings with recommended pulse rate ranges for individuals of similar age, sex, and fitness level. Eg: resting heart rate for adults should range from 60-100 beats per minute (BPM). Well-trained athletes commonly have resting heart rates between 40-60 BPM.
7. Repeat measurements over time
Measure your pulse frequently, under varying circumstances (e.g., at rest, during exercise, post-exercise) and at different times of the day. By doing so, you can establish personalized baselines for comparison and detect any significant changes that might warrant further investigation or intervention.
Remember, regularly monitoring your pulse can empower you to stay proactive about your heart health and help you make informed decisions about your lifestyle and fitness goals. So, start calculating your pulse today and embark on a healthier tomorrow!