How To Prepare
All you need to check your pulse is a
watch with a second hand or a digital stop watch. Find a quiet place, where you
can sit down and are not distracted when you are learning to check your
How It Is Done
You can measure your pulse rate
anywhere an artery comes close to the skin, such as in your wrist, neck, temple
area, groin, behind the knee, or top of your foot.
You can easily
check your pulse on the inside of your wrist, below your thumb. See a picture
of taking your pulse in your wrist or neck .
- Gently place 2 fingers of your other hand on
- Do not use your thumb because it has its own pulse
that you may feel.
- Count the beats for 30 seconds; then double the
result to get the number of beats per minute.
You can also check your pulse in the carotid artery. This
is located in your neck, on either side of your windpipe. Be careful when
checking your pulse in this location, especially if you are older than 65. If
you press too hard, you may become lightheaded and fall.
buy an electronic pulse meter to automatically check your pulse in your finger,
wrist, or chest. These devices are helpful if you have trouble measuring your
pulse or if you wish to check your pulse while you exercise.
How It Feels
Checking your pulse should not cause
Checking your pulse should not cause problems.
Be careful when checking your pulse in your neck, especially if you are older
than 65. If you press too hard, you may become lightheaded and fall.
Call your doctor if you have any
of the following symptoms:
- An irregular or rapid heartbeat (palpitations). Palpitations can be persistent or may
come and go (episodic).
- Chest pain
Talk to your doctor if you have a fast heart rate, many
skipped or extra beats, or if the blood vessel where you check your pulse feels
Your pulse is the rate at which your
heart beats. Your pulse is usually called your heart rate, which is the number
of times your heart beats each minute (bpm).
Normal resting heart rate
The chart below shows
the normal range of a resting heart rate (pulse rate after resting 10 minutes)
in beats per minute, according to age. Many things can cause changes in your
normal heart rate, including your age, activity level, and the time of
Resting heart rate
| Age or fitness level
|| Beats per minute (bpm)
Babies to age 1:
Children ages 1 to
Children ages 11 to