What Affects the Test
You may not be able to feel your
pulse or count your pulse correctly if you:
- Have decreased sensation in your
- Are not using the right amount of pressure. Too much
pressure can slow the heart rate, and too little pressure can cause you to miss
- Are trying to take your pulse in an area that is
covered by too much muscle or fat.
- Are using your thumb to take
your pulse. Your thumb has its own pulse, which will interfere with your
- Are moving too much while trying to take your
What To Think About
Many people take their pulse during or right after exercise,
to check their heart rate and to find out if they are exercising at a healthy
pace. Your heart rate (pulse) during and after exercise will be higher than
your resting heart rate.
Call your doctor if your heart rate does
not come down within a few minutes after you have stopped exercising.
As you continue to exercise regularly, your heart rate will not rise as
high as it once did with the same amount of effort. This is a sign that you are
becoming more fit. For more information, see the topic
|Primary Medical Reviewer||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Thomas M. Bailey, MD - Family Medicine|
|Last Revised||March 26, 2012|