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Measuring Your Heart Rate to Determine Heart Health

October 26, 2011

Your heart rate is a good indication of your heart health. Heart rate refers to the number of heart beats that occur in a minute. To make sure that your heart remains in optimal condition, you have to monitor your heart rate regularly. A good heart rate shows that your heart is healthy and functioning efficiently, and you are less vulnerable to heart disease.

Taking your pulse to determine heart health When you are trying to determine your heart health, it is the resting heart rate that you have to measure. A resting heart rate is the rate at which your heart beats when your body is at rest. Checking your resting heart rate will provide important information about your cardiovascular health, fitness level, and overall health. If your body is well-conditioned, your heart needs to exert less effort and make fewer beats to pump blood throughout your body. Resting heart rate is best measured in the morning, after your body is well-rested from a good night’s sleep.

You can measure your heart rate at various points on your body, including wrist, temple, neck, groin, foot, and others. Usually, the preferred place to measure heart rate is the wrist. To find out your heart rate, place your index and middle fingers on the underside of your other wrist, below your thumb. Press your fingers firmly on the pulse point to feel the pulse and count the number of beats made in one minute. You can also record the beats for thirty seconds and then multiply the total by two. For an adult, a healthy resting heart rate is between 60 to 80 beats per minute (bpm). An athlete who has a very well-conditioned body can have a heart rate that is below 50 bpm.