How to Calculate a Pulse

By Michael Keenan

Your pulse, also known as your heart rate, measures how many times per minute your heart beats. The higher your pulse, the harder your heart is working. It is useful to know your pulse when you exercise so you can tell how hard you are working. You can take your pulse on your wrist or on your neck.

Hold your middle and index fingers on the underside of your wrist, about one inch from the base of your hand and gently press until you feel your pulse. If you prefer to use your neck, place the same two fingers along the side of your neck between your neck muscles and throat beneath your chin, to take your pulse from your neck. Do not use your thumb, because it has a pulse of its own.

Count the number of beats you feel during a 10-second span.

Multiply the number of beats in the 10 second span by 6 to find your pulse. For example, if you felt 22 beats in 10 seconds, you would multiply 22 by 6 to find a pulse of 132 beats per minute.

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