Check your pulse without a stethoscope in any room that's quiet enough to hear your heartbeats. Check your heartbeat before and after an aerobic workout to compare resting heart rate to exercising heart rate. Patients with high blood pressure and cardiac conditions can listen to heartbeats to be sure their hearts aren't beating too fast.
Turn off all audio playing devices in the house such as televisions, stereos and video games. Get away from any clocks with an audible tick.
Cover both of your ears with the heels of your hands below the pinkies. Press your hands gently inward until outside sounds are blocked out.
Concentrate on listening to your heartbeat. Unless your heart is beating faster than normal it will take a few seconds to notice the sound of it. This technique allows you to listen to your pulse as it runs through your wrists.
Calculate your heart rate to find how many times your heart beats per minute. Listen to your heartbeat while watching a clock that counts seconds. Count the number of times your heart beats during a 15-second interval. Multiply the number of beats counted by four to get the number of beats per minute. According to Dr. Edward Laskowski of the Mayo Clinic, the resting heart rate for a normal adult is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. Conditioned athletes and people who exercise regularly may have resting heart rates between 40 and 60 beats per minute.
Check your heart rate a few times per day to determine your average range of heartbeats per minute.
See a doctor if your heart rate does not fall within the normal range for athletic or non-athletic adults. A heart rate that is too low or too high may indicate a condition that requires medical attention. Consult a physician regarding the normal range for heart rate if you are a patient with a persistent condition.