2 easy, accurate ways to measure your heart rate (2024)

What's a normal resting heart rate?

Answer From Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.

A normal resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute.

Generally, a lower heart rate at rest implies more efficient heart function and better cardiovascular fitness. For example, a well-trained athlete might have a normal resting heart rate closer to 40 beats per minute.

To measure your heart rate, simply check your pulse. Place your index and third fingers on your neck to the side of your windpipe. To check your pulse at your wrist, place two fingers between the bone and the tendon over your radial artery — which is located on the thumb side of your wrist.

When you feel your pulse, count the number of beats in 15 seconds. Multiply this number by four to calculate your beats per minute.

Keep in mind that many factors can influence heart rate, including:

  • Age
  • Fitness and activity levels
  • Being a smoker
  • Having cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol or diabetes
  • Air temperature
  • Body position (standing up or lying down, for example)
  • Emotions
  • Body size
  • Medications

Although there's a wide range of normal, an unusually high or low heart rate may indicate an underlying problem. Consult your doctor if your resting heart rate is consistently above 100 beats a minute (tachycardia) or if you're not a trained athlete and your resting heart rate is below 60 beats a minute (bradycardia) — especially if you have other signs or symptoms, such as fainting, dizziness or shortness of breath.

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  1. Kenney WL, et al. Cardiorespiratory responses to acute exercise. In: Physiology of Sport and Exercise. 6th ed. Champaign, Ill.: Human Kinetics; 2015.
  2. Know your target heart rates for exercise, losing weight and health. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/target-heart-rates. Accessed July 31, 2018.
  3. Sauer WH. Normal sinus rhythm and sinus arrhythmia. https://www.uptodate.com/content/search. Accessed July 31, 2018.
  4. Fatisson J, et al. Influence diagram of physiological and environmental factors affecting heart rate variability: An extended literature overview. Heart International. 2016;11:e32. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5056628. Accessed July 31, 2018.
  5. Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 1, 2018.
  6. Riebe D, et al., eds. Client fitness assessments. In: ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Wolters Kluwer Health Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2018.

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Now, let's discuss the concepts mentioned in the article "What's a normal resting heart rate?".

Resting Heart Rate

A normal resting heart rate for adults typically ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute. A lower resting heart rate generally indicates more efficient heart function and better cardiovascular fitness. For example, well-trained athletes might have a resting heart rate closer to 40 beats per minute.

Measuring Heart Rate

To measure your heart rate, you can check your pulse. There are two common locations to check your pulse: the neck and the wrist. To check your pulse on your neck, place your index and third fingers on the side of your windpipe. To check your pulse on your wrist, place two fingers between the bone and the tendon over your radial artery, which is located on the thumb side of your wrist.

Once you feel your pulse, count the number of beats you feel in 15 seconds. Then, multiply this number by four to calculate your beats per minute.

Factors Affecting Heart Rate

Several factors can influence heart rate, including:

  • Age
  • Fitness and activity levels
  • Smoking
  • Cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, or diabetes
  • Air temperature
  • Body position (standing up or lying down)
  • Emotions
  • Body size
  • Medications

It's important to keep in mind that while there is a wide range of normal heart rates, an unusually high or low heart rate may indicate an underlying problem. If your resting heart rate is consistently above 100 beats per minute (tachycardia) or below 60 beats per minute (bradycardia) and you're not a trained athlete, it's advisable to consult your doctor, especially if you experience other signs or symptoms such as fainting, dizziness, or shortness of breath.

These are the key concepts related to resting heart rate discussed in the article. If you have any further questions or need more information, feel free to ask!

2 easy, accurate ways to measure your heart rate (2024)

FAQs

2 easy, accurate ways to measure your heart rate? ›

Place your index and third fingers on your neck to the side of your windpipe. To check your pulse at your wrist, place two fingers between the bone and the tendon over your radial artery — which is located on the thumb side of your wrist. When you feel your pulse, count the number of beats in 15 seconds.

What are the two ways to monitor your heart rate? ›

How to check your heart rate
  • At the wrist, lightly press the index and middle fingers of one hand on the opposite wrist, just below the base of the thumb.
  • At the neck, lightly press the side of the neck, just below your jawbone.
  • Count the number of beats in 15 seconds, and multiply by four. That's your heart rate.
Aug 17, 2021

What are two methods you could use to take your heart rate? ›

The pulse can be measured using the radial artery in the wrist or the carotid artery in the neck. Heart rates vary from person to person. Knowing your heart rate can help you gauge your heart health.

How do you track your heart rate accurately? ›

How to measure heart rate by hand
  1. Take the pads/tips of your index (pointer) finger and middle finger.
  2. Press them gently against the side of your neck (just under your jawline). ...
  3. Count the number of beats you feel for 15 seconds. ...
  4. Multiply the number of beats by 4.
  5. That number is your heart rate.
Dec 13, 2022

What is the correct way to figure out your heart rate? ›

You can feel the radial pulse on the artery of the wrist in line with the thumb. Place the tips of the index and middle fingers over the artery and press lightly. Do not use the thumb. Take a full 60-second count of the heartbeats, or take for 30 seconds and multiply by 2.

What are the 3 methods used to monitor measure heart rate? ›

Your heart rate, also known as your pulse, is the number of times your heart beats in one minute. It can be measured through heart rate monitors and smartphone apps, or it can be taken via a radial, carotid, pedal, or brachial pulse at one of your arteries.

What is the most accurate heart rate monitor? ›

The Polar H10 Heart Rate Sensor was the top-performing chest-strap monitor we tried. Throughout testing we found the real-time ECG/EKG monitoring accurate, and we loved that the ANT+ connectivity options allowed us to record and track our HR via the free Polar app.

What is the easiest heart rate monitor to use? ›

Polar's H9 Heart Rate Sensor is easy to use and has both Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity, making it our top choice for cyclists who want to connect to a smartwatch, activity tracker, or exercise machine. During testing, we were immediately impressed with this monitor's intuitive setup process.

Where is the easiest place to measure your heart rate? ›

You can find your pulse on your wrist, neck, elbow or even the top of your foot. The easiest place to check your pulse is your wrist or neck.

Is heart rate accurate? ›

Although accuracy in HR measurement is acceptable in chest strap and electrode-based heart rate monitors, the accuracy of HR measurement in wrist wearables with PPG is uncertain [56,62,63,64,65,66].

Why are 3 fingers used to check pulse? ›

Radial pulse is commonly measured using three fingers: the finger closest to the heart used to occlude the pulse pressure, the middle finger used get a crude estimate of blood pressure, and the finger most distal to the heart used to nullify the effect of the ulnar pulse as the two arteries are connected via the palmar ...

What are 4 signs your heart is slowly failing you? ›

You may have trouble breathing, an irregular heartbeat, swollen legs, neck veins that stick out, and sounds from fluid built up in your lungs. Your doctor will check for these and other signs of heart failure. A test called an echocardiogram is often the best test to diagnose your heart failure.

What is a simple way to measure resting heart rate brainly? ›

A simple way to measure resting heart rate is to find a pulse using your index and middle fingers, and count the number of beats in one minute. Place your fingers on a pulse point such as the wrist or neck, and feel for the rhythmic pulsation.

Are there different types of heart monitors? ›

Event monitors can be worn for a month or longer. There are two main types of event monitors: symptom event monitors and memory looping monitors. When you activate a symptom event monitor, for the next few minutes, it records the information from the heart's electrical signal.

What are two ways you can retrieve your heart rate without a heart rate monitor? ›

If you don't have a heart rate monitor you can check your heart rate using your pulse. To find your pulse, use two fingers (your middle and your index fingers) to find your carotid artery, just below your esophagus or throat. Then, count the beats you feel for 10 seconds. Multiply that number by six.

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