Checking Your Pulse: As Easy as 1,2,3

How to Check Your Pulse
How to Check Your Pulse


By Edward Gerstenfeld, M.D.


We’ve worked with the Heart Rhythm Society to explain the signs, symptoms and treatment of atrial fibrillation (AFib), one of the most common cardiac arrhythmias. Despite the complexity of this condition and the many risk factors involved, simply knowing your heartbeat is the simplest and most important way to understand how these conditions might affect you. And the easiest way to check your heartbeat is by taking your pulse at home.


Here are three easy steps:


1.      Place Your Fingers

Put the tips of your index, second and third fingers on the inside of your opposite wrist, just below the base of the thumb OR place the tips of your index, second, and third fingers in the lower neck region on either side of your windpipe, as pictured below.


2.      Find Your Pulse

Lightly push your fingertips into your wrist or neck till you feel the blood pulsating beneath your fingers.


3.      Do the Math

Count the beats you feel for 10 seconds, using a watch or clock, and multiply by six to get your heart rate per minute. {Number of Beats} X 6=Beats per minute


For individuals ages six to 15, a healthy heart rate while resting should fall between 70-100 beats per minute. For those 18 years or older, a healthy heart rate while resting should fall between 60-100 beats per minute. If you find that your heart rate routinely falls outside of these parameters or if you have any questions about your heart rate, please talk to your healthcare provider.


As a refresher, keep a copy of the below instructions on hand. To learn more about AFib, please visit the Heart Rhythm Society’s AFib website: http://www.MyAfib.org or stop by HRS’ free Cardiovascular Wellness event on Wednesday, May 7 from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at Crocker Galleria. The event will include free cardiovascular risk assessments and will feature several local physicians, who will be available to answer questions. There will also be free yoga demonstrations at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. as well as exhibits from other local organizations.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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