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What is a Normal Pulse and How to Measure It

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What is a Normal Pulse and How to Measure It
What is a Normal Pulse and How to Measure It

Each of us may not have medical education, but we all need to know the basic characteristics of the human body. Check the work of the heart and in general, the presence of life in the body can be in the pulse. However, what are we actually measuring the pulse for? Do you know what the normal pulse rate is?

 

Since ancient times, the pulse has been considered one of the main indicators of human health. In the Eastern School of Pulse Diagnosis, there is a legend about the famous doctor Bian-Qiao, who was entrusted with the treatment of the daughter of a very remarkable person. The complexity of the diagnosis was that the girl could not be touched, could not look at it. The doctor instructed to tie a thread to the girl's wrist, at the other end of which to tie an inflated ball. With the ball fluctuating, the doctor determined the girl's pulse and managed to make the correct diagnosis. Today, the pulse is one of the first symptoms of various disorders in the body. That's why you need to monitor your heart rate and measure it in various situations.

 

What Is It For To Know The Pulse? 

Pulse rate describes your heart rate, the number of times the heartbeats per minute. Your pulse can also show your heart rhythm and the strength of your heartbeat. Monitoring your pulse rate at rest, while exercising, or immediately after exercising can show your fitness level. 

Checking your pulse can even help you diagnose any health problems you are experiencing. For example, a faster pulse rate can be caused by anemia, fever, certain types of heart disease, or the use of certain medications, such as decongestants. 

Meanwhile, a slower pulse could indicate disease or medications related to heart disease, such as beta-blockers. In an emergency, the pulse can also help show if the heart is pumping enough blood. 

How Do I Measure The Pulse? 

You can measure your pulse at several points in your body, such as:

·        Wrist

·        Inner elbow

·        The lower side of the neck

However, it is usually easiest for you to find a wrist. Here's how to measure the pulse on the wrist:

·        Place your index and middle fingers on the inner wrist where the artery is flowing. Press firmly on your artery until you feel a pulse. (On the inner elbow or neck, also place your two fingers and press until you find a pulse).

·        Count your pulse for 60 seconds (or for 15 seconds, then multiply by 4 for the number of beats per minute).

·        Remember, when counting, stay focused on your pulse. Don't forget to count or feel your pulse disappear.

·        You can start over again if you are not sure what your count is. 

What Is The Normal Pulse? 

The pulse rate can vary between individuals. The number can be lower when you are resting and can increase when you are exercising. This is because during exercise the body needs more blood which carries oxygen to flow to all cells in the body. 

Factors on which Normal Pulse rate depends 

The following is the number of normal pulse beats per minute:

Infants up to 1 year of age:

100-160 beats per minute.

Children aged 1-10 years:

70-120 times per minute.

Children 11-17 years old:

60-100 times per minute.

Adults:

60-100 times per minute.

Athletes in good shape:

40-60 times per minute.

Generally, a pulse that is in the lowest range (60 beats per minute for example in adults) during a resting-state indicates that your heart is working efficiently when pumping blood and that your body is fitter. 

People who are active have better heart muscle so the heart does not have to work hard to maintain bodily functions. So, it's no wonder that well-trained athletes have a pulse rate of about 40 beats per minute. 

What Determines The Pulse Of A Healthy Person? 

When measuring a pulse, you need to know many characteristics that can affect its frequency. We are talking about normal changes in heart rhythm, without heart pathology. 

Some of the things that can affect your pulse rate per minute are:

·        Physical Activity: After you do strenuous physical activity, the pulse is usually faster. Most of the time, the pulse increases with physical activity, when the body's oxygen demand increases. Even a small ascent to several floors increases a person's pulse, especially that of an unprepared person.   

·        Fitness Level: the fitter you are usually the pulse is slower (in the lowest normal range)

·        Air Temperature: When temperatures (and humidity) are high, the heart pumps a little more blood, so the pulse rate can increase, but usually not more than 5 to 10 beats per minute.

·        Body Position: At rest, sitting, or standing, the pulse is usually the same. Sometimes for the first 15-20 seconds after sitting up, your pulse may go up a bit, but after a couple of minutes, it should stabilize.

·        Emotions: If you are stressed, anxious, or "extremely happy or sad," your emotions can increase your pulse.

·        Body Size: Body size does not normally change the pulse. If you are very obese, your resting pulse may be higher than normal, but usually not more than 100.

·        Medication Use: Medications that block adrenaline (beta-blockers) tend to slow down the pulse, while too many thyroid medications or too high a dose increases it. It also includes heart medications, decongestants, antipsychotics, sedatives, etc.

·        Sleep: When the body is asleep, it consumes minimal calories, energy consumption is significantly reduced and the pulse is slowed down. Even a simple lying position leads to a slowing of the heart rate. And the pulse depends on the time of day - after lunch it becomes maximum.

·        Gender: A woman's pulse is normally higher than that of a man.

·        Food: The body expends a lot of calories in digesting food, the digestive process speeds up the pulse, which means that after eating, the heart rate increases, especially after a heavy and fatty meal. In addition, the pulse also accelerates after consuming strong tea, coffee, and energy drinks.

·        Age: The younger the child, the faster his pulse. Healthy newborns at rest have an average heart rate of 140 beats per minute. By one year, the number drops to 132 hits. A child aged 5-6 years has an average of 100 strokes per minute; a child aged 10 years has 85 strokes, adolescents - 75, etc. 

While measuring pulse rate you must be aware of all these factors and take into account the external influences on the body. But if a person is perfectly healthy and calm, his pulse can increase or decrease; it indicates serious violations in the body. 

Causes of Increased Pulse Rate 

The maximum permissible human pulse rate is set to 220- (age). If you are 30 years old, then your maximum heart rate is 190 beats per minute. But this implies too high, at the limit of possibilities. As a rule, when the physical exercises stop, the pulse of a healthy person returns to normal after 5 minutes. What can be the reasons for increased pulse rate without physical and emotional stress? 

1.     If a person's pulse is more than 90 beats per minute at rest, we can talk about tachycardia, which usually shows various changes in the work of the cardiovascular system.

2.     Sometimes an increase in heart rate can indicate damage to the nervous system.

3.     Endocrine disorders and especially increased thyroid activity can cause an increase in heart rate.

4.     The pulse may increase in the presence of infectious diseases, malignant and benign tumors in the body, with dehydration and vomiting.

5.     In women, the pulse increases during pregnancy, menopause, during menstrual bleeding, with anemia.

When to Call the Doctor: With an increased pulse, which maintains its values for a long time, you should definitely consult a cardiologist. Especially if it is accompanied by dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, dark eyes, or loss of consciousness. 

Causes Of Low Pulse Rate 

Heart rate can be reduced during sleep and in old age. In addition, in trained people and athletes, the pulse can drop to 40 beats per minute - this is normal. But if you are an average person and your pulse is calm and awake less than 60 beats per minute, you should consult your doctor. In some cases, this may indicate myocardial infarction, when cardiac muscle contractions become rare due to tissue damage. Decreased heart rate can cause chemical poisoning and viral damage. In addition, a low heart rate may indicate ulceration, intracranial pressure, hypothyroidism, and myxoid.

When to Call the Doctor: Bradycardia (decreased heart rate) can be manifested by symptoms such as dizziness, cold sweats, weakness, and loss of consciousness in the context of prolonged hypoxia. If you notice such symptoms in yourself, you should definitely see a doctor. To make a diagnosis, a cardiologist usually prescribes an ECG in which all pathological changes are visible. More accurate data can be obtained using procedures such as treadmill testing, Voltaire tracking, etc. 

Maintaining A Normal Pulse Rate 

A healthy heartbeat is crucial to protecting your heart health. 

While exercise is important to promote a healthy heart rate, there are other steps a person can take to protect their heart health, including:

·        Reduction in stress levels: Stress can contribute to increased heart rate and blood pressure. Ways to maintain better stress control include deep breathing, yoga, mindfulness training, and meditation.

·        Elimination of tobacco: Tobacco increases the heart rate and eliminating its consumption can reduce it to a normal level.

·       Weight loss: Higher body weight means that the heart has to work harder to provide oxygen and nutrients to all areas of the body. 

One in four deaths in the US is due to heart disease. Maintaining a normal heart rate is one of the easiest ways to protect your heart.

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