Your heart rate measures how many times your heart beats, or you have a pulse, within a minute. Knowing your heart rate can help you determine if you are healthy or not.
The easiest way to measure your heart rate, if you don't already have a device to do so, is with your fingers and a stopwatch. Lay your right hand palm-up on a table. Put two fingers (NOT your thumb) of your left hand on your right wrist and feel for the pulse there. The reason you can't use your thumb is that it has a heavy pulse of its own and therefore it won't be as clear which pulse you are feeling. Always use your fingers to feel for a pulse.
Start the stopwatch and then count how many times you feel a pulse within 1 minute. That count is your heart rate - the beats per minute of your heart.
Most people have a heart rate between 60 and 90 beats per minute. Athletes can have a heart rate in the 40-60 range. A slower heart rate generally means your heart is more efficient and toned at moving blood around.
Your "resting heart rate" should be measured in the morning, before you do any activity or encounter any stress. This is your baseline heart rate.
If your heart rate is high, it usually is in conjunction with high blood pressure. Be sure to read up on high blood pressure in order to find ways to bring your heart into a more healthy state. You want your heart to have an easy job!
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