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Measure the pulse. How is it done?

Measure the pulse. How is it done?

Measuring the pulse is a very useful procedure that allows us to know the rhythm of our heart and guides us about the regularity of its frequency. It is a very simple measure that provides us with basic information about our cardiovascular functioning.

The pulse refers to a series of pulsations that can be perceived in some parts of the body. They are due to the contraction and dilation movement of both the heart and the arteries.

It is synonymous with heart rate and is normally expressed in beats per minute. For example, if when measuring a person's pulse for 60 seconds, we count 70 beats, it means that the heart beats 70 times in one minute.

Although it is an essential procedure to quickly diagnose a possible heart problem, many people do not know what measuring the pulse is for and how to do it. Therefore, in this article we explain it to you.

What is the purpose of measuring the pulse?

Measuring the pulse is used, among other things, to detect abnormalities in the heart rate.

Measuring the pulse has many uses, since it provides information on the number of beats our heart makes per unit of time (normally, per minute). A normal pulse is between 60 and 100 beats per minute.

First of all, measuring the pulse can help us detect tachycardia or bradycardia. Tachycardia is when the heart beats above 100 beats per minute. Bradycardia, on the other hand, is when the heart beats less than 60 beats per minute.

Both tachycardia and bradycardia can be indicative that something is not working correctly in our cardiovascular system. Exceeding any of these limits can mean some risk to our heart.

However, most of the time these are normal situations in which the heart adapts its beats to be able to maintain the blood supply to all the organs and tissues of the body.

For example, while doing sports, it is absolutely normal for your heart to speed up and, when measuring your pulse, you find tachycardia. The heart can even suffer tachycardia in situations of fear, stress or danger.

Likewise, people who train daily tend to have lower heart rates than average. Some athletes can have their heart rate even at 40 beats per minute, without it being indicative of any pathology.

What is it for?

This leads us to think that, first of all, measuring the pulse can be useful to check our physical condition and our progress when we do sports. Also to know what limits we can face during physical training.

Furthermore, we must not forget that taking the pulse can help us achieve an early diagnosis of some pathology. In some serious situations, such as an aorta dissection, a procedure as simple as measuring the pulse can help us detect it in time and save the patient.

How do you learn to measure your pulse?

To measure your pulse under normal conditions, the ideal is for you to be calm and relaxed, without having previously exercised. This way you can get your heart rate at rest.

This procedure can be performed on different parts of the body, but it is most common to take it on the neck or wrist. In fact, to start measuring the pulse, it is recommended to do it on the neck, since it is the place where it is best perceived.

First of all, you need a stopwatch. You can use a watch or your own cell phone to do it. Once you have achieved all this, what you should do, in summary, is:

Place your index and middle fingers under your chin, on your neck. You should press lightly on that area until you feel the heartbeat. But you shouldn't do it too hard either, as you could confuse the result.

Once you've found it, start your stopwatch and start counting. You can do it for one minute or for 30 seconds. If you choose this last option, you must multiply the total number of heartbeats you have counted by two.

As we have already mentioned, if the result is between 60 and 100 heartbeats at rest, it is within normal limits. However, if the heartbeat is excessive or you notice any irregularity in the rhythm, it is best to consult a doctor as soon as possible.

Measuring the pulse is a very simple procedure that serves many purposes in our daily lives, such as training. You can do it on the wrist, on the neck, on the abdomen, etc.

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