Your pulse is the rate at which your heart beats. As your
heart pumps blood through your body, you can feel a pulsing in some of the
blood vessels close to the skin's surface.
The usual resting
pulse for an adult is 60 to 100 beats per minute. Certain illnesses can cause
your pulse to change, so it is helpful to know what your resting pulse is when
you are well. To find your resting pulse, count your pulse after you have been
sitting or resting quietly for at least 5 minutes.
Checking your pulse on the wrist
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You can easily
check your pulse on the inside of your wrist, below your thumb.
Gently place 2 fingers of your other hand on this
Do not use your thumb, because it has its own pulse that you
Count the beats for 30 seconds, and then double the result
to get the number of beats per minute.
Checking your pulse in the carotid artery
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You can also check your pulse in the carotid
artery. This is located in your neck, on either side of your windpipe. Be
careful when checking your pulse in this location, especially if you are older
than 65. If you press too hard, you may become lightheaded and fall.
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Thomas M. Bailey, MD - Family Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.