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How to Take Your Own Pulse

Follow these simple steps to test your pulse and measure how quickly your heart is beating.


  • Step 1: Relax for 10 minutes Rest quietly for 10 minutes to take a resting heart rate measurement. If you are testing your active heart rate, test after activity.
  • Step 2: Find your pulse Turn your left arm palm-up and place the first two fingers of your right hand on the inside of your wrist, just below your thumb. Press gently to feel your pulse.
  • TIP: Your carotid artery on the side of your neck may give a stronger pulse.
  • Step 3: Count beats Count the number of beats you feel over 30 seconds. Double that number for the number of beats per minute.
  • TIP: The average resting heart rate for an adult man is 70 beats per minute, and 75 beats for an adult woman.
  • Step 4: Maintain a healthy heart rate Keep your heart pumping and your heart rate low with exercise and a healthy diet.
  • FACT: Your heart beats more than 2.5 billion times over the course of a 70-year lifetime.

You Will Need

  • A watch with a second hand

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