Pulse is the rhythmic expansion of blood arteries that compress the bone plan and reflects the number of heartbeats that occur during one minute. Heart rate varies from person to person.
Pulse is lower when a person is at rest and increases when making physical activity. Normal heart rate varies from person to person, depending on gender, age, general health status, etc..
Also, the pulse provides information about the status and permeability of blood vessels and the pace and power of the heart. Changes in heart rate, weak pulse or blood vessels present rigidity can be caused by heart disease or other problems. When the heart pumps blood through the body, you will feel pulses in some blood vessels of the skin, such as those at the wrist, neck or upper arm. Evaluation of pulse frequency is an easy way to find out how fast your heart beats.
Pulse can be modified by temperature, posture, weight, and the use of certain medications.
How to check your pulse
The best places where the pulse can be measured are: wrists, inside of elbows, side of the neck, upper limbs.
Place your index, middle finger and ring finger on the wrist or in the palm at the base of the thumb. Another method is to place the tip of your index finger and the middle of the trachea. Press lightly with your fingers until you feel like your blood pulsing beneath your fingers. You may need to move your fingers up or down to locate the area where it feels arterial pulse. Use a timer or look at a clock with a second hand. Counting heartbeats sum in 10 seconds. Multiply this number by six to know which is your pulse.
Maximum heart rate
A normal resting heart rate is:
- children (aged 6 to 15 years) – 70-100 beats per minute
- adults (over 18 years) – 60-100 beats per minute.
Moderate physical activity influences not usually heart rate that a person has in the rest. If your heart rate is below 60 beats per minute does not mean, usually it involved a medical problem. This could be, for example, result administering certain types of medications such as beta blockers.
Maximum heart rate is the highest rate of heart rate resulting from intense exercise. A simple method to calculate maximum heart rate is by using the formula: 220 – your age = maximum heart rate predictive value. For example, a person with an age of 40 years will have a maximum heart rate of 180 beats / minute.
There are other formulas that take into account variations in maximum heart rate based on age and gender of a person.
However, before you do any of these calculations should know that some drugs and medical conditions can affect heart rate. If you are taking medication or suffer from certain conditions such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension or diabetes, ask your doctor if predictive values of maximum heart rate is changed. In some situations, it is advisable to make only doctor approved exercise.
Exercise and heart rate target
You can get many health benefits and can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease when doing cardio exercise with which to achieve your ideal heart rate. Usually it is 60-80% of maximum heart rate. In some cases, the doctor can determine this value to 50% of maximum heart rate.
However, it is not recommended for a person to make long-term exercise, after which heart rate was greater than 85% of the maximum heart rate. At this level there is a risk overloading both the cardiovascular system and to the bone.
It is always advisable to ask your doctor to endorse exercise program that you have chosen. Also, depending on your medical history, the specialist can determine the target heart rate that fits where the needs, goals and your physical condition.
When you start a program of exercise, you may need to gradually increase the intensity of them, until you reach your target heart rate, especially if you did not exercise regularly before. Thus, you reduce the risk of injuries and you can enjoy physical activity.
To find out if your training will help you achieve your target heart rate, check your pulse for 10 seconds. If the pulse is low, increase the intensity of exercise. In case the pulse is higher, lower intensity exercise.
Normal heart beat according to the age:
- at the age of 20 years – target heart rate 120-170 – heart rate up to 200
- at the age of 25 years – target heart rate from 117 to 166 – 195 maximum heart rate
- at the age of 30 years – target heart rate from 114 to 162 – maximum heart rate 190
- at the age of 35 years – target heart rate from 111 to 157 – maximum heart rate 185
- at the age of 40 years – target heart rate from 108 to 153 – maximum heart rate 180
- at the age of 45 years – target heart rate from 105 to 149 – maximum heart rate 175
- at the age of 50 years – target heart rate from 102 to 145 – maximum heart rate 170
- at the age of 55 years – target heart rate from 99 to 140 – maximum heart rate 165
- at the age of 60 years – target heart rate 96-136 – heart rate up to 160
- at the age of 65 years – target heart rate from 93 to 132 – maximum heart rate 155
- at the age of 70 years – target heart rate from 90 to 123 – maximum heart rate 150.