What does your pulse reveal about your health


What does your pulse reveal about your health

 | By Steve Walker | @SteveWalkerWeb

When you go to the doctor they always check your heart rate (pulse).

It is used when working out to determine if you are working out at the optimal exertion level with regards to your current heart rate as well as the level you are looking to get to. It pretty much is an indicator of either good or bath health regardless of if you are a fitness buff or not. But what are the numbers that you should be looking at and what is ideal. Read on to find out.

⚠️ Please remember: the below advice should never be a substitute for proper medical advice. If in any doubt whatsoever, please contact a medical professional.

How to determine your heart rate

You can check your pulse in a few different areas, the wrists, inside of your elbow, side of your neck, and the top of the foot, however the wrist is the most accurate.

In order to determine the pulse you put your finger over the pulse for 60 seconds and count the number of beats, which is the most accurate way. You can also count for 10 seconds and multiply that by six.

That is your resting heart rate. There are though a few things that can alter the number which could be the temperature, body position, emotions, body size, and medication use. Just keep those in mind when you are taking your resting heart rate.

What is an optimal heart rate?

An optimal resting heart rate is generally between 60 to 100 beats per minute. This could vary a bit between people if you factor in how fit you are. The fitter you are, the more likely you are to have a bit lower of a resting heart rate, maybe even down to 40, because your heart has to work less because it is more efficient. If you are out of shape than your pulse could be a bit higher but generally it doesn't go over 100.

What if your pulse doesn't fall within those guidelines?

Tachycardia (high heart rate) is when your heart rate is over 100 beats per minute. What this means is that the heart is most likely not filling up with enough blood before pumping it out which could affect the rest of the body. Some of the symptoms of this could be dizziness, lightheadedness, chest pain, and/or shortness of breath. Additional symptoms, which are by far the more serious ones, would be unconsciousness or cardiac arrest. Knowing what your heart rate is normally and how your body feels on a regular basis could be the key to knowing if there is a problem arising.

Some of the risk factors for a higher pulse could be anxiety , being physically fatigued, copious amounts of coffee or caffeine, heavy alcohol use, and heavy smokers. Some of the treatment would be to counteract the risks such as quitting smoking, reducing caffeine and alcohol use, and getting sleep.

But it's not always so serious or potentially life threatening, it could be your body's response to different stressors such as a fever, emotional distress, medications or illicit drugs, and strenuous exercise. While these are general issues, knowing what your resting heart rate is could be beneficial in knowing if something more serious is happening.

Knowing your body and what your heart rate indicates is imperative to seeing what your fitness level is potentially as well as your general health. When you notice something off you can start to track it and then have a discussion with your doctor regarding the changes. It's simple to check, takes one minute, but could eventually save your life.

Have you got any observations about your heartrate? Let us know in the comments below. Be sure to follow us on instagram for more tips on staying healthy.