How to Take Your Pulse
You need nothing more than a finger or two to obtain your pulse the good old-fashioned way. The University of Massachusetts–Boston's Scott Crouter suggests practicing at home, to start, while sitting in a chair with a watch or
1. First, locate the radial artery on the thumb side of your wrist and, using your index and middle finger, count your pulse for 10 seconds.
2.Then, multiply that number by 6, which gives you your heart rate per minute.
Some tips to take to heart:
• Don't use your thumb, which has its own heartbeat and could lead to an inaccurate count, to measure your pulse.
• Don't attempt to take your pulse on your neck, because if you press too hard on the carotid artery in the neck it can slow your heart down and be an inaccurate measure. This can even be dangerous for people with heart disease.
• Once you take the show on the road and are measuring your pulse during exercise, try not to stop to take your pulse too often or for too long, as it can lead to unreliable results—and spoil your workout.
• If you're a gadget hound, heart rate monitors can make target heart rate training a much easier and often more accurate process, by providing continuous heart rate tracking and feedback. Good, basic models, which typically include a watch and a transmitter that fastens across your chest, start at about $60 and run all the way up to several hundred dollars more. A higher price usually buys you additional features: Some monitors will estimate calories burned as you work out; track heart rate data over weeks, months, or years and allow you to download that information to your computer; or let you set your target heart rate zone and then beep when you fall out of that range to remind you to slow down or speed up.