Your pulse is a signal carrier of your body
Whenever you have fallen ill and visited a doctor, you would have noticed that the Doctor takes your hand and checks the pulse near your wrist. This is an age old and proven method of checking what is happening in the body. Hence pulse is also called the “signal carrier” of your whole body.
Pulse rate is an indication of health of your brain, heart and other body parts. Pulse rate examination also helps for people going for weight loss.
What is Pulse?
Pulse is the arterial expansions. Every time the heart pumps in and pumps out the blood, the pulsations are generated. You would be wondering as to why the wrist is held when the doctor monitors the pulse.
In and around the wrist area, the arteries are very close to the skin, hence observing the pulse becomes easier. The pulse or the regular contraction and expansion of the arteries occurring with each heart beat gets affected by a person’s weight too. Having too much weight can cause the heart beats to increase while optimum weight ensures the ideal heart beat level.
A normal human heart beats about 100,000 times in one day which translates to close to 35 million times in a year and more than 2.5 billion times over an average person’s lifetime. This is as many times you will hear your pulse too if you were to monitor it.
Checking Pulse yourself
Pulse rate is regularly monitored for athletes and sportsmen but even if you’re not an athlete, knowledge about your heart rate can help you monitor your fitness level. In fact a regular monitoring of the same can help in spotting any developing health problems. Finding Pulse is not as complicated as one might think. A layman can also test his own pulse. You do not need the Doctor every time you want to check your pulse.
Pulse can be found in the wrists, side of the neck, elbow and the top of foot. Before initiating Pulse exam, one needs to be careful to ensure that he or she is relaxed. He should not have taken a physical activity. In fact the best and precise reading is found in the morning when the person is most relaxed. Proper amount of time should be given during pulse examination. In any hurry, the pulse rate may be found wrong
Checking pulse rate on the wrist is the most common way of finding pulse rate. It is a simple and easy procedure that you can follow yourself:
- Keep your Palm side up and keep your hand in straight position.
- Place the two fingers, usually index figure and middle finger is used, of the other hand on the grooves of your wrist towards the thumb.
- Adjust the position of your fingers and you feel start feeling the Pulsation as you find the right place.
- Start the stopwatch
- Count the number of beats for a minute else double the number of beats you count in 30 seconds. This is your pulse rate per minute.
Normally the heart rate for adults is normally between 60 to 100 beats per minute. For children the usual heart rate is between 60 to 100 per minutes and may vary with age and gender. Any physical activity like exercise, climbing stairs, skipping, rigorous walking, jogging leads to increase in pulse rate which comes back to normal when the person comes to rest again.
If the heart rate is below 60 per minute for a resting adult, this doesn’t mean that he is in serious condition. Sometimes taking drug reduces heart rate because some drugs block the adrenaline. Athletes or people who are very regular to exhaustive physical activity also might have a lower heart rate per minute. However, if your pulse rate is very low and you feel dizzy, you should immediately call for a doctor.
Significance of observing the Pulse rate
The pulse rate is an indicator of your fitness level and clearly indicates the condition of your heart, blood pressure etc. While observing pulse, you can easily make out whether your pulse beats are regular or irregular.
The pulse rate id regular if the pulse keeps beating at a regular rate, while the pulse is irregular if you notice that some beats go missing or the pulse is skipping a beat. If this happens regularly, you should definitely visit the doctor and seek expert advice. Irregular pulse may happen due to sinus arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, paroxysmal atrial tachycardia, atrial flutter, partial heart block etc.
Also, the doctors examine the condition of heart and vascular system by observing the pulse. They can easily distinguish pulse as “weak”, “faint”, “strong”, “bounding”. A weak pulse means low pulse pressure which may happen due to cardiac functioning low, hypervolemia, valvular heart disease etc. A bounding pulse means high pulse pressure which may happen due to increased cardiac output, anxiety, exercise, complete heart block etc.
Pulse has always been most important indicator of the health. Monitoring pulse can help you make wise decisions to manage and considerably improve your health condition. It signifies how the heart is working and if the heart is pumping enough blood.
Irregular or faster beats may indicate breathlessness, dizziness and fainting etc. Pulse rate can be checked after an accident or injury to see if the blood vessel is blocked. Pulse rate can be checked to see if the medicines you are taking are lowering or increasing your heart rate. Pre and after exercising also you can check your pulse to have an idea about your fitness level.