Your pulse is the number of beats your heart makes per minute. You can feel a pulse when you press your fingers against the skin where an artery is pumping. For a healthy body, you need a healthy heart, and the pulse is an indicator of how your heart is functioning. A normal human pulse rate varies depending on age, sex, exercise, diet and physical condition. A pulse can be thready, normal or bounding. There are more things your should know about the normal human pulse rate.
How to Find Your Pulse
You can find your radial pulse by touching your wrist, with the palm up, on your thumb side. The same artery extends to the inside of your elbow on the pinkie side of your supinated hand above the elbow. This pulse is called the brachial pulse and is always the sight of blood pressure readings. When a doctor takes his stethoscope and puts the diaphragm over your heart, she is listening to your apical pulse.
Current Healthy Pulse Standards
For adults, the current standard for a normal pulse is 60 to 100 beats per minute. Your pulse rate will be faster when you exercise, are under stress or have a fever. When you're resting, your pulse rate will be slower.
Babies have a pulse range of 120 to 160 beats per minute.
Toddlers' pulse rates drop to 90 to 140 beats per minute.
Preschoolers and kindergartners drop even more, 80 to 110 beats per minute.
Elementary and middle school children have pulses that range from 75 to 100 beats per minute.
Teenagers' pulses equalize with the adult range of pulse.
Women have a pulse rate five to 10 beats higher than men.
Low and Too-Slow Pulse
Athletes train so their hearts pump efficiently and do not strain. With no health problems, the average rate for an athlete's heart at resting rate is often less than 70 beats per minute.
To have a pulse below 60 beats per minute is to have insufficient beating of the heart and weakness in the body. Sometimes, a low heart rate is brought on by vascular heart disease, immunity problems or problems in the electrical firing that sets the heart to pulsate.
A pulse over 100 beats per minute is not healthy unless you are a newborn. A body's circulatory system needs clear passageways in the arteries, veins and capillaries to travel through. Blocked or partially blocked blood vessels are detrimental to cardiovascular health. The heart works harder to pump blood through the blood vessels than it would normally have to work. An adult needs to exercise and eat the right kinds of foods that don't allow buildup of fat and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the arteries.
Unhealthy Pulse Signs
A sign of an unhealthy pulse is a bounding pulse that you can see throbbing on the surface of the skin. You should not see a pulse unless you are a surgeon operating on the heart itself. Normally, pulses should be felt or heard through a stethoscope. Another abnormal sign is a weak, thready pulse. It shows that the heart is not operating efficiently to allow blood to travel.
What Are the Causes of a Low Pulse Rate?
By checking your pulse, you can determine your heart rate. It can be checked on your wrist or your neck (at your...
What Is the Normal Pulse Rate for Men?
Your pulse rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute. And while pulse rates vary from person to person,...
Normal Pulse Rate for a Male
The normal, resting heart rate, sometimes referred to as a “pulse rate,” for a healthy male changes throughout his life, as what...
Normal Pulse Rate for Teenagers
Adolescent bodies go through tremendous changes, and sometimes it is difficult to gauge appropriate cardiovascular health for teenagers. Resting and target pulse...
Normal Pulse Rate in Pregnancy
The heart is the most important organ in the body. It pumps through your body the blood necessary to live and function....
What Is the Average Heart Rate?
The average human heart rate, or what is considered to be a normal heart rate, is between 60 and 100 beats per...
Normal Resting Pulse Rate for Men
Your pulse is the rate at which your heart beats per minute. Your resting pulse, or heart rate, is a strong indicator...
Normal Pulse Rates for Women
Many people know how to take a pulse, but not everyone knows if what they are reading is a good thing or...
Normal Range of the Human Pulse Rate
Pulse rate refers to vibration in an artery produced by the heart's action, and counted in beats per minute. Human pulse rates...
How to Take Pulse on Various Parts of the Body
Pulse refers to the rhythmical throbbing of an artery caused by the regular contractions of the heart. It can be felt on...
How to Check the Pulse in a Foot
Various pulse points exist on the human body -- such as on the temple, wrist or foot. Physicians check the different pulse...