The measure of the heart rate is known as pulse. It is an indication of the heart rhythm, heart rate and strength of blood flow.
For a normal adult, the pulse should range from about 60 to 100 beats per minutes. In general, women have a higher pulse rate than men.
Pulse rate can be affected by a number of factors. These include pregnancy, weight, age, fitness, injury, stress and emotional levels, time of day and genetics.
These factors can affect the pulse in a number of ways. An athlete may have a resting heart rate of 50 beats per minute, while a sedentary obese person may have a resting heart rate of 85.
In times of stress or injury, heart rates can increase.
For most people, the pulse rate is lowest first thing in the morning before rising. It gives the best heart-rate-at-rest reading.
During pregnancy the circulatory system is under increased demand by the growing fetus. This often makes the heart rate increase a little. In general, the increase goes from 70 beats per minute to 85 to 90 beats per minute. It is important that the woman’s heart rate is monitored throughout the pregnancy.
During exercise the heart rate can rise quickly. In a healthy, active adult this pulse rate should maintain between 90 to 120 beats per minute.