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How to Measure Your Heart Rate Quickly

by Sandra Lee on December 26, 2019

Fitness is an important part of health and if you do regular workouts, you might have noticed that many fitness equipment and sports watches can track your heart rate. Ever wondered why?

Monitoring your heart rate during workouts not only maximizes your physical potential but also detects any developing health problems such as Arrhythmias. So, even if you’re not an elite athlete, knowing your average heart rate can give a phenomenal amount of insight into your overall health. And, if you don't like the idea of wearing those "icky" straps to measure heart rate, here’s an easy way how to check it manually.

Part 1. Traditional and Manual Way to Check Your Resting Heart Rate

Measuring heart rate provides a real-time snapshot of your cardio muscle function. Perhaps, any change from the average heart rate can indicate a health problem. For instance, fast pulse signals dehydration or an infection. In emergencies, the pulse rate determines whether the person's heart is pumping or not. So, while checking your resting heart rate, don’t forget to check the rhythm of your pulse too. The heart beats normally at a steady rhythm just like a clock; tick-tock, tick-tock. However, an unsteady or uneven rhythm is a sign of trouble.

Warning: Never check your pulse with the thumb, as the artery in your thumb can interfere with your reading.

check pulse on wrist

Warning: The neck arteries are delicate and sensitive to pressure. Do not take pulses on both neck sides at the same time. It can slow the flow of blood to the brain and lead to fainting.

carotid pulse

Part2. Measure heart rate by Devices

Though the manual traditional methods aren't all that tough, there are other easier and potentially more accurate ways to measure your heart rate. Of course, the most accurate reading comes from a lab test or other clinical method. But since many don't have access to those methods, here are some devices that will work just fine. But this is usually medical equipment, which is less commonly used by individuals and families.

Holter monitor - It is a small, wearable electrocardiogram device that keeps track of your heart rhythm as long as you wear it. Over that time, the Holter monitor continuously measures and detects irregularities in your heart rhythm that an electrocardiogram cannot detect.

Event Monitor - Similar to a Holter monitor, this device is worn on the body but it's only activated once an episode begins. You need to push a button to record the heart’s activity.

adiac event monitor

Chest Strap – Being cheaper than Smartwatches and other methods, it is probably the most economical way to measure your heart rate. It works by reading the small electrical signal that your body sends whenever your heart contracts while pumping. Perhaps, a chest strap tends to be more accurate than Smartwatches. However, you may find it uncomfortable wearing it as it is wrapped tightly around your sternum. Also, it is tough to adjust a chest strap while in motion.

If you’re exercising regularly and making healthy food choices to lose weight, measuring body fat is equally as important as measuring your overall weight. Not only that, but some Smart body fat scales can also even measure your heart rate. The Ugramo Fit Pro Smart Body Scale measures heart rate and heart index using a bio-impedance test. Users could not only their body index data =, but also heart, balance together.

When current flows through the blood to the heart, the heartbeats and changes the impedance value, which calculates the heart rate and heart index. The resting heart rate data and its accuracy of the Ugramo Fit Pro body fat scale are the same as those of the current oximeter tests on the market, ± 3 or so.

 ugramo fit pro
Ugramo Fit Pro - Smart Body Fat Scale Know More!

Heart rate is an essential metric and tracking it is pretty easier with activity trackers and Smartwatches. With an inbuilt heart rate monitor, they offer a very convenient way to measure your heart rate quickly. Some famous names being Fitbit, Apple Watch and Garmin that can measure your heart rate at all times of day while during exercise, typical daily activities and even while you're sleeping. Surprisingly, the Apple Watch Series 5 can also generate a PDF report of your heart rhythm so that you can share it with your doctor.

using smart watch

These exercise machines not only crunch your calories and calculate your distance but also measure your heart rate. While elliptical machines are designed to provide a complete, effective cardiovascular workout, they have heart rate monitors too. You can check periodically to see whether you've reached and are maintaining a good pulse rate.

using treadmill

One of the latest inventions for measuring your heart rate is headphones. Nowadays, there are many brands offering headphones with built-in optical heart rate trackers. Even though you may find them more expensive than other kinds of monitors, they are a great option especially if you want to comfortably and accurately track your heart rate during exercise.

Another easy way to monitor your heart rhythm! You don't need a heart rate monitor or Smartwatch to measure your heart rate; there are Smartphone apps that take advantage of your phone's camera and flash to give you a reading. Some popular ones are Cardiio, Cardiograph and Instant Heart Rate App.

The Cardiio app enables heart rate monitoring for free. Simply place your finger over your Smartphone camera flash for a few seconds and wait for the results. According to research, a Smartphone app can accurately detect an irregular pulse in people with Atrial fibrillation by analyzing signals recorded with their iPhone.


Part 3. What is the Normal or Ideal Heart Rate?

For many adults, a normal heart rate is 60 to 100 beats per minute. Also known as the resting heart rate, it is the number of heart beats per minute while at rest. Athletes may have a higher resting heart rate.

When you are exercising hard, your heart rate may rise to 160 beats per minute or even more, but this is normal. However, a normal heart rate varies from person to person. It rises as you get older, when you’re in stress and when you’re sick. Also, other factors can make your heart beat faster like caffeine, nicotine, recreational drugs and some kinds of medications such as beta-blockers.

Part 4. Need to See a Doctor When These Happen?

Your heart is one hard-working organ that beats more than 100,000 times daily. And it’s essential to take care of it. If you have a heart rate of over 100 bpm when you’re resting or you’re experiencing chest pain with a heart rate lower than 60 bpm, visit a doctor immediately. For those without known heart disease, it can be tricky to know when to see a cardiologist. Here are some symptoms to call a doctor.

The heart is an important organ of the body and you cannot be too lax in taking care of it. Monitor your heart rate today!