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Heart Rate

Knowing your heart rate is very important because it allows you to monitor your fitness levels. But first you need to understand how to find it and what it means. There are several spots on your body where you can check your heart rate such as:

  • Wrists
  • Inside of your elbow
  • Side of your neck
  • Top of your foot

The easiest way to check these spots is by placing your index and middle finger on the area and counting how many beats happen in 1 minute. But what should your heart rate be? A normal resting heart rate for adults should be between 60 and 100 beats per minute. If someone is a well-trained athlete, it may be somewhere around 40 beats per minute. There are several factors that can affect your heart rate including:

  • Age
  • Fitness or activity level
  • Being a smoker
  • Having cardiovascular disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Air temperature
  • Body position
  • Emotions
  • Body size
  • Medications

If you are not a trained athlete and you find that your heart rate in consistently higher than 100 BPM or lower than 60 BPM this could be a sign of an underlying problem. More signs of an underlying problem include fainting, dizziness, and shortness of breath. If you are experiencing these along with a high or low heart rate you should contact your doctor.