Atrial Fibrilation Awareness Week. From 26th November 2013.
Being aware of your pulse is important because it may indicate an abnormal heart rate or rhythm.
It is a good idea to try taking your pulse at various points throughout the day (before and after various activities).
Your pulse rate will change during the day depending on what activity you are doing. This is normal.
To get your baseline pulse and normal rhythm, try taking your resting pulse when you wake in the morning and before going to bed.
Know your Pulse in Four Steps:
1. To assess your resting pulse rate in your wrist, sit down for 5 minutes beforehand. Remember that any stimulants taken before the reading will affect the rate (such as caffeine or nicotine). You will need a watch or clock with a second hand.
2. Take off your watch and hold your left or right hand out with your palm facing up and your elbow slightly bent.
3. With your other hand, place your index and middle fingers on your wrist, at the base of your thumb. Your fingers should sit between the bone on the edge of your wrist and the stringy tendon attached to your thumb. You may need to move your fingers around a little to find the pulse. Keep firm pressure on your wrist with your fingers in order to feel your pulse.
4. Count for 30 seconds and multipy by 2 to get your heart rate in beats per minute. If your heart rhythm is irregular, you should count for 1 minute and do not multiply.