How to Beat a Heart

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Feel your pulse by placing two fingers at pulse points on your neck or wrists.

The pulse you feel is blood stopping and starting as it moves through your arteries. As a kid, your resting pulse might range from 90 to beats per minute.

A medium-depth dive into technology that reads vital signs from video

As an adult, your pulse rate slows to an average of 72 beats per minute. The aorta, the largest artery in the body, is almost the diameter of a garden hose. Capillaries, on the other hand, are so small that it takes ten of them to equal the thickness of a human hair. Your body has about 5.

Urban Dictionary: Heart Beat

This 5. In one day, the blood travels a total of 19, km 12, miles —that's four times the distance across the US from coast to coast.

Causes of heart palpitations

The heart pumps about 1 million barrels of blood during an average lifetime—that's enough to fill more than 3 super tankers. Sound familiar?


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If you listen to your heart beat, you'll hear two sounds. These "lub" and "DUB" sounds are made by the heart valves as they open and close. See the valves in action. Heart rate, also known as pulse, is the number of times a person's heart beats per minute.


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  • Normal heart rate varies from person to person, but a normal range for adults is 60 to beats per minute, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, a normal heart rate depends on the individual, age, body size, heart conditions, whether the person is sitting or moving, medication use and even air temperature.

    Skipping a beat — the surprise of heart palpitations

    Emotions can affect heart rate; for example, getting excited or scared can increase the heart rate. Most importantly, getting fitter lowers the heart rate, by making heart muscles work more efficiently. Knowledge about your heart rate can help you monitor your fitness level, and it may help you spot developing health problems if you are experiencing other symptoms. Some people confuse high blood pressure with a high heart rate. Blood pressure is the measurement of the force of the blood against the walls of arteries, while pulse rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute. There is no direct correlation between the two, and high blood pressure , or hypertension, does not necessarily result in a high pulse rate, and vice versa.

    Heart rate goes up during strenuous activity, but a vigorous workout may only modestly increase blood pressure. For an accurate reading, put two fingers over one of these areas and count the number of beats in 60 seconds. You can also do this for 20 seconds and multiply by three, which may be easier, Bauman said.


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    Using your thumb may be confusing because sometimes you can feel a pulse in the thumb, she said. Your resting heart rate is your pulse when you are calmly sitting or lying. For children ages 6 to 15, the normal resting heart rate is between 70 and bpm, according to the AHA. Active people often have lower heart rates because their heart muscles don't need to work as hard to maintain a steady beat. Athletes and people who are very fit can have resting heat rate of 40 bpm.

    What is Atrial Fibrillation or irregular heart beat?

    A resting heart rate lower than 60 could also be the result of taking certain medications. There is no definitive medical advice on when a resting heart rate is too high, but most medical experts agree that a consistent heart rate in the upper levels can put too much stress on the heart and other organs. If a person has a high heart rate at rest and is experiencing other symptoms, doctors may examine his or her heart function, Bauman said.

    Knowing your heart rate during workout sessions can help know whether you are doing too much or not enough, the AHA says.