Harvard Men's Health Watch

Feel the beat

Your resting heart rate can be an instant measure of your present and future health.

heart rate pulse
Image: Bigstock

One of the easiest ways to gauge your health can be done in 30 seconds with two fingers. Measuring your resting heart rate (RHR), the number of heartbeats per minute while at rest, provides a real-time snapshot of your heart muscle function.

It is easy to do. Place your index and middle finger on your wrist just below the thumb, or on your neck to one side of your throat, so you can feel your pulse. Use a watch to count the number of beats for 30 seconds and double it to get your beats per minute. Repeat a few times to get an accurate reading. A normal RHR for most adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute.

To ensure you get an accurate RHR reading, follow these steps:

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