Heart rate:

The term used to describe the frequency of the cardiac cycle is Heart rate. Heart rate is considered to be one of the four vital signs. Generally it is calculated as the number of contractions, which are called heart beats, of the heart in one minute and expressed as beats per minute (bpm). At rest, the adult human heart beats at about 70 bpm (males) and 75 bpm (females), but this rate varies between people to people. Although, the reference range is nominally between 60 bpm (if less termed bradycardia) and 100 bpm (if greater, termed tachycardia). In athletes the resting heart rates can be significantly lower, and significantly higher in the obese. The body can increase the heart rate in response to a wide range and difference of conditions in order to increase the cardiac output. Cardiac output means the amount of blood ejected by the heart per unit time. Exercise, environmental stressors or psychological stress can result in the heart rate to increase above the resting rate.

Measurement of heart rate:

The pulse is the most convenient way of measuring the heart rate, but it can be deceptive when some strokes do not lead to much cardiac output. In these cases the heart rate may be considerably much higher than the pulse. The pulse rate is in most people identical to the heart rate. This can be measured at any point on the body where an artery is close to the surface. These places are wrist (radial artery), neck (carotid artery), elbow (brachial artery), and groin (femoral artery). An electrocardiograph, or ECG, is the most precise and effective method of heart rate measurement. Continuous electrocardiography monitoring of the heart rate is routinely done in many clinical settings. This is done especially in critical care medicine. Commercially available heart rate monitors are also available which consists of a chest strap with electrodes. The signal from ECG is transmitted to a wrist receiver for display. Heart rate monitors allow accurate measurements to be taken constantly and can be used during exercise when manual measurement would be difficult or impossible. It is as well achievable to measure heart rate acoustically, by listening to the sounds the heart makes while beating. These sounds are amplified through the use of a stethoscope.

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Normal resting heart rate:
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Heart Rate
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