Taking regular exercise is an important part of pulmonary rehabilitation for patients with COPD.
Checking your pulse or heart beat frequently, during exercise helps you know if your working within your “target heart rate range” and is one measure used to determine how hard your working.
If you’re not used to checking your pulse : practice taking your pulse at rest first. (while watching TV or sitting quietly)
To check your heart beat or pulse, you may choose either the “carotid” pulse or the “radial pulse”.
The radial pulse
To checkuse the radial pulse:
- Place palm up.
- Use index and middle fingers.
- Follow thumb down to base and 1″ past wrist.
- Locate the long bone on the thumb side. (radial bone)
- Slide index and middle finger into groove pressing lightly.
- Count the number of throbs. They correspond exactly to the beats of the heart.
To use the carotid pulse:
- Place fingertips gently on one side of you neck below the jawbone and halfway between you main neck muscles and windpipe.
- Count the number of throbs. They correspond exactly to the beats of the heart. Do not count pulse in both sides of the neck at once because you may cut off circulation.
- Avoid rubbing up and down because this decreases the heart rate.
For either pulse : count your heart beat for 6 seconds, then multiply the number by 10, to get your heart beat.