Having a resting heart rate greater than 80 beats a minute quadruples your chances of developing a heart attack. A strong heart pumps large amounts of blood with each beat and doesn’t have to beat as often, so a rapid heart rate often means that you have a weak heart.
The most accurate time to take your pulse is when you first open your eyes in the morning, because your heart speeds up when you move, eat, think, or take stimulants in coffee, alcohol, tea, soft drinks, cigarettes or certain medications. When you first wake up in the morning, place your fingers on the side of your neck where you feel the beat and count for sixty seconds (or use a heart rate monitor). If your resting pulse rate is greater than eighty beats a minute and you are not sick or taking stimulants, check with your doctor; you may have something wrong with your heart.
February 1, 2006