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How can I tell if my heart rate is too fast?

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.

See High Resting Heart Rate Unsafe

Checked 1/14/16

May 19th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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