A lot of people use the terms heart rate and pulse rate interchangeably. One reason for this is because these two terms are closely related to each other and the results are the same in most cases. However, it is very important to understand that although they are very similar, they are still different. If you are interested in knowing what the differences are, continue reading below.
In order to cite the differences, let us first define each one of them.
What is heart rate? The heart rate directly involves the movements and activities of the heart which are mainly controlled by the nervous system particularly the autonomic nervous system. When the heart pumps blood to the different parts of the body, it contracts. This contraction is often referred to as the beating of the heart. Heart rate, therefore, is achieved by counting the times the heart contracted per minute. This is a very important number in order to determine if your heart is healthily pumping or not.
What is pulse rate? The pulse also involved the heart but not directly. People often get their pulse rate by feeling the wrists. This is because whenever your heart contracts and pumps blood, the major arteries of the body receive the blood. Because of the rush of blood, the arteries will have to expand to accommodate the blood flow each time the heart contracts. This is the reason why you get a pulsing sensation whenever you place your hand on your wrists. This is also true for other areas where the major arteries are located such as the neck area below the jaw line.
Heart rate and pulse rate results are often the same. This is because they are both associated with the contraction of the heart. However, there are also times when the figures are not the same. There are certain conditions that lead to inefficient contraction of the heart. The heart may contract but may not be able to push so much blood therefore there is too little blood that flows to the arteries. If the blood is too little, the arteries do not need to expand and therefore there will be no pulse. In this case, the heart may contract a lot but may not be able to generate the same number of pulses. When this happens, you should go to the hospital immediately because this is an emergency situation. This means that your heart is not in a very good condition and immediate medical attention is advised.
It is essential to check your heart rate and pulse rate regularly. It is said that the lower your heart rate and pulse rate are, the better your heart condition is. This is because the heart does not need to contract so much to pump sufficient amount of blood. This means that one pump is enough to cater blood flow to the different organs. When the heart does not pump so much, it does not become overworked and it can keep its healthy condition.