Taking your pulse is an easy way to check the overall health of your heart, says Kenneth Ellenbogen, MD, vice-chairman of cardiology at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Medical College of Virginia Hospitals in Richmond. To take your pulse, place the first two fingers of one hand lightly on the inside of the opposite wrist, just below the thumb. Count the number of beats in 10 seconds and multiply that number by 6. The normal range while at rest is 60 to 100 beats per minute. Highly trained athletes can have rates in the 40s. Take your pulse first thing in the morning before you get out of bed. If your heart rate changes significantly, check with your doctor.