People can check their heartbeats by counting the number of times the heart beats in 60 seconds; a normal resting heart rate should fall between 60 and 100 beats per minute. Strong pulse points include wrists, the side of the neck, the inside of the elbow and the top of the foot, according to the American Heart Association.
A lower than average heart rate is not always cause for alarm. Regular exercise can slow heart rate to as low as 40 beats per minute becausethe heart does not have to work as hard to pump blood. Drugs such as beta blockers can also slow heart rate.
Bradycardia is the medical term for a heart that beats too slowly to support normal bodily functions. Aside from a slow heart rate, other symptoms of bradycardia include feeling tired, feeling dizzy, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, chest pain, difficulty concentrating or fainting, according to WebMD. People experiencing these symptoms should test their heart rates and call a doctor if their pulses areslow or uneven.
Doctors diagnose bradycardia through a test called an electrocardiogram, which measures the electrical signals from the heart. Patients may also be asked to wear cardiac event monitors becausebradycardia can come and go.