Exercise Physiology Essay

1336 words - 5 pages

Exercise Physiology

This study assessed heart rate, blood pressure, and pulse oximeter readings at rest and during exercise. The heart rate (HR), blood pressure (BP), and oximetery measurements provide better insight into the inner workings of the human body. In using the results of the assessment, one can determine the affects that rest and exercise have on the cardiac system.

Heart rate is described as the rate of the cardiac cycle. Heart rate is measured in beats per minute (bpm). A well conditioned heart is able to pump large amounts of blood with each beat. This is called bradycardia (* 60 bpm). In contrast, a poorly conditioned heart is called tachycardia (* 100). Males have an average resting heart rate between 60-70 bpm, whereas females average between 70-80 bpm. In addition, resting heart rate can be affected by many variables. These include one’s body position, consumption of alcohol or drugs, and fatigue.

Blood pressure is defined as an outward force that distends blood vessel walls, “dependent on the energy of the heart action, elasticity of the arterial walls and volume and viscosity of the blood” (Dorland’s 1995). The standard unit of expressing blood pressure is in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). While testing, there are different sounds or phases heard when using a stethoscope to find blood pressure. These sounds define the measurable blood pressure. The first sound is the systolic BP, which indicates the pressure against the brachial artery as the heart contracts. The last sound heard relates to the diastolic BP, which is the pressure exerted when the heart is relaxed. When recording the BP, the systolic is over the diastolic BP (systolic/diastolic). Measuring resting blood pressure is used to screen for hypertension and also hypotension. It is also used to evaluate influences of medications on the cardiovascular system. The average resting blood pressure is around 120/80 mmHg.

The pulse oximeter is a photoelectric device for determining the oxygen saturation of the blood using the left index finger. In other words, “the machine senses the levels of saturated hemoglobin and will convert that amount to a percent of saturation” (Bilsky 2000). At rest, the normal oximetry reading is 97%. However, because Greeley is above sea level (around 5,000 ft.), the assessment will base the normal measurement at 95%.

Exercise heart rate is used to help an individual utilize a specific energy system and/or condition specific systems of the body. One can utilize exercise to stimulate the heart rate. This is done by walking up and down stairs at different intensities.
The rate of the cardiac cycle is a valid indicator of demands that are required on one’s body. During exercise, BP is indirectly indicated by intensity or exertion levels. The systolic BP is expected to rise because of the increase in cardiac output. Diastolic BP is expected to remain equivalent to resting levels or decrease during...

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