The Effect of Exercise on Pulse Rate

The Effect of Exercise on Pulse Rate

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Hypothesis

During a period of exercise pulse rate will increase.

Plan

I will need only a stopwatch and no other apparatus for my experiment.
I will rest for five minutes and then take my resting pulse rate and
record it. I will rest to make sure that it is fair and that my pulse
has not been raised by anything. I will then do step up exercises for
five minutes on a 10cm step and rest for five minutes after that. I
will take my pulse every minute during the exercise and every minute
for five minutes afterwards to find my recovery rate. To make the test
safe I will make sure that I drink plenty of water and wear trainers
to protect my ankles from injury. The variables which I will keep the
same to make it a fair test are the period of time for which I
exercise and when I take my pulse rate. My independent variable will
be the time for which I exercise and my dependant variable will be my
pulse rate. I will repeat the experiment three times to get an
accurate result. I will measure my pulse in beats per minute (bpm) and
the time in minutes (min).

I predict that my pulse rate and rate of respiration will increase as
a result of exercise. I think that there will be a gradual increase to
begin with, but as the body has to work harder I think that the heart
will then increase at a faster rate. When the exercise is complete I
think that the heart rate will gradually decrease back to the resting
pulse rate.

I predict this because the supply of Oxygen to the muscles will
decrease which will push the pulse rate up. I also think that a lot of
energy will be used up as the exercise takes place, resulting in a
further increase. If the body is unable to continue aerobic
respiration anaerobic respiration will take place. This results in
lactic acid being formed.

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Finally, the carbon dioxide levels would
also rise which would also contribute to the heart rate rising.

[IMAGE]


Results

Time (min)

Pulse Rate (bpm)

1st repetition

2nd repetition

3rd repetition

Average

0

65

65

64

65

1

69

68

70

69

2

100

96

92

96

3

116

120

123

120

4

139

143

141

141

5

142

149

147

146

6

117

119

123

120

7

79

100

84

88

8

70

84

68

74

9

66

74

64

68

10

64

64

64

64

[IMAGE]

Conclusion

My graph shows that the heart rate did not increase a huge amount for
the first minute but then increased very steeply for most of the rest
of the exercise. However, during the final minute of exercise the
heart rate does not increase much at all. This happened because the
supply of Oxygen to the muscles decreased, a lot of energy will be
used up as the exercise took place, the body was unable to continue
aerobic respiration and anaerobic respiration took place. This
resulted in lactic acid being formed. Finally, the carbon
dioxidelevels also rose which also contributed to the pulse rate
rising.

Whilst I was exercising my pulse increased because cell respiration in
muscles increased, so the level of carbon dioxide in my blood rose. My
brain detects this so sent a signal to my lungs to breathe faster and
deeper. This causes an increase in gas exchange, with Haemoglobin
transporting the Oxygen to the muscles. The brain also sends a signal
to the heart to beat faster causing an increase in pulse rate and
venous return. This caused my muscles to squeeze on my veins sending
more blood back to the heart making my stroke volume rise. So cardiac
output rises to as heart rate x stroke volume = cardiac output. This
means that more oxygen reaches the muscles and more carbon dioxide is
carried away.

When I finished exercising, the graph tells us that during the next
two minutes the heart rate falls very dramatically however it does not
return immediately to the resting pulse rate. This is because during
the exercise anaerobic respiration begins to take place therefore the
body has to pay back that oxygen when it is resting due to oxygen
debt. Therefore, when the exercise is complete the body's heart rate
does not immediately return to the normal resting pulse rate. This is
because of the pay back the body has to complete first. Two minutes
after the exercise is complete the decrease rate then begins to
gradually fall as the pay back becomes complete.

Evaluation

I think that my results where quite accurate but I am not sure that my
experiment was as I tired towards the end and the rate of exercise
decreased slightly. This should not effect the results though as I
kept going at quite a steady pace.

If I did this experiment again I would use a pulse meter which would
have helped the experiment to be more accurate. This would be able to
produce a more accurate pulse rate.

Also I could have used a piece of equipment for example a treadmill as
this would make the results more accurate because I would be able to
maintain a constant rate of exercise throughout this experiment.

Another useful test I could have used is the maximum oxygen uptake or
VO2 Max; this measures the ability of the heart, lungs, blood and
blood vessels to transport oxygen to the muscles. I could not use this
test though as specialist equipment is required to measure expired
oxygen.
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