The Effect of Exercise on Pulse Rate

The Effect of Exercise on Pulse Rate

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The Effect of Exercise on Pulse Rate

What is a Pulse

In Physiology, a pulse is where there is a recurring opening out of
the biggest blood vessels (Arteries). This is a consequence of a
coherent flow of blood being propel around the body. The muscle that
is responsible for this surge of blood is the Heart. I know that by
taking 220 and subtracting your age you can find your maximum pulse
rate, because your muscles rely on oxygen it is important that I
understand how oxygen is transported to the bodies cells. Oxygen is
picked up by haemoglobin which is contained by red blood cells. In the
lungs haemoglobin becomes ox haemoglobin and the via versa happens
when the oxygen is removed by the cells. Oxygen is also used in cell
metabolism as it is a reactant. Now I will explain a bit about cell

Cell Metabolism

Metabolism is a chemical process where chemical reactions take place
in the cells of a living organism, transforming energy, sustaining
there distinctiveness and duplicating. All life forms can only survive
because of many simultaneous and regulated metabolic reactions. Each
of these reactions is triggered and controlled by a particular cell
enzyme or catalyst.

Here is the formula for cell metabolism:

Glucose + Oxygen -----> Carbon Dioxide + Energy

Metabolic reactions are split up into two forms that are both
singularly recognisable, These are named anabolism and catabolism.
Anabolism, or constructive metabolism, is the process of synthesis
required for the growth of new cells and the maintenance of all
tissues. Catabolism, or destructive metabolism, is a continuous
process concerned with the production of the energy required for all
external and internal physical activity. Catabolism necessitates the
continuous continuation of a set body temperature, and the breaking
down of complex chemical units into simpler substances that can be
actively removed as waste products from the body through the Kidneys,
Intestines, Lungs and Skin.

When the anabolism process exceeds the catabolism process either
growth or weight gain occurs.

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and when catabolism exceeds anabolism,
usually during times of disease weight loss occurs. Extreme versions
of this is called either obesity or anorexia. If anyone in our group
suffers from obesity or anorexia it is a problem as they are often
either to over/under weight to work and it can be a huge health risk,
so their partners will have to do all the work whilst they record the

Cell metabolism is closely linked to cell respiration because
respiration ----> energy production. Here is a bit about cell

Cell Respiration

The idiom respiration is used to refer to the emancipation of energy,
inside the cell, from fuel molecules such as carbohydrates and fats.
Carbon dioxide and water are the commodities of this development,
which is from time to time called cellular respiration to
differentiate it from the physical procedure of breathing. Cellular
respiration is comparable in most organisms.

A normal amount of activity uses the process of aerobic respiration.
For example walking, Jogging would use aerobic respiration, and they
both usually last longer than 2 minutes at the same pace. Here is a
bit about Aerobic respiration.

Aerobic Energy

Aerobic respiration is a biochemical process, this indicates that it
involves the practical uses of both chemistry and biology. Aerobic
respiration involves the use of living organisms, and is where sugar
and similar energy giving substances that are multiples of the process
of the digestion of food, are broken down in the presence of oxygen,
water, carbon dioxide and energy. Aerobic is actually derived from
Latin and mean 'with oxygen'. This reaction can be presented in a
chemical equations, and although this may be irrelevant to the actual
practical it would be somewhat, useful to put it into my SKU.

C6H12O 6+ 6O2→ 6CO2+ 6H2O + energy

If I was to explain this it would be where sugar and oxygen react
together to produce carbon dioxide and water with the release of
chemical energy. This is the confirmation that chemistry is present in
aerobic energy. The term respiration is also used for a physical
process that is present in all living organisms, breathing. This is a
process where all loving organisms obtain oxygen from the surrounding
air and water. To distinguish this from the biochemical process of
aerobic respiration and the closely related anaerobic respiration are
sometimes called cellular respiration

Anaerobic respiration is used in over activity. It is used in the
opposite situations to aerobic and also uses different substances to
aerobic. Here is a bit about anaerobic respiration.

Anaerobic Energy

Anaerobic respiration, is also, like aerobic energy a biochemical
process involving both the application of chemistry and biology. It is
also known as anaerobiosis. It is where sugar and similar substances
are broken down to release energy in the absence of oxygen. Aerobic
means in Latin 'without oxygen'. It thus differs from the allied
process of aerobic respiration, which requires the presence of oxygen.
In the absence of oxygen ATP Adenosine Trio-phosphate is used as a
substitute. If anaerobic respiration is used there is a build up of
lactic acid which is undesirable as it creates oxygen debt. Here is
what Lactic acid is and what it does.

Lactic Acid

Lactic acid is the common name for common name for a
2-hydroxypropanoic acid, which is a colourless compound of formula
CH3CHOHCOOH. It is a toxin that can occur in the blood and in muscles
and in fluids and organs. They are nomadically produced by body
tissues, primarily muscles that obtain there energy from metabolising
their sugar in the absence of oxygen. If there is a build up of lactic
acid in the muscles it will lead to lethargy and cramp. As mentioned
above a build up of lactic acid created an oxygen debt as there is a
shortage of oxygen to satisfy the muscles. Here is what oxygen debt is
and how it effect you.

Oxygen Debt

In animal and human muscle cells that are working at a particularly
vigorously the blood circulation cannot match the need for oxygen so
aerobic respiration cannot occur. This situation is commonly known as
oxygen debt, and with the accumulation of lactic acid cramps can
occur. As the workload decreases the oxygen levels also begin to rise,
and this replacement of oxygen is used to break down the lactic acid


The apparatus I will be using to help me perform the practical will be
as followed:

Ÿ STOP WATCH - I will use the stop watch to time the heart rate to a

Ÿ METRE STICK - I will use the metre stick to measure the distance me
and my partner will have to run, as without a set distance it will
become an unfair test.

Ÿ PEOPLE - In this experiment I will also require the use of a partner
so that we can measure each others pulse rate and distance running.

Ÿ PEN & PAPER - I will need a pen and paper so that I can record my

Ÿ TRAINERS AND FLEXIBLE CLOTHING - These will be used as a safety
precaution as they help to keep the person doing practical work
comfortable and also aid in prevention of injury.

Ÿ 4 CONES - To mark out where the people have to move from and to.

Ÿ SKIPPING ROPE - I will use the skipping rope for skipping in the
second most strenuous exercise.

I believe this equipment is the most suitable for the requirements of
the assessment as it will give me the most precise results available
to me. Also I think that it will allow me to commit the practical in
the most straightforward way possible.


I have taken out a number of precautions to make sure that my
practical is as accurate as is expected with the resources available.
Firstly to make the test accurate everyone in my group will have to do
the same exercises, in the same order as we have not investigated
whether doing the exercises in a different order will effect the pulse

The person I am paired up with will also have to be of the approximate
same structure and fitness as me, as if they are noticeably fitter or
via versa it will have an effect on there result and therefore mine.
This will be so I can compare my results with him and know that they
are somewhat reliable, but I will have to keep the person doing all
the practical work the same as everything that differentiates them
from myself and others can have an effect on there pulse rate. This
means that the results cannot be as reliable as possible.

I will use the same equipment as well, as for example there may be
slight variations between the metre ruler and the metre wheel, which
could effect the end result of the practical.

To get an accurate test I will also have only one variable, this will
also be a key feature in the fair test, the variable with obviously be
the exercise done.

It is a fact that unless the use of a stethoscope is readily available
no one in our practical can measure a heart beat directly or
specifically accurately. Everyone in our group will be using the
carotid artery to measure the pulse rate, the reason being is that the
heart beat can be measured most accurately in this particular artery
without being obtrusive of your partner. It will also keep the
experiment fair as the undulations of pressure can be sensed as a
pulse as the arteries walls expand in preparation for the blood surge.
To quantify the pulse rate is comparable to calculating the heart rate
with the exception there is a negligible interval relating the beat
and the pulse.

All the practical work must also be done on the same day as the person
may be feeling different on other days and this and other factors will
have a pronounced effect on the results. I will also use the
multimedia science software to try and see if my results were
anomalous and to help me gain backup results.


As this experiment involves using people as Guinea pigs, the test will
have to be as safe as possible, it will evidently be the most
important precedence. Firstly we must take into account the heat, if
it is rather hot, as it is at present, we will have protect ourselves
from the sun and try to keep ourselves as cool as possible. I will try
to ensure this by providing myself and others with the right quantity
of water available, as this will stop them dehydrating and help them
with the heat. We will all wear trainers as they will help in
preventing injury and also in making us comfortable whilst doing these
strenuous exercises.


1.) PUT ON PE KIT AND TRAINERS - I will put my PE kit and trainers on
first so that I let my body adapt to the new clothing whilst I set up
my apparatus.

2.) MEASURE DISTANCE OF 60 METRES - This is where I use the metre
wheel to measure the distance between 1-60 metres, this is the space
for the people to travel from and too.

3.) SET UP EQUIPMENT - After I have initially measured the distance, I
will have to clearly mark it out so that the people moving will be
able to recognise where to start and stop from. I will do this with
cones. I will place 2 cones at the beginning and two cones at the end.
(see diagram at end of method to view what it will look like)

4.) GATHER ALL OTHER EQUIPMENT NEEDED - I will now gather all other
equipment needed in a small pile so it is easily accessible, I will
have on me my stop watch, my pen and paper. These will be to record
results and time the beats per second.

5.) GET PARTNER INTO POSITION - I will then get my partner (Paul
Pavit) into a starting position, standing, and measure with the stop
watch his resting heart rate, I will make sure he will not have done
any strenuous exercise for at least 20 minutes before the practical.
After measuring his pulse rate I will then record this on a table.

6.) WALKING - Now I will get Paul to take a leisurely walk 60 metres
and then stop him and record his heart rate.

7.) RECOVERY PERIOD - I will the get Paul to sit down and relax for a
desirable 4 minutes and let his exercise rate fall down to his resting

8.) JOGGING - After me and Paul decide his heart rate has returned to
normal and Paul is happy to carry on I will then ask him to Jog 60
metres, and stop, I will then record his heart rate again for a

9.) SECOND RECOVERY PERIOD - This is the second recovery period which
should take a little longer than the last one as he has done slightly
more strenuous exercise. Once Paul's heart rate is back to resting
rate I will ask him if he wishes to proceed onto skipping.

10.) SKIPPING - If Paul wishes to carry on I will then hand him a
skipping rope, he will then skip 60 metres, to make this fair I will
record the time for this one and he will do an approximate of 1 skip
per second. I will then stop him and record his pulse rate.

11.) THIRD RESTING PERIOD - This will be the third and final resting
period where Paul can relax and bring his heart rate down to resting
rate again. Once this has happened I will give him a small brief on
what has happened so far and if we have any anomalies, then I will ask
him if he wishes to proceed.

12.) SPRINTING - This is the most strenuous exercise so I will force
Paul to take some water before hand in the resting period so that I am
sure he will not become to dehydrated. I will then get Paul to sprint
60 metres and stop, yet again recording his pulse rate. Then the
experiment will have ended and I will analyse my results pack all
equipment away and compare then with other peoples.


Here is a table where I will record my results
































With the scientific knowledge that I have gathered, I can for a
conclusion that as the exercise rate is escalates the heart rate will
also intensify. I can say this because it is already confirmed that
the blood which is pumped around by the heart contains oxy-haemoglobin
which supplies the muscles with oxygen. This in theory means that the
heart will be pumping faster as the demand for oxygen from the muscles
is increasing. So as the supply of oxygen decreases because it is
being use up quicker, the heart needs to pulsate quicker, bringing the
average pulse rate up.

The final reason I believe that the heart rate will increase is
because with the increase in the exercise the continuation of aerobic
respiration will be impossible and anaerobic respiration will take
place, this will result in lactic acid being formed and CO2 levels
will increase raising the heart rate.

I also think that the increase will be slight at the beginning as the
demand for oxygen will increase gradually at first because there will
be a supply of oxygen already present in the bloody, but as this is
used up the demand will increase and another factor in the increase
will be the use of energy which will increase the more strenuous the
exercise is.
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