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Period 6


Science Fair Research


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I have chosen to do this project because, as an athlete myself, I have wondered what affects pulse rate. When coming across this project, I though it interesting to figure out what the difference in pulse rate was between athletes and non-athletes. The purpose of my experiment is to figure out whether or not, after strenuous exercise, the pulse rates stabilize faster in athletes than non-athletes.


Pulse Rate


The pulse rate is the number of times a personís heart beats in one minute. This varies on a personís age and level of fitness. This is usually equal to the personís heart rate, unless there are problems of the heart. The pulse rate rises to meet the strain of an activity, and then stabilizes as you rest. The amount of increases and decreases in pulse rate and the speed of recovery increase as a person becomes more fit. A person between the ages of eight through fourteen should have an average pulse rate of eighty-four beats per minute. As a person gets older, the average stable pulse rate is becomes lower. When a person is a child, especially a newborn, the resting pulse rate is at its highest point.


A pulse is usually described in terms of its rate, which is the number of beats per minute (bpm). However, the rhythm and strength of the heartbeat can also be found, as well as whether the blood vessel feels hard or soft. A doctor should look at any irregular rhythms, weak pulses, or hard blood vessels found. It is not safe to put yourself through any physical exertion or exercise that increases the pulse rate beyond the normal limit. Pulse rate can be affected my many things. Certain medications, caffeine and cigarette smoking can affect the test of the pulse rate.


When you exercise, have a fever or are under stress, your heart rate speeds up to meet your bodyís increased need for oxygen and nutrients that are carried in the blood. As a result of this, the pulse rate varies from minute to minute. The pulse rate is usually measured after a person has rested for ten minutes or longer, unless testing fitness level or in an emergency situation. This is called the resting pulse rate and is an accurate, simple test of the health of the heart and circulatory system.


There are also many factors that can produce abnormal resting heart rate. Some factors that cause pulse rates above normal are fever, stress, overactive thyroid glands, certain stimulants (which include caffeine, asthma medications, diet pills and cigarettes) and different forms of heard disease. Heart medications and also various forms of heart disease can cause pulse rates that are below the normal resting pulse rate. Fitness programs that involve aerobic exercise (running, swimming and fast walking) can gradually reduce the rate or your resting pulse rate.


A pulse rate can be tested by anyone. Putting pressure on an artery, on which pulsations can be felt, does this. The most commonly used artery is located on the forearm, just below the thumb. Pulse can also be felt behind the knee, on top of the foot, or in the neck, temple or groin. The average pulse rate for adults is between sixty and one hundred beats per minute, while a well-trained athlete can maintain an average of forty to sixty beats per minute. To find the maximum pulse rate, subtract your age from two hundred and twenty, and a healthy average rate is sixty to eighty percent of this.


There are many reasons pulse rates are measured. It can determine the health and function of the heart and also whether the heart is pumping enough blood. Pulse rate is used to test circulation in an injury or a part of the body with a blocked blood vessel. Doctors also use this to monitor certain medical conditions, or medications given to slow down the heart rate. An important reason pulse rate is measured is to test a personís overall health and physical fitness. Measuring your pulse rate at rest, during or immediately after exercise provides you with important information about your general physical condition.


Circulatory System


On average, your body has about five liters of blood continually traveling through it by way of the circulatory system. The heart, the