Your heart is one of the most powerful muscles in your body. It pumps blood around your body to keep you alive. It shows how healthy you are. Your pulse rate is worked out on how many times your heart beats (or pumps) per minute. To feel your pulse, place your middle finger on the inside of your wrist or neck (next to your throat). When you find the beat, ask a friend to time one minute while you count how many times your heart beats.
We measure resting pulse rates and active pulse rates. It is best to take your resting pulse rates before you get out of bed in the morning. The average person’s resting pulse is 72 beats per minute. People that are very fit can go down to 40 beats per minute. Unfit people can go up to 100 beats per minute. Active pulse rates are taken after exercise. If you sprint 100m your pulse will automatically quicken. Your level of fitness is measured on how quickly your pulse rate returns to normal.
For example, take John and Joe. They both sprint the 100m. They come first and second place. John’s pulse is 89 immediately after the race and Joe’s is 95. The two boys take their pulse rates two minutes later. John’s is 70 and Joe’s is 82. This shows us that John has recovered faster than Joe, so he is fitter than his friend.
Divide into pairs!
Help each other take your resting and active pulse rates then fill in the table below:
You have now warmed up and can measure how your heart recovers after exercise. Fill in the table below:
How quickly did you recover? If your pulse rate returned to normal after one minute it means that you are fit. If it took two minutes, then you know you can get fitter. Fitter means healthier too.
Now that you have an idea of how fit your heart is, you can make up a mini fitness routine to do in pairs.
- Make your own table like the one below and add your own exercises. Remember to use exercises that show locomotion and rotation.
- Do this twice and see if your pulse changes in either of them. This shows how much effort you put into exercising.
- Write down all your times and pulse rates.