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"Sport Medicine Journal" No.6 - 2006

Heart rate monitoring and the physiologic basis of using it, in exercise intensity dosage

Ursta Anghel Mihai Relu
August Krogh Institute, Department of Human Physiology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark


The aim of this article was to observe the relationship between heart rate (HR) and maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max), as well as the possibility of using HR in determining intensity level during physic exercises.

Many changes occur prior, at the onset and during the exercise, in response to its duration and intensity. The main reason is to assure in the shortest time the required energy. These adaptations consist in increase of cardiac output (CO) based on increasing HR and stroke volume (SV) and blood flow within the working muscles and further increment of oxygen consumption VO2. In submaximal exercise intensity it was found that the contribution of aerobic energy production increases in time. The relationship between HR and VO2max is not linear within low exercise intensity. It tends to become more linear as the exercise intensity increase. One explanation in this regard, can be the increase in SV found within high exercise intensities.

Key words: 

heart rate, VO2max heart debit

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