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Using Pulse Oximeters To Measure An Exercise Program

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Heart disease can take several forms, including high blood pressure. Also called hypertension, high blood pressure is where the heart works harder and movement of blood is restricted through the blood vessels. Another form of heart disease is congestive heart failure, which is when the heart cannot pump hard enough to supply enough blood flow throughout the body. Coronary heart disease is also a form of the disease, which is caused by the heart not getting enough blood and oxygen, because the arteries have become clogged by cholesterol.

Although a proper diet plays a role in helping decrease the incidence of heart disease, experts say lack of exercise is the major risk factor for heart disease. Exercise helps reduce stress, raises the amount of good cholesterol and reduces the amount of bad cholesterol, and helps prevent blood clots that can lead to heart attack and stroke.

Exercise also aids in weight loss by decreasing the amount of fat and increasing muscle mass.

Exercising 30 to 40 minutes three times a week can help reduce the risk of heart disease. For those at increased risk of heart disease, exercise should be in the range of 30 minutes five times a week.

Walking, taking the stairs or gardening, are activities that are on the less-strenuous end of the exercise spectrum. Activities such as jogging, cycling or swimming are higher-level exercises.

Any exercise program should focus on the target heart rate, which should be within 50 to 58 percent of an individual’s maximum heart rate. The heart rate is measured while exercising, allowing a person to monitor the effectiveness of a fitness program.

An effective tool for monitoring an individual’s level of fitness is a pulse oximeter, a piece of home homecare medical equipment that measures the amount of oxygen in the blood. The advantage of the device is that it does not require a blood sample to test the amount of oxygen. It is portable, and can be used anywhere, anytime.

Clipped to the patient’s body, usually a finger or ear lobe, the pulse oximeter can also measure one’s heart rate. It helps determine whether an individual needs to reduce or stop his or her activity level, or needs more oxygen administered.

Found with other home healthcare supplies, a pulse oximeter allows a person to monitor his or her pulse rate throughout the day, at rest and while exercising. It is extremely portable, as well as quick, simple and convenient to use, and is smaller than the typical cell phone.

Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information about homecare medical equipment, please visit

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