How Oxygen Saturation Levels Change During Exercise

How Oxygen Saturation Levels Change During Exercise

Have you ever wondered how your oxygen saturation levels differ throughout your course of exercise? When you exercise, you tend to breathe more rapidly and heavily as your heart rate increases to supply more oxygen to your muscles. As such, many athletes make use of pulse oximeters to ensure sufficient oxygenation. Just by clipping onto your fingertips, these small devices can accurately measure your blood oxygen levels. Your blood oxygen level is usually measured as a percentage and should ideally range between 95-100%.

During exercise, oxygen levels tend to decrease due to changes in the oxygen-binding properties of exercise intensity as well as your health situation.

Hemoglobin Levels during Exercise

Hemoglobin is a protein inside the red blood cells which is responsible for carrying oxygen to the body’s tissues and organs, as well as carbon dioxide from organs back to the lungs. Therefore, hemoglobin levels are reflective of the level of oxygen available in your body. Pulse oximeters work by shining infrared lights into the blood vessels in your finger to measure the percentage of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is different in color depending on the levels of oxygen in the body, which makes measurement possible.

As mentioned previously, oxygen levels are likely to fall during exercise. The human body reacts to lower oxygen levels by increasing the breathing rate. If your body is still not receiving enough oxygen during the exercise, breathing becomes labored and you are likely not able to continue exercising.

Benefits of Measuring Oxygen Levels

There are many benefits when it comes to measuring oxygen levels, whether you are exercising or not. For athletes that frequently engage in vigorous exercise, their oxygen levels can drop drastically during exercise. As such, it is important that they use oximeters to ensure that they have sufficient oxygen. People with respiratory problems also tend to use oximeters to monitor their oxygen levels throughout exercise.

For non-athletes, pulse oximeters tell you how well your body absorbs oxygen so you can check frequently whether or not you are in the healthy range. This is especially true if you are a smoker and likely to have a resting heart rate higher than those who are non-smokers. Your arteries contract as you smoke, which results in your heart having to pump faster and harder to get blood through the veins.

When to See a Doctor

As a general rule of thumb, blood saturation levels should not fall below 90%. If you do see readings below this level, you are strongly recommended to seek professional medical help quickly. A low reading can indicate hypoxemia, where symptoms include headaches and shortness of breath.

Purchase Pulse Rate Oximeters to Monitor Your Heart Rate

Whether or not you have concerns with your heart rate or just want to monitor your oxygen levels, you can simply make use of a fingertip pulse oximeter from LOOKEE® Tech. All of your products are easy-to-use and built to last, so there is no need to worry. Should have any questions or concerns about the use of pulse oximeters, feel free to contact us!