It all starts with your heart rate

PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence) is all about your heart rate, otherwise known as your pulse. Any time your heart rate is elevated, you can earn PAI. This includes activities at any intensity level, such as walking around your neighbourhood, bicycling, swimming and more — with higher intensity activities, those that get your heart rate beating faster, earning the most amount of PAI in the shortest period of time.

PAI focuses on your heart rate, your cardiovascular health, as it impacts many areas of health. Most notably, by maintaining a PAI Score of 100 or more, you can lower your risk of cardiovascular and lifestyle disease mortality on average by 25%. Maintaining your PAI Score can also help you achieve other health goals such as sleeping better, lowering your stress levels, and more energy for everyday activities.

What exactly is your heart rate, though, and why does it matter so much for our short and long term health?

Your entire body, from your brain to your toes, needs oxygen to operate and thrive. Oxygen is carried throughout your body along your bloodstream, via your body’s “engine”, your heart. Each beat or pulse of your heart sends blood through your lungs to pick up oxygen and deliver it to the rest of the body. Then as the heart contracts, readying itself for another pump, it brings the blood and carbon dioxide (CO2, a “waste” product) back through the lungs. 

When you exercise or do any physical activity, your muscles and body need more oxygen. This means your heart starts pumping faster, which means your pulse / heart rate increases. Your lungs also start taking in more air, meaning you start to breathe harder. Your heart rate is measured by the number of beats that occur in one minute — so if your heart rate is at 140 beats per minute (BPM) while exercising, that means your heart has pumped approximately 140 times in the last minute! 

Over time, your body and your heart gets stronger

As you do more physical activity and start regularly maintaining 100 PAI, your heart and body will become more efficient at collecting and delivering oxygen. This means as time goes on, you may find you don’t breathe as heavily during exercise and your heart rate may not get as high in your typical exercises. This also means you may need to work harder to push yourself a bit to ensure you’re staying above 100 PAI — after all, we can’t get stronger unless we experience at least a bit of discomfort! Remember to listen to your body and take things at your own pace. Everyone’s body, including their heart, is unique to them, so what gets your heart pumping may be different from someone else.

Want to learn more about activities that can get your heart rate up? Check out another one of our blog posts.

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