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July 11, 1980

Exercise and Heart Rate

Author Affiliations

Bryan Memorial Hospital Lincoln, Neb

JAMA. 1980;244(2):136. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310020018017

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To the Editor.—  In The Journal (243:466, 1980), a small philosophical comment entitled "One Small Step for Mankind" caught my eye. The comments are lighthearted and do not deserve any harsh scientific rebuttal, but I would like to reply in the same light vein of thought to the oft-quoted concept, "We are all born with a certain number of heart-beats; only a fool would use them up jogging."If in the 1,440 minutes of each day the seasoned jogger's heart rate is at least ten beats per minute slower than his sedentary peer because of training effect, he accumulates a credit of 1,440×10 or 14,440 beats per 24 hours. If he jogs for a full hour and elevates his heart rate 90 beats per minute above his basal rate, he still has wasted only 90×60 or 5,400 beats by his one hour of jogging. Thus, even by conservative estimates he