Pulse Oximeters are a medical device which can be of particular use to athletes, especially runners. Two key elements which athletes should monitor to ensure peak performance is their pulse rate and their blood oxygen levels. These elements are critical components to discovering improvements in athletic performance. Pulse oximeter devices measure the oxygen levels of our blood flow, without the need for any needles. As oxygen saturation levels decrease, this is when we should be picking up the pace in our run or exercise. Our performance as oxygen levels decrease can also be used to monitor or endurance levels.

Depleted oxygen levels can affect perfomance levels and your competitive edge. A pulse oximeter reading can quickly determine whether you are getting enough oxygen when working out or during a long distance run. If you are an athlete or runner with a respiratory condition such as asthma, pulse oximeters can be used to determine your oxygen levels and ensure that they are within the lines of safety. With a chronic respiratory condition, recovering from sugrery or even if you are just suffering from a respiratory illness, such illness can interfere with the level of oxygen taken in by the body. Therefore, it is very important to consistently monitor your oxygen levels while running when suffering from such health conditions.

Mountain runners also find pulse oximeters useful. When exercising in areas of high altitude, incoming oxygen levels can decrease rapidly. A pulse oximeter can help a runner to figure out when they need to pick up pace to increase oxygen levels or ultimately, if they need to take a break. Exercising or running up mountains or places of high altitude can put a runner at risk of hypoxia if blood oxygen levels are not monitored efficiently and regularly throughout.

Runners who put themselves through intense workouts and serious long distance training can find themselves sweating profusely, leaving them with sweaty hands. If this is the case, it is important that the athlete tapes the device onto their finger with medical tape to prevent the pulse oximeter from slipping off and to obtain an accurate reading. Often the workout of a runner can include intense use of their hands, with strength building exercises such as weightlifting. If this results in very sweaty hands, runners may find tha they can achieve a more accurate reading by attaching the pulse oximeter to their earlobe.

For serious athletes, monitoring oxygen levels can help them to improve recovery time. Low oxygen levels can often lead to fatigue, headaches, dizziness and nausea which can find the athlete having to lay off training for a few days, affecting their performance schedule. By using a pulse oximeter to identify low oxygen levels, a runner can prevent such illnesses and therefore reduce recovery time.

If a runner is consistently achieivng low oxygen level readings from their pulse oximeter, it may indicate that they need to change their training schedule or program slightly. Your reading should be able to help you indicate whether your difficulty with the exercise is simply due to the need to break the plateau or whether indeed you do need to take a break. For the serious runner, a pulse oximeter device has many key functions, helping them to gain competitive advantage, monitor training, build endurance and reduce recovery.