Kasch pulse recovery test

Kasch pulse recovery test is a simple measure of general level of fitness.

It's a good way to start a new exercise program. In three minutes you have a simple measure of how fit you are.

So you want to get fit! Good. This simple little test will give you an idea just how fast you can advance. It is based on the principle that your heart rate will return to normal more quickly, the fitter you are.

Conversely, the less fit you are, and thus should start your exercise program more gently, the longer it will take your heart rate to return to normal after exercise.

Health care is about benefits versus risks. There is no sense in starting a vigorous exercise program if it could give you a heart attack, right?

The test is dependent on being able to step up 12 inches (30 cm) with ease, first with one foot, then the other. If you can't do that because of knee or hip arthritis, then stop reading right here. You won't be able to do the test.

But both knee and hip arthritis are treatable. Particularly if you don't wait until you are being threatened with total joint replacement.

So, find a 12 inch high step and try it a few times. Could you do that for three minutes?

You will need to step up and down 24 times per minute, for three minutes. Roughly once every two-and-a-half seconds. You may need a helper to time you.

Kasch pulse recovery test

Kasch pulse recovery test measure just how quickly does your pulse return to normal after exercise.

  1. Measure your pulse rate for a full minute. Write it down. Normal is around 72 beats per minute. If it's significantly higher, say above 85, then consult your doctor before doing the test.
  2. Wait for the second hand on your watch to reach 12, and then start stepping up and down again using both feet. The rate must be 6x every 15 seconds, fairly accurate. Practise it a few times until you can do the stepping at the right speed.
  3. Go on, try it. I'll wait till you come back!

    Perhaps do it for a full minute, and see how you manage with the timing. How are the knees coping, your balance, your breathing ...

    Take a break before starting the test proper. Three minutes remember.

    Ready, steady, GO! Three minutes, 24 times a minute, without stopping or resting.

  4. EXACTLY one minute after you have stopped, measure your pulse rate again. Write it down so you don't forget!
  5. How did you manage? Breathing hard? Find it difficult?

  6. Here now here is the scale that will give you your level of fitness on the Kasch Pulse-recovery test. It's for persons 55+.

Fitness Level Men Women
Excellent 72-86 73-92
Average 105-113 113-121
Very poor 131-152 135-151

How did you manage?

You might also measure your pulse again after two minutes? Where does that fit you in on the table now?

Obviously, this is only a rough guide. You may not have found a step exactly 12 inches high. In fact probably not! No matter. You get the idea. If it's less than 12 inches high, just go a little faster, say 26 steps per minute for three minutes. Or slightly longer than 3 mins.

If you rate excellent, then you can afford to be relatively adventurous. If not, start slowly.

Keep a log book, and retest yourself using the Kasch Pulse Recovery test every week.

Ten second step test

Now take the ten second step test.

It's just as profound and even more simple than the Kasch pulse recovery test, giving a good idea of how long you are going to live.

It's a kind of crystal ball!

Causes of osteoporosis

Causes of osteoporosis is probably to my mind the most important page at chiropractic help; it will give you a good measure of how miserable you'll be in your latter years.

Now, whilst you are still young is the time to do something about it, and the Kasch pulse recovery test gives you an good indication of how enthusiastic you can be.

Human beings are strange creatures. Except for you and me, that is. Not so sure about you.

We'd rather suffer pain and great disability than change some of our ways; like preventing that incurable brittle bone disease. Once you got osteoporosis, there's misery on ahead on the horizon.

If you are Caucasian, smoker, early menopause, early complete hysterectomy, heavy drinker, couch potato and/ or food junkie then there's trouble coming.

Bad trouble and pain, and worse, disability all lie directly in your path. Just watch any person using a walker in the car park.

Walking benefits

Walking benefits are profound.

Having established your general level of fitness using the Kasch Pulse Recovery Test there's one simple thing you can do that will prevent all of the above. Simple. Easy. Profound. Relaxing. Put on a hat, apple in hand, take the profound and beautiful walking benefits at least five days a week. Escape the office at lunch time?

And pretty please, don't just say, Oh, I'll just take HRT. Did you know you'll be incontinent? Much higher likelihood of breast and uterine cancer and haemorrhagic stroke? Rather, walking benefits.


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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost painfree. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he's taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily walk has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.  

10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.

Have a problem that's not getting better? Looking for a different slant on your pain? Want to pose a question?

Interesting questions from visitors

CLS writes:

Greetings, Dr B.
You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.

Your own unresolved problem. Pose a question

Knowing that up to 70% of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there's a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong! Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.

You visited this chiropractic help site no doubt because you have a problem that is not resolving and want to know more about what chiropractors do.

The quickest and most interesting way is to read one of my ebooks of anecdotes. Described by a reader as gems, both funny and healthful, from the life and work of a chiropractor, you'll love them. Priced right at $2.99, though Kindle fiddles the price without telling me.