A decision rule is obtained to determine when exercise is beneficial. The term beneficial used in this context refers to the extension of lifetime based on studies of cardiovascular conditioning. Models are used to characterize changes in heart rate with intense exercise. In addition, it is necessary to consider a model involving a heartbeat bank to help determine the conditioning interval. Optimization procedures are used to develop the decision rule, to examine the assumptions in the problem, and to point out when a unique solution exists. This procedure is applied to empirical data for one individual (inter-subject study) and a unique conditioning interval is obtained.

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