Longevity Exercise Physiology Lindfield, Edgecliff, Marrickville, Randwick, Drummoyne, Balmain and Bella Vista discuss what the respiratory responses to exercise training are.

With any structured or incidental activity, the human body responds through the activation and control of the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Longevity Exercise Physiology Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville, Randwick, Drummoyne, Balmain and Bella Vista today discuss the respiratory responses to exercise training.

 

Two respiratory responses to exercise

There are two main respiratory responses to exercise:

  1. Provide oxygen (O2) to bodily tissues.
  2. Eliminate carbon dioxide (CO2) from bodily tissues.

These responses are important as we need oxygen for our cells to live and function properly and we don’t want a build up of carbon dioxide as it is classified as a waste product of our cellular function.

What happens during a bout of exercise?

When exercise begins, there is an increase in cardiac components such as an increased heart rate and stroke volume, leading to an increase in cardiac output. This effect results in an increase in pulmonary circulation. Coinciding, breathing rates increase linearly to the rate of doing work, in proportion to the intensity and metabolic needs of the exercise.

As the workload increases, we need an increased consumption of oxygen and increased production of carbon dioxide. This increased production not only helps to provide oxygen to the body and eliminate carbon dioxide from the body, however also rids the body of metabolic waste products, maintains body temperature and acid-base balance.

Ventilation increases by an increase in ‘tidal volume’. Tidal volume refers to the quantity of air that is inhaled and exhaled with every breath and an increase in the respiration of breathing rate which refers to how many times a person completes an inhalation and exhalation every minute.

Breathing rates can increase from a typical resting rate of 15 breaths per minute up to 40-50 breaths per minute with vigorous exercise.

What is VO2 max?

The main measure of respiratory function with exercise is volume of oxygen uptake (Vo2), referring to the amount of oxygen taken up and used by the body.

As the intensity of exercise continues to increase a person reaches a point above which oxygen consumption will not increase any further, known as VO2 max, and therefore oxygen to help provide energy can not increase any further, making it hard for your body to continue working at that same intensity.

Regular cardiovascular training and strength training, in particular endurance training, help to create long term respiratory adaptations with an improvement in cardiac output, tidal volume, VO2max, as well as many other physiological adaptations

Types of training and adaptations

Highlighted above, we have discussed what happens during an exercise bout. Regular cardiovascular training and strength training, in particular endurance training, help to create long term respiratory adaptations with an improvement in cardiac output, tidal volume, VO2max, as well as many other physiological adaptations. We will explore this further in part 2; ‘Respiratory Adaptations to Exercise Training’.

 

For further information or a free 15 minute phone consultation, please call Longevity Exercise Physiology Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville, Randwick, Drummoyne, Balmain and Bella Vista on 1300 964 002.

Written by Angela Vitucci