Exercise helps you stay fit and healthy by strengthening your muscles and making your heart beat faster. Why does your respiration increase during exercise?
Your breathing rate increases during training to ensure that you get enough oxygen as muscles, lungs, and heart work together to move your body.
During exercise, your breathing rate increases to allow more oxygen to reach your muscles and expel the carbon dioxide waste, which works with increased heart rate to pump blood and release the stimulating hormone adrenaline.
Respiration during exercise
Your heart rate and breathing must increase to have the benefits of exercise. Some of the blood goes to the lungs to get rid of carbon dioxide and get oxygen. Your muscles push the blood back to your heart at a faster rate, so your heart needs to increase its pumping speed to match.
An increase in heart rate stimulates your breathing rate. Your blood pumps through your muscles faster with an increase in heart rate, giving less time for oxygen uptake. More oxygen the blood from a faster breathing rate helps the muscles get their needed.
Increased oxygen demand
Your muscles work harder during exercise, which means that the need for oxygen increases. It is because oxygen is needed to burn calories more efficiently. Since the blood absorbs oxygen in the lungs and the demand for oxygen increases during exercise, the lungs have to work harder. More oxygen is absorbed in the lungs for delivery to the working muscles with a faster breathing rate.
Removal of carbon dioxide
A byproduct of metabolism is carbon dioxide. Part of the function of the lungs is to cleanse the blood of carbon dioxide. As the training continues or the training intensity increases, more carbon dioxide is produced and must be removed. Increased breathing speed means that carbon dioxide can expire faster.
Body temperature control
Another byproduct of metabolism is heating. When the body temperature rises, signals are sent to the nerves and muscles in the airways to increase the breathing rate. The mechanism of this response is unknown, but increased ventilation is also often present, which accompanies fever.
Change in hormone levels
At the start of exercise, the brain’s signals increase in heart and breathing rates in anticipation of an increased need for oxygen and carbon dioxide during exercise. When exercise begins, the circulation levels of the hormone adrenaline increase – also referred to as adrenaline. This increase also stimulates ventilation.
Lung problems and exercise
Exercise can be challenging if you have a lung disease like asthma or COPD. Discuss the best exercise plan for your condition with your GP. Treatment may include inhaled steroids to keep the airways open or adjusting the routine to have more rest time. Build endurance slowly, and be sure to include a warm-up and cool-down with each workout.