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Physiology Essay: Impact of Aerobic Exercise on Respiratory & Cardiovascular Systems


Task: Prepare a well researched physiology essay illustrating the physiological response to aerobic exercise on the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.


As evident in this physiology essay, exercise poses a substantial increase in the demand for the body. The nervous system assists in the maintenance of parasympathetic tone affecting the respiratory rate, the cardiac rate as well as metabolic processes (Bolotin & Bakayev, 2017). With the help of the response, it becomes easier to maintain the proper level of homeostasis for tackling metabolic, cardiovascular, and respiratory efforts. The exercise poses challenges affecting the physiological system that is needed to adapt the body for maintaining homeostasis which is also the inner balance of the body (Bolotin & Bakayev, 2017). Further, it has been found that aerobic exercises stimulate the heart to be more efficient. The varied types of aerobic conditioning such as swimming and running assist the heart and the lungs to pump more blood thereby allowing more oxygen to the organs and the muscles. This study will highlight the physiologic response to aerobic exercise in the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.

During exercise, the gaseous exchange requirement of the lungs increases due to the improved level of consumption of oxygen as well as the increased production of carbon dioxide. The tidal volume and the respiratory rate increase along with the increase in the alveolar ventilation. Further, this also improves the minute volume and the gaseous exchange although the rate of ventilation increases upon the commencement of the exercise and the other linked mechanism (Bolotin & Bakayev,2017). On the other hand, during the process of aerobic exercise, there also occurs cardiac changes in the body such as the increase in the stroke volume and the heart rate thereby leading to cardiac output. This also results in the pulmonary circulation process where the flow of blood is redistributed along with more blood directed to the middle and the upper level thereby leading to a reduced level of regional differences in the lungs. The intense level of exercise also leads to the improved production of lactic acid (Flack et al.., 2018).

There generally occurs two types of responses to aerobic exercise such as the immediate response or the chronic response. The acute responses are generally experienced during the transition between the beginning and the resting period of the physical exercise (Flack et al., 2018). However, the chronic responses lead to the long-term response resulting in regular exercise affecting the physiological system as well as the increased ability to tackle the physical activity.

The function of the respiratory system for the cardiovascular system is to improve the flow of blood and the oxygen delivering to the contracting muscles. The primary function of the respiratory system during the exercise is to tackle the saturation of the oxygen which is the function of the respiratory system. The important functions of the respiratory system during the exercise are to tackle the arterial oxygen saturation, the removal of carbondioxide from the contracting muscles (Bolotin & Bakayev, 2017). The respiratory activity is changed through aerobic exercise because it is through physical activity that requires oxygen thereby accommodating the metabolic needs of the body. On the other hand, the process of respiration increases the aerobic exercise for fulfilling the demand for oxygen because the increased level of oxygen is delivered to the tissues, the increased amount of carbondioxide is delivered through the lungs, and the increased level of minute ventilation (Flack et al., 2018). This ventilation increases due to tidal volume as well as the improvement in the breathing frequency.

The air that is exhaled during the period of aerobic exercise is humidified as well as the body temperature. Further, the respiratory system can achieve this improvement of the alveolar and the minute ventilation. This minute ventilation can be considered to be the volume of air that is moved out and within the lungs. This occurs due to the increase in the volume of air in the breathing process which is known as the frequency of breathing (Ahtiainen et al., 2018). However, it can be said that all the airways that are associated with the exchange of space develop a dead space where the alveolar ventilation can be considered effective leading to the gaseous exchange. But during the period of exercise there occurs certain conditions such as the fluctuation in the ventilation as well as the diffusion in the dead space kinked with the slight alteration (Flack et al.., 2018).

During the period of aerobic exercise, there occurs an increase in the cardiac stroke volume as well as the level of rising in the cardiac output that is generally transient with the elevation of the arterial blood pressure and the vascular resistance (Mohamed & Alawna, 2020). However, it can be said that long-term exercise generally promotes the net reduction of blood pressure at rest. Further, it can be said that with the help of exercise, it becomes easier for the heart to pump more blood for maintaining the circulation process efficiently as well as the contraction of the myocardial leading to the perfusion of the organs and the tissue of blood improving the oxygen (Jesus et al., 2021). The heart can also be trained to deliver more oxygen during the period of aerobic exercise.

The immediate cardiovascular response that occurs during the start of the exercise includes the improvement in the cardiac output. This cardiac output might be due to the increased heart rate and stroke volume. Moreover, the increased level of oxygen uptake from the blood to the tissues of the body also increases. There also occurs changes in the blood pressure as well as the blood flow leading to the systolic and the diastolic blood pressure (Pinckard et al., 2019). On the other hand, the vasodilation of the muscles and the vasoconstriction also affect the other organs in the body. In the case of the chronic cardiovascular response, there is an increase in the stroke volume due to the rise in the left ventricle and the chamber volume (Romero et al., 2017). There also occurs elasticity of the ecocradium muscles thereby decreasing the heart rate during the process of exercise. The increase in capillarization also improves the skeletal muscles where it becomes easier for the capillaries to deliver the oxygen and remove the by-products.

Aerobic exercise can be considered as the treatment for patients who are suffering from varied cardiovascular diseases. The patients who generally carry out the aerobic exercise rehabilitation program suffer from acute myocardial infarction and coronary intervention surgery (Fiuza-Luces et al., 2018). It can be said that the sedentary lifestyle includes both obesity as well as lower levels of physical activity. The varied types of lifestyle interventions increase the level of physical activity thereby reducing obesity that is considered to be the crucial therapeutic method for fighting against the non-congenital type of CVD. On the other hand, it can be said that regular physical exercise can be considered to be linked with different types of health benefits such as the development of obesity and the reduced rate of progression(Romero et al., 2017). Although, there have been several clinical trials carried out among the individuals depicting the lifestyle interventions including the improvement of diet and the lifestyle interventions associated with the development of cardiovascular health in the riskier population group.

It has been found that exercise also lays an effect on cardiovascular improvement in overweight and lean individuals. While carrying out the study among the non-obese individuals, there has been a 16-20% increase in the energy expenditure including no such interventions of the diet. (Zucker & Musch, 2018). This also results in a reduced level of body fat mass and LDL cholesterol when the individuals are at a higher risk factor. Aerobic exercise induces adaptations in different cells and tissues across the body. With the help of exercise, it becomes easier to improve the mitochondrial biogenesis among the adipocytes, the cardiomyocytes, and the skeletal muscle myocytes. On the other hand, with the help of this exercise, it becomes easier to deliver oxygen throughout the entire body with the help of angiogenesis and the validation protecting the blockage in the heart. The exercise also causes anti-inflammatory effects that are inversely linked with the anti-inflammation process observed in obesity and CVD(Zucker & Musch, 2018). Moreover, the myokines that are generally released through the skeletal muscle while carrying out the physical exercise mediates the antiinflammation effect promoting the cross-talk for the improvement of cardiovascular health.

Thus, it can be said that the rate of aerobic exercise assists in the improvement of cardiac efficiency and respiratory function. This aerobic exercise can also be regarded as the crucial component for the treatment and the prevention of high blood pressure. The practice of aerobic exercise also benefits the youths and the adolescents as it would help me to overcome the stress through the optimization and the modulation of the sympathetic activities even in stressful situations thereby assisting in the restoration of the equilibrium process. Therefore, exercise improves the pulmonary, cardiovascular, and muscular adaptations by altering the balance between the blood flow in the muscle. ?

Ahtiainen, J. P., Lensu, S., Ruotsalainen, I., Schumann, M., Ihalainen, J. K., Fachada, V., ... & Kainulainen, H. (2018). Physiological adaptations to resistance training in rats selectively bred for low and high response to aerobic exercise training. Experimental physiology, 103(11), 1513-1523.

Bolotin, A., & Bakayev, V. (2017). Response of the respiratory system of long and middle distance runners to exercises of different types. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 17, 2214-2217.

Bolotin, A., & Bakayev, V. (2017). The differences in response of the respiratory system of long and middle-distance runners and their influence on recovery rate. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 17(4), 2443-2446.

Fiuza-Luces, C., Santos-Lozano, A., Joyner, M., Carrera-Bastos, P., Picazo, O., Zugaza, J. L., ... & Lucia, A. (2018). Exercise benefits in cardiovascular disease: beyond attenuation of traditional risk factors. Nature Reviews Cardiology, 15(12), 731-743.

Flack, K. D., Ufholz, K., Johnson, L., Fitzgerald, J. S., & Roemmich, J. N. (2018). Energy compensation in response to aerobic exercise training in overweight adults. American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.

Jesus, I., Vanhee, V., Deramaudt, T. B., & Bonay, M. (2021). Promising effects of exercise on the cardiovascular, metabolic and immune system during COVID-19 period. Journal of Human Hypertension, 35(1), 1-3.

Mohamed, A. A., & Alawna, M. (2020). Role of increasing the aerobic capacity on improving the function of immune and respiratory systems in patients with coronavirus (COVID-19): A review. Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews, 14(4), 489-496.

Pinckard, K., Baskin, K. K., & Stanford, K. I. (2019). Effects of exercise to improve cardiovascular health. Frontiers in cardiovascular medicine, 6, 69. Romero, S. A., Minson, C. T., & Halliwill, J. R. (2017). The cardiovascular system after exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology, 122(4), 925-932.

Zucker, I. H., & Musch, T. I. (2018). Benefits of exercise training on cardiovascular dysfunction: molecular and integrative. American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 315(4), H1027-H1031.


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