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Biology

Changing levels of performance

The effect of exercise on pulse and breathing rate

Exercise increases the rate at which energy is needed from food. This increases the need for both food and oxygen in the body. This is why your pulse rate and breathing rate increase with exercise. Your pulse is just an indication of your heart rate as your arteries expand each timethe ventricles pump blood out of the heart. Your heart speeds up to pump extra food and oxygen to the muscles. Breathing speeds up to get more oxygen and to get rid of more carbon dioxide.

When a fit person, such as an athlete, exercises the pulse rate, breathing rate and lactic acid levels rise much less than they do in an unfit person. The time which it takes for pulse and breathing rate to return to normal is called the recovery time, and the fitter you are, the shorter your recovery time.

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