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What Is Respiratory Physiology?

Respiratory physiology is the study of the respiratory system, breathing patterns, oxygen distribution and control within the body. This relates to how the body obtains and inhales oxygen, transports the oxygen through the respiratory tract into organs, tissues and cells in all parts of the body. The expulsion of carbon dioxide from the body is also included.

Respiratory physiology is important to understand that many of the body’s functions are highly dependent on the constant supply of oxygen. Oxygen provides energy for the body, it fuels cellular synthesis and other biological operations within the body.

The body takes various steps to ensure that the use of oxygen is carried out in an efficient way. Inhaled air, enters the lungs and is transported to all parts of the body through the blood stream. As oxygen enters the cells and tissues carbon dioxide is expelled. The respiratory system serves as a cleaning and restorative mechanism.

Respiration is a voluntary but necessary activity, unlike the heart beat which is involuntary. Despite this, both the respiratory and pulmonary system work together so that the heart receives an adequate supply of oxygen always. An efficient respiratory system improves health and overall well being. Exercise greatly contributes to an effective respiratory system as lungs can be filled and emptied and the circulatory system is boosted with an increased heart beat. Deep breaths during exercise ensure that oxygen reaches all cells in the body and provides them with an extra boost of energy whilst quickly eliminating the carbon dioxide that will be present.

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