Our lungs are responsible for providing the body with oxygen that is essential for our body to work. When you breathe in, your lungs fill with air and tiny structures inside, called bronchioles, absorb the oxygen from this air. Immediately, the oxygen is absorbed into the bloodstream and taken to the heart, where it is pumped to the rest of the body.
When we breathe normally, this process of breathing allows our body to absorb oxygen from the air we breathe and release the used up air. However when we run around or are very active, the muscles in our body require more sugar to produce the added energy. Our muscles need an extra amount of oxygen in order to use the sugar in the blood for energy. This is why we pant or breathe more heavily when we are running around or playing a game.
We do not have to purposely breathe faster when we run. Our body will automatically adjust our breathing to make up for the energy we require. Since oxygen-rich blood is needed by the lungs and muscles to do exercise, it is advised that you do not eat before doing any heavy activity, as oxygen-rich blood is also needed by the stomach to digest food once you’ve eaten.
Record the amount of breaths you take in one minute. Then run a set distance and compare how many breaths you take per minute. Once your breathing comes back to normal, run the same distance but this time try and purposely take longer breaths as you run. What is the difference in your breaths per minute after round 1 and round 2?