Breathing and Exercise

When we are at rest on average we take about 16 breaths per minute. But our breathing rate increases considerably when we start to exercise. Not only does our rate of breathing increase, so does the depth of breathing and heart rate. This all occurs in order to deliver more oxygen and glucose to the muscles at a faster rate and to remove carbon dioxide more rapidly.

How much our breathing rate and heart rate increase during and after exercise can be a good indication of our fitness. A fit person recovers much faster than someone who is unfit. The time it takes for the pulse rate to return to the resting rate (what it was to begin with) is known as the recovery time or recovery rate.

Note that an unfit person will tend to have a higher pulse rate before, during and after exercise.