Neuronal Control of Cardiovascular and Respiratory Function during Physical Exercise
Name: Patrick Kimuyu
Exercise is an active biological process that involves energy consumption by the active muscles which are involved in physical exercise. This implies that the activity of muscles, primarily skeletal muscles changes considerably during physical exercise compared to the situation experienced during resting when muscles are not engaged in active activities. During any physical exercise including sporting activities such as marathon and cycling, skeletal muscles are fired by the chemical energy from the respiratory sites within the cell; the mitochondria which generate energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Despite the role played by the active muscles during exercise, it is worth noting that the activity of these muscles is controlled by the neuronal system. From a physiological perspective, the neuronal system controls the functioning of the two principal systems involved in energy metabolism (Fadel 2013). Cellular respiration requires adequate supply of Oxygen and organic molecules such as glucose and fatty acids which are metabolized to generate energy for use by the muscles during exercise. Therefore, this paper will provide a comprehensive discussion on the neuronal control of cardiovascular and respiratory function during exercise.
Ordinarily, cardiovascular system is responsible for the transportation of nutrients from the digestive system to the tissues where they are either stored or metabolized. In addition, it transports respiratory gases; Oxygen from the lungs to the tissue cells where it is utilized in metabolic processes, and Carbon Dioxide which is produced from cellular respiration as a by-product in the tissues to the lungs for removal from the body. On the other hand, the respiratory system controls gaseous exchange by regulating the respiratory volumes which determine the amount of Oxygen available for transportation to the body tissues.
During exercise, the activities of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems are elevated to ensure that the requirements of cellular respiration are supplied in adequate levels under the neuronal control (Nobrega et al. 2014). Ordinarily, the neuronal system responds to chemical stimuli from the circulatory and respiratory systems and mediates their activities through the peripheral and central nervous coordination. However, it is worth noting that the role of neuronal control of cardiovascular and respiratory systems during exercise has not yet been understood, especially regarding variations in the level of physical exercise. It is likely that moderate physical activity varies significantly from intense physical exercise, and this implies that the degree of neuronal control shows variations in magnitudes. In general, cardiac output is believed to rise in a linear manner to the respiration rate which determines Oxygen uptake.