Why Do We Respire?

Functional Significance

The human body is made up of cells. The cells perform various functions such as nutrition, excretion, transport, and reproduction. They require energy to carry out these processes. This energy is provided by the food we eat.

The food has energy stored in it. This energy is released during respiration. The air we breathe in contains oxygen. It is transported to different parts of the body and ultimately the cells. The oxygen in the cells helps in the breakdown of food. Consequently, energy is released. This process is known as cellular respiration.

The food is broken down in the cells into water and carbon dioxide with the help of oxygen. This process of breakdown of food in the presence of oxygen is known as aerobic respiration. When the food is broken down without using oxygen, it is called anaerobic respiration. Energy is released on the break down of food.

Muscle Cramps

The muscle cells can also respire anaerobically during cycling, running, heavy exercise. During exercise, the energy required is very high but the oxygen supplied to release the energy is limited. To fulfil the energy demands, anaerobic respiration takes place. Cramps occur when the muscles respire anaerobically. After a massage the blood circulation increases and the supply of oxygen to the cells increases.

Also read: Respiration

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