Why Do We Respire?

Functional Significance

The human body is made up of cells. The cells perform various activities 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 liberated during respiration. The air we inhale contains oxygen. It is transported to different parts of the body and finally the cells. The oxygen in the cells assists in disintegrating the food. Consequently, energy is released. This process is known as cellular respiration.

The food is disintegrated 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 disintegrated without the use of oxygen, it is known as anaerobic respiration. Energy is released upon the break down of food.

Muscle Cramps

The muscle cells also can anaerobically respire during cycling, running, heavy exercise. During exercise, the energy required is very high, however, the oxygen supplied to release the energy is restricted. To meet the energy demands, anaerobic respiration takes place. Cramps arise when the muscles respire anaerobically. After a massage, the blood circulation increases, thereby oxygen supply to the cells increases.

Also read: Respiration

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