Recovery Rates During Exercise by Relating it to Cardiovascular & Respiratory System

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Recovery Rates During Exercise by Relating it to Cardiovascular & Respiratory System


This report aims to investigate the recovery rates during exercise by relating it to the cardiovascular and respiratory system. The risk assessment of the participants is provided, along with the methodology and results have been discussed accordingly. The report further explains the role of these systems and risk factors in determining the recovery rates after exercise.

Cardiovascular System 

The heart helps the human body maintain a healthy life as the heart is the center of the circulatory system, consisting of blood vessels and lungs. Heart's function is to supply blood to the body and cells. Blood is the medium through which the oxygen is transported to the different body organs and vital to stay alive and healthy (Lavie et al., 2015).  


The heart is located between the two lungs, slightly left side of the chest. The size of the heart is almost the fist's size and its cone-shaped. A fibrous covering called the pericardium covers the whole heart, helping it stay in place and beat, covers it. The walls of the heart are made up of cardiac muscles.

Cardiac muscles

Source: Cinnamon VanPutte, and tissue, (2021)


Chambers of Heart

The heart consists of four chambers, two at each right and left side.  The top two chambers are known as the right and left atria, and the bottom two chambers are known as the left and right ventricles. The right atria received deoxygenated blood from all parts of the body and left atria receives oxygenated blood from the lungs.

Source: Healthengine, 2006

Blood Vessels

The circulatory systems consist of three types of blood vessels. Arteries carry blood from the heart to the body, and veins carry blood from the body towards the heart. There are also small microscopic blood vessels, which connects the veins and arteries. The pulmonary artery takes deoxygenated blood from the right ventricle to the lungs, and the pulmonary veins take the oxygenated blood from the lungs to the left atria. Aorta takes the oxygenated blood from the left ventricle to the body. Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) and Superior Vena Cava (SVC) collect the deoxygenated blood from all veins coming from the body and take it to the right atrium for oxygenation. Arteries have smooth muscles in their walls, allowing them to be flexible as they carry blood away from the heart. Their walls are thicker than veins. Endothelial cells are permeable barrier which is involved in regulation of blood flow (Tucker, Arora, and Mahajan, 2020).

Endothelial and smooth muscle cells inside veins and arteries.

Source: (Bioscience.lonza, 2021)

Function of Valves

There are fibrous flaps of tissue called valve found in the heart that prevent the heart's wrong flow. The left and the right atrioventricular valve is present between the atria and ventricles, which are also called mitral valve and tricuspid (Aaronson, Ward, and Connolly, 2020).

Electrical Conduction System

The heart is made up of cardiac muscles which are stimulated by electric signals given by the sinus node (SA node), located at the right atria. The electrical signals generated by the sinus node are 60 to 100 times per minute which we consider as the normal blood pressure. The signal then travels to the atrioventricular node (AV node) and then to the right and left bundle branches, causing the ventricles to contract. Each signal causes contraction of ventricles which is considered as on heartbeat (Williamson, 2010).

Source: Hopkin, J. 2020

Cardiac Cycle

The cardiac cycle consists of a pumping phase, in which muscles contracts (i.e. systole) and filling phase, in which muscles relax (i.e. diastole).  The cardiac cycle begins with atrial systole pushing the blood into the ventricles, followed by ventricle systole. In ventricle systole, the left ventricle pushes the oxygenated blood into the aorta, and right ventricle pushes the deoxygenated blood into the pulmonary artery to the lungs after this phase diastole phase occurs (Aaronson, Ward, and Connolly, 2020).

Source: The psychologist, 2015

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Respiratory System

The respiratory system helps us to breathe human and consist of different organs and tissues.  It includes the airways, lungs, blood vessels, and muscles that support the respiratory system. The respiratory system brings oxygen from the air into our body and helps us get rid of carbon dioxide. Oxygen is vital for living cells to function properly. Adults normally breathe 16 to 20 times per minute (Aliverti, 2016).


The respiratory system works like a system and consist of the following parts: (Bosykh et al., 2016; Cleveland clinic. 2020)

Source: Healthengine, 2006



Source: Healthengine, 2006



Mouth and nose

Primary passage for the entry of air and the hair in the nose filters the incoming air.


It helps to regulate the humidity and temperature of the air.

Pharynx (throat)

It is a tube that takes the air from nose and mouth to the trachea


A flap tissue prevents the entry of external food or liquid into the airway.

Function of Epiglottis

Source: Socratic (2021)


It is a passageway of air, and it restricts the entrance of foreign objects into the trachea.

Source: Wikipedia (2021)

Hyaline cartilage

They are ring-shaped structure found in the trachea and bronchial tubules.  It provides mechanical support to the organs of the respiratory system.

Hyaline cartilage in blue areas

Source:  Basicmedicalkey (2017)

Bronchial tubules

These are two tubules leading air from trachea to each lung

Cilia (Ciliated epithelial cells)

This tiny hair-like cell filters the dust from the air. They also regulate the ion and water movement in the air passage.

Anatomy of air passageway (epithelial cells)

Source: Brottrell (2017)


It has paired composite organ that contains alveoli and is made up of elastic fibres called stromal. It is the house of the respiratory system enabling the exchange of gases.


(Abdominal muscles)

It is a dome-shaped muscle present at the base of the lungs, and it is responsible for creating more space when air is inhaled it contracts and relaxes when air is exhaled and forces the air out of lungs.


A bony framework supports the lungs and aid respiration.

Intercostal muscles

(Rib cage muscle)

These muscles facilitate the expansion and contraction of the chest cavity. Present between the ribs.


These are microscopic chambers present in the lungs and responsible for the exchange of gases.

Types of cells within alveoli

Source: Wikipedia (2021)


Blood vessels present around the alveoli helps in the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.



Respiratory Cycle

The respiratory cycle consists of the first phase, inhaling of air containing oxygen. The lungs expand during inhalation by the help of contraction of the diaphragm and intercostal muscles. The air travels through the tubules getting hydrated and clean by ciliated cells, and then it enters into the lungs. The alveoli present in the lungs help the oxygen to be diffused into the blood and removes carbon dioxide from the deoxygenated blood through capillaries. The carbon dioxide is removed out in the second phase of exhalation, in which the diaphragm and the intercostal muscle relaxes, deflating the lungs to push the air out (Aliverti, 2016; Bosykh et al., 2016).

Heart Recovery Rates

A heart recovery rate is a difference between the heart rate before exercise and the first peak heart rate in the recovery period. It is the decrease in HR after an individual has done a rigorous exercise (Elshazly, Khorshid, Hanna, and Ali, 2018). It is used to access the physical fitness of individuals. The recovery rate of a normal healthy individual is more than 12 beats per minute. If calculated after 1 or 2 min in the recovery phase, the normal recovery rate is more than 22 beats per minute. Recovery rate found less than this ratio is considered abnormal (Jolly, Brennan, and Cho, 2011). The "autonomic nervous system controls the heart regulated rate". When an individual is exercising their "sympathetic nervous system" activates into the flight or fight mode, increasing our heart rate.

The parasympathetic system normalises the heart rate in the recovery phase and is considered responsible for decreased heart recovery rate after exercise (ha, et al., 2019). The low HRR is a predictor of mortality in people, in both people having or not having heart issues or myocardial perfusion (Ackland et al., 2019). The evaluation of HRR can help risk assessment of individuals having high chances of lung cancer (Ha, Malhotra, Ries, O'Neal, and Fuster, 2019) and cardiovascular diseases (O'Neal et al., 2016). This study aims to evaluate the risk assessment of the participant by engaging her into physical activity and then calculating her HRR to evaluate the risk factors to her health. Due to COVID, only one sample is studied to analyse the results on her.


The study was conducted on a female participant whose age was 21 years. The participant was an ex-smoker. The participant was exposed to four different exercise conditions, and in each experiment, her beats per minute (BPM) was measures before exercise and after every one minute in the recovery phase. In the first condition, the participant was exposed to high-intensity step-up exercise for 10 minutes. In this, the participant was asked to take one step and one step down every 2-3 seconds. Then the subject was allowed to rest. In the second exercise, the participant was given 2 minutes of low step-up exercise. The third and fourth exercises were carried out with dumbbells. In the third condition, the participant worked out with dumbbells at a low rate for 10 minutes. Afterwards, the participant was allowed to rest. Next, in the fourth condition, the participant was exposed to 2 minutes high rate exercise with dumbbells. In this research, the time is the independent variable and Beats per minutes and the dependent variable. The HRR is calculated by subtracting BMP after 2 minutes in the recovery phase from BMP immediately after exercise (i.e. one minute in the recovery phase).

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Table 1: Low-intensity step-up exercise

This table shows that the BMP immediately after exercise is 129 beats/minute and after one minute is 111 beats/minute. Hence, the HRR is the difference between these two which is 18 BMP.

Table 2: High-intensity step-up exercise

This table shows that the BMP immediately after exercise is 155 beats/minute and after one minute is 152 beats/minute. Hence the HRR is the difference between these two which is three BMP.

Table 3: Low-intensity dumbbell exercise

This table shows that the BMP immediately after exercise is 111 beats/minute and after one minute is 97 beats/minute. Hence, the HRR is the difference between these two which is 14 BMP.

Table 4: High-intensity dumbbell exercise

This table shows that the BMP immediately after exercise is 129 beats/minute and after one minute is 111 beats/minute. Hence, HRR is the difference between these two, which is 18 BMP.


The above results show that in three of the four exercises, the heart rate ratio was above the threshold, 12 bpm for normal individuals. This indicates that the woman has a healthy heart rate. However, the condition where she was exposed to high step-up exercises shows HRR of 3 bpm, which is a sign of risk factor. The benefit of this exercised based risk assessment is to evaluate cardiovascular risk factors, cardiac morbidity, exercise tolerance, and mortality in the participant (Conraads et al., 2015). The autonomic nervous system is associated with the cardiovascular system and respiratory system of the body. Both vital systems of the body are integrated. The cardio-respiratory system does its mechanism together to get oxygen from the air to the working muscles. When an individual is doing physical activity, the muscles need more oxygen to work harder, and as waste, they release more carbon dioxide. The body does two functions to meet the demands, and one is increasing the breath rate to intake more oxygen into the lungs and remove CO2. The second is the heart rate increases to transport blood to the muscles to give oxygen to it and take carbon dioxide from the muscles to the lungs (Smith, 2020).

Blood is the medium and a vital component in both systems, which are fuel for the body's cells. The blood performs the main function by transporting the oxygen to the lungs to absorb oxygen. This clean oxygenated blood is then carried out to the left atria of the heart from where it is pumped through left ventricle and aorta towards the cells of the body. The cells receive oxygen through capillaries and diffuse the carbon dioxide into the veins, which bring blood to the right atria. The right atria than pumps the blood into the right ventricle and then into the pulmonary artery sending it towards the lungs for purification (BBC, 2020).

Increased breath rate

Source: BBS, 2020

Increased heart rate

Source: BBC, 2020

Conclusion and Recommendations

To keep the systems working properly, one should avoid smoking, as it is a great threat to health. Eating a healthy diet and maintaining a physical regime can keep the heart and lungs healthy. With age, our heart becomes weak and maintains ongoing health, and we need to follow a healthy lifestyle. Increasing age cause blood pressure issues or decrease cardiac activity. The participant in this research was an ex-smoker, and her HRR represent quiet and improvement but still to eradicate the risk of illness and prevent diseases that lead to mortality (Fresiello, et al., 2016). 


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