Review Chapters 6-8 in Exercise Physiology: Integrating Theory and Application. Your task for this assignment is to select a topic of interest to you concerning exercise and one or all of the systems addressed (cardiovascular, respiratory, or endocrine) in Topic 3. You could select, for example, particular types of exercise (rowing, strength training, CrossFit), specific diseases or conditions (asthma, COPD), devices, or any other topic that involves these systems.
Strength Training and the Respiratory System
For many people, strength training is the key to unlocking varied aspects of flexibility, improvement in body performance, mobility and lower the risk of injury. Through the varied exercises like weight lifting, use of resistance bands, use of body weight for resistance or even the use of gym machines, strength training has been proved to improve endurance and strength. In many ways, strength training has been found to positively affect varied aspects of the respiratory system, helping the body to optimally perform its usual functions. This paper assesses how strength training is connected to the respiratory system and how this connection is ultimately beneficial to the body of the exercising individual.
The first major way through which the respiratory system benefits from strength training is through the increased breathing rate. When a person is at a relaxed state, the normal breathing rate is in play. When they switch to exercise mode, the rate of breathing changes drastically to respond to the demands for more oxygen and expulsion of accumulating toxic gases in the body. The increased breathing rate provides the body with more oxygen, helping it function normally. For the strength training exercise to successfully come to completion, the person involved has to learn the art of proper breathing—to breathe in during the eccentric phase and breathe out during the concentric phase (Bolotin & Bakayev, 2017). At the starting position, the person ought to inhale and while doing the hardest work, they are supposed to exhale. Doing this makes it easier to perform to strength training exercise. An example is when one is weight lifting. Inhalation should be done as one gets ready to lift the weight and exhalation when the weight is getting lifted.
Strength training also contributes in the Respiratory Muscle Training (RMT) for the body. Because strength training involves increased breathing rates and greater respiratory function, there is a way in which it considerably contributes to the improvement of the respiratory muscle functions. Strenuous exercises (of which strength training may be part) help to strengthen respiratory muscles. It has been established that Respiratory Muscle Training, especially the ones that involve the inspiratory muscles tend to greatly increase the effectiveness of the respiratory muscles by lowering the chances of dyspnoea on exertion (Verges, 2019). The diaphragm muscles are also strengthened through this similar mechanism. These exercises also help in reducing the risk for and impact of comorbid respiratory infections such as asthma.
In addition, strength training is also connected to the increased lung capacity and improved lung health (Bolotin & Bakayev, 2017). During strength training, the increased breathing is also accompanied by other aspects of proper breathing as well. These include pursed lip breathing, coordinated breathing, deep breathing and even diaphragmatic breathing. These combined breathing types would help lower the chances of chronic obtrusive pulmonary disease (COPD). They can assist one to regain their overall energy. During pursed lip breathing for example, the airways are kept open much longer, allowing the lungs to increase their capacity for air reception. Increased lung capacity comes with several benefits including the capability to withstand strenuous activities and better oxygen supply to the body. Lung health is improved by strength training in the same manner that other body muscles are affected by exercises. Performing strength training tasks help strengthen the neck, chest, diaphragm and rib muscles (Mohamed, & Alawna, 2020; Verges, 2019)). All these muscles help to power the inhaling and exhaling process.
In conclusion, strength training is inextricably interwoven with the respiratory system. The increased breathing rates that is occasioned by strength training is instrumental in making sure that the respiratory muscles from the neck, chest, ribs and diaphragm are strong enough to withstand exertion. The training also helps reduce the chances of fatalities from respiratory infections like asthma, lung disease, COPD and pneumonia. Finally, strength training helps improve lung health and increase its capacity thus improving on its function of disseminating oxygen to all body muscles.
Bolotin, A., & Bakayev, V. (2017). Response of the respiratory system of long and middle distance runners to exercises of different types. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 17, 2214-2217.
Mohamed, A. A., & Alawna, M. (2020). Role of increasing the aerobic capacity on improving the function of immune and respiratory systems in patients with coronavirus (COVID-19): A review. Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews, 14(4), 489-496.
Verges, S. (2019). Respiratory muscle training. In Exercise and sports pulmonology (pp. 143-151). Springer, Cham.