How Does Exercise Affect Carbon Dioxide?

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Regular exercise keeps your heart healthy, cuts your risk of stroke, helps you keep your weight in check and reduces your chances of developing diseases like diabetes and some cancers. One of the other key benefits of exercise is that it keeps your lungs healthy, and healthy lungs ensure that your body doesn’t become poisoned by a deadly buildup of a waste gas called carbon dioxide.

Carbon Dioxide and the Body

  • Carbon dioxide is a gas generated when your body produces energy. You breath in oxygen with your lungs, which also expel carbon dioxide when you breath out. Your heart pumps the oxygen you breath around your body to your muscles so they can work. Both the oxygen and the carbon dioxide travel around your body in your blood.

Increasing the Pace

  • When you exercise, your muscles are engaged and tend to work harder, meaning more energy is needed. Your breathing increases to bring in more oxygen while at the same time expelling the carbon dioxide gas that’s being generated. Exercise makes your heart work harder to pump the oxygen to the muscles that need it and remove the deadly buildup of carbon dioxide in your bloodstream.

Helping Your Body to Manage Carbon Dioxide Levels

  • Regular exercise can build and strengthen your muscles so they become more efficient. This means they will need less oxygen to work, producing less carbon dioxide. Exercise can also strengthen your heart so it’s easier to pump oxygen around your body. Brisk walking, running, swimming and cycling are some simple ways to ensure your lungs and cardiovascular system are working well, while lifting weights or using weight machines can help you maintain and build muscle.

Some Things to Remember

  • Nicotine directly affects the lungs. Smoking cigarettes will make your lungs less able to inhale oxygen into your body and remove carbon dioxide when breathing out. If you suffer from asthma or another long-term lung condition, consult your doctor before engaging in any strenuous physical exercise.

References

  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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