Cardio-Pulminary system

both pass and merit attempted

Structure of the cardiovascular system

blood vessels

functions of the cardiovascular system

Delivery of oxygen and nutrients

The blood is used to transport various substances around the body such as oxygen. This blood is pumped by the heart to a source of the required substance in this case the lungs would be the source. Then the blood will take on the oxygen via diffusion into the haemoglobin of the blood and will then return to the heart where it will be pumped to the rest of the body and to areas where it is needed at the given moment. If a person was taking part in a marathon the body would constrict at the core of the body around the digestive system and would dilate around the muscles so there would be a larger blood flow to the muscles so more oxygen can be transported to the muscles to resynthesise ATP and produce energy via aerobic glycolysis. Once the blood has delivered the oxygen it can then take on the carbon dioxide within the body which is a waste product of aerobic glycolysis and will then take up the carbon dioxide and will then transport the carbon dioxide back to the heart where the blood will be then pumped again to the lungs so the carbon dioxide can be removed. The same process occurs within the digestive system as the blood will take on the the nutrients which have been harvested by the body and are then taken on by capillaries via the micro villi in the intestines. these nutrients are then carried around the body so that the body can carry out various bodily processes. It is important that the blood transports these substances as they would not be able to reach the required places within the body where that particular substance is needed so there would be no way for the oxygen to get to the muscles or brain if there were no blood vessels or blood to transport them. There would also be no way for the body to replenish their energy stores if there were no cardiovascular system as glycogen and glucose would not reach the muscles when it is broken down by the digestive system so there would be no point in eating as no nutrients would be able to reach their intended destinations.

This is vital for all sportsmen as their muscles would be unable to move if no energy was produced for movement if there is no oxygen present in the muscles for respiration. The delivery of oxygen to the muscles is also important for endurance runners who mainly rely on the aerobic energy system as an efficient supply of oxygen is required to keep synthesizing ATP and would enable a person to keep running without having to use the lactic acid system and pc system which would not be able to supply the runner with enough energy to run a long distance race . Also nutrient transport would be important for all athletes as hey consume specific nutrients related to there sport such as a marathon runner eating a high amount of carbohydrates in preparation for a race. If the cardiovascular system did not transport these nutrients to their intended destinations there would be no point to eating and the marathon runner would have extremely low energy levels and would be unable to run the race.

removal of waste products

similar to the delivery system the blood takes up various substances from the body such as carbon dioxide, a waste product of the aerobic energy system. this carbon dioxide then forms carbonic acid and is transported via the blood back to the lungs where the body removes the carbon dioxide when you breathe out. If there was no cardiovascular system there would be no way to remove the carbon dioxide in the muscles which is toxic to the body and would mean that you would inevitably die.

Any sportsmen would need this as a lactic acid build up would cause great fatigue in a sportsman muscles, such as a rugby player who would use the lactic acid system for prolonged medium-high intensity exercise which would produce lactic acid.This lactic acid can be neutralized by taking in more oxygen but first carbon dioxide must be removed first through the blood. This prevents fatigue from happening quickly and would allow the rugby player to keep going for the whole match without fatiguing quickly.


The blood vessels of the body regulate the heat of the body via the vaso dilation an constriction of the blood vessels of the body to control the flow of blood to certain areas of the body. For example if a person was hot the blood vessels around the core would constrict so there is a restricted blood flow to the core of the body and the vessels at the surface of the skin would dilate so the blood will be closer to the outside air which cools the blood.Also if you were cold, the opposite would happen and the blood flow would be constricted at the surface of the skin and the blood vessels would dilate at the core of the body so that the blood is far away from the air and will remain warm.The blood also has plasma ,which is basically water which keeps the blood fluid, which is then secreted though pours in the skin to form moisture on the skin when we are hot the water then evaporates and the thermal energy required to cause the moisture to evaporate will leave the body and thus cool you down. if this didn't happen the body would shut down quickly form either being too hot or too cold as there would be system in place to keep you warm or cold the only methods would be wearing allot more cloths when cold and frequently pouring water over your skin when hot.

Most sportsmen need thermoregulation such as a runner who would generate allot of heat when running and would need to expel heat through the vasodialation of blood vessels at the surface of the skin or by sweating. This is important as a runner would become extremely hot without these mechanisms in place to cool the body down as the body would overheat and enzymes within the body would denature so minerals and vitamins within the body cannot be broken down and the runners energy levels would drop without minerals and vitamins getting to the muscles and brain and would likely force the runner to stop. However the runner would also need to take in more water throughout a race as the blood plasma would lose water through sweating and would cause the blood to increase in viscosity and would become thicker which would cause a heat stroke as the blood would move slower in the brain so less oxygen would get there. If a heat stroke were to occour then the runner would be unable to run altogether so it is important that the runner is to drink for the thermoregulatory systems to be effective .

functions of the blood

The blood is made up of numerous disease fighting cells called white blood cells and these white blood cells fight off and kill disease causing pathogens which enter the body in various ways. These pathogens are identified by b cells when they clump and bind the pathogen cells together which can be identified by a disease killing cell called a phagocyte which consumes the pathogen and breaks them down. also when there is a breach in a physical barrier such as the skin the blood begins flowing out of the wound and there are clotting cells within the blood which causes the blood to clot when it comes into contact with the air the blood then forms a scab which forms a barrier until the skin has healed. This stops outside germs and pathogens from directly entering the body through the wounds.

Any illnesss that isnt faught by the white blood cells in the blood would affect the athlete greatly as there are not defences in the blood that could stop the pathogen from spreading so it will spread and cause you to come ill. Also if a player has a cut and the blood does not clot then the player will keep bleeding and lose an unnececary amount of blood also any germs that are on the playing surface will direcly go into the blood stream which would cause a person to become ill.

The respiratory system

Functions of the respiratory system

Gas Exchange

For the blood to take in fresh oxygen and to get rid of the carbon dioxide that it is carrying, gas exchange must occur. This happens within the lungs and is the only way of oxygen entering the bloodstream so it is vital that it occurs or no oxygen would be taken in nor would the carbon dioxide be removed. Gas exchange occurs when you breathe in and fresh oxygen is taken into the alveloi which is surrounded with capillaries that are carrying de-oxygenated blood from the heart, The oxygen then diffuses into the blood as there is a difference in the concentration gradient in the blood which has a low concentration of oxygen where the alvioli has a high concentration of oxygen , so the oxygen passes into the blood and the same thing happens to the carbon dioxide as there is a high concentration of carbon dioxide in the blood and a low concentration of carbon dioxide in the lungs so the carbon dioxide passes into the lungs so that it can be breathed out of the body and is removed . The oxygen in the blood than is pumped on by the heart to the body to be used. This is vital for a persons survival as oxygen is key for respiration and energy production. Also the carbon dioxide in the blood is toxic and lowers the ph of the blood causing it to be slightly acidic and will cause cells to die if it isn't removed also it cannot be used in any of the bodies processes.

Mechanisms of breathing

The body has numerous mechanisms of breathing that helps the lungs to take in oxygen.The primary mechanism the body uses is the diaphragm which is used for low level intensity exercise as a lower level of oxygen is required the diaphragm helps the lungs to take in air virtually unassisted, However when the body needs more oxygen and undergoes more strenuous exercise, the intercostals and additional breathing muscles begin assisting the diaphragm such as the intercostals ,sternocleino-mastoid , obliques and abdominal muscles help in the intake of air. They do so by moving the thoracic cavity and lifting it higher so there is more room for air to be taken into the lungs. The expiration muscles of the body (internal intercostals, sternocleinomastoid and scalenes) help to the pressure around the lungs by contracting which causes air to move quicker out of the lungs so that a new breath can be taken.

This is important for all athletes as oxygen is required for numerous reasons such as respiration, ATP resynthesis and decreasing the ph within the muscles and blood. If there were not additional mechanisms to increase the amount of oxygen taken in then the athlete would not be able to performa at a high er intensity than rest as there would not be enough oxygen to accomodate for the amount of energy needed . A runner with poor minute ventilation would not be able to run quickly and would be out of breath as they will not be tking in enough oxygen. They would have to rely on their anerobic energy systems which would allow them to move or around 40 seconds using both the pc and lactic acid systems which would not be enough for a long distance race.

Lung volumes

lung volumes are important as it will decide how hard the lungs have to work in order to supply the body with sufficient oxygen needed. The tidal volume (the amount of air the lungs can breathe in and out in one full breath) is important and a person with a low tidal volume will have to breathe in more frequently so their lungs and breathing mechanisms would work harder to take more breaths so there would be little room for the lungs to work at a higher intensity if they are already being strained at rest.A low tidal volume could be natural but can be changed with regular aerobic exercise which will strengthen the breathing muscles of the body meaning they will not have to work as hard and can take in more air with each breath meaning that your tidal volume will increase.

Your vital capacity is the maximum amount of air you can expel in one full breath and is important as a low vital capacity would mean that your lungs do not expel as much carbon dioxide as a person with a similar body composition with a higher vital capacity. A higher vital capacity means that gas exchange can happen more efficiently and means that the body can take in more oxygen as less carbon dioxide is left in the lungs .

Residual volume is the amount of oxygen that is left in the lungs after one full exhalation and cannot be removed from the lungs . if there were no air or gasses in the lungs there would be a vacuum or the lungs would collapse so that no air occupied the space. this would mean that a person would die from collapsed lungs if all air was removed. So the residual volume is there for not reason in particular and is only there because the breathing mechanisms are in place to keep the lungs from collapsing so air will inevitably remain in the lungs after a full exhalation.

All are important for an athete as a higher tidal volume will mean that more oxygen can be taken with each reath so there is more oxygen in the bloodstram menaing more ATP can be resynthesised and thus a person will be able to work for longer. This would be improtant for a runner for exmple who has a higher tidal volume that another runner would be able to maintain a higher running pace with less exertion as their lungs are not having to breathe as quickly reducing the strain on the muscles so they can work for longer.

also a higher vital capicity will mean one full expiration will remove more carbon dioxide from their lungs than a person with a lower vital cpacity who would still have carbon dioxide left in their lungs. This means that their gas exchange is less efficient and would also require them to take more frequent breaths to make up the oxygen deficit.

control of breathing

breathing is controlled both neurally and chemically. At rest the diaphragm is controlled neurally by the brain and is done semi consciously as a person can control what rate they breathe at however the brain will force you to breathe faster if you do not breathe enough or it will slow your breathing down if you breathe too fast. The brain will cause you to pass out and will regulate your breathing to a "normal" level.

However when you begin exercising the body has chemoreceptors in the muscles that detect the ph of the blood as the carbon dioxide in the blood causes it to turn slightly acidic . So the chemoreceptors send a message to the medulla oblongata which sends a message to the inspiritory and expiritory control centers which then send a message to the inspiritory and expiritory muscles causing them to assist with breathing. When a person has finished exercising and sufficient oxygen has been taken in and the blood ph has returned to normal the chemo receptors stop sending a message to the medulla oblongata so the breathing muscles stop assisting and neural control takes over and you begin breathing normally.

This would be important for all sportsmen as the ICC and ECC need to send a signal to the breahing muscles so an increased minute ventilation to occour and a person would have more oxygen in their blood during eersize and would be able to remove carbon dioxide quicker with the assistance of the inspiritory and expiritory systems.

Also a person who wants to calm themselfs before a big event would consciously control their breathing as breathing rate and heart rate are linked the heart would slow down and the parasympathetic nervous system would begin to calm you down. This is important for sports requiring high levels of skill such as a gymanast who would perform better than a person who isnt calm and cannot controll their breathing.