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Chapter 3: The Cardio Respiratory System

Chapter 3 Assignments:

Expect 4-6 questions from Chapter 3


Write down the five types of blood vessels that travel through the systemic circuit and the order that the blood travels through.


Write down the conducting and respiratory airways.


Discuss the structure of the heart.


Write down and describe the three primary functions of blood from Table 3.1.


How can a personal trainer measure a client’s heart rate and beats per minute manually? Refer to Figure 3.4.


How do you measure your client’s heart rate during exercise?


What are the support mechanisms of Blood?


When is the best time to measure your client’s resting heart rate? Where is the best location to do it (on the body)? Do you press gently or hard?


What are the differences between cardiac output, heart rate, and stroke volume? Define all three of these.


What are the two forms of inspiratory ventilation?


What are the forms of expiratory ventilation?


How does blood flow through the heart? Describe it in detail and draw it out to help memorize it. Go to Table 3.5 for a reference.

Chapter 3 Assignment Answers:

The five types of blood vessels that travel through the systemic circuit:

Arteries: Vessels that transport blood away from the heart.
Arterioles: Small terminal branches of an artery.
Capillaries: The smallest blood vessels. This is where the oxygen exchange occurs between blood and tissues.
Venules: Very small veins that connect the capillaries to the larger veins.
Veins: The vessels that transport the un-oxygenated blood from the capillaries to the heart.

The conducting and respiratory airways:

The heart is made up of four hollow chambers with two separate pumps on each side that are interdependent. The pumps are separated by the interatrial septum and the interventricular septum. Each side has an atrium and a ventricle. Refer to the definition section for specifics on the atria and ventricles.

Transportation, regulation, and protection:

A personal trainer can calculate the heart rate manually by using the index and middle finger about 1 inch from the top of the wrist on the thumb side (radial pulse is considered more accurate). Count the number of beats in 60 seconds.

To measure your client’s heart rate during exercise, count the number of beats in six seconds and add a zero to that number. Or multiply that number by 10 to get beats per minute (BPM).

Support mechanisms of Blood

  • Transportation:
    • Transport oxygen and nutrients to issues
    • Transport tissue’s waste products
    • Transport hormones into the organs and the tissues
    • Carry heat in the body
  • Regulation
    • Regulate temperature, and balance acid in the body
  • Protection
    • Protect the body from excessive bleeding by using clots
    • Keep special immune cells to fight diseases and sicknesses
It’s best to measure your client’s resting heart rate after at least five minutes of complete rest. The best place to measure the heart rate is on the wrist (radial pulse). NASM does not recommend taking a measurement from the carotid artery. Apply light pressure as heavy pressure distorts results.

Differences between cardiac output, heart rate, and stroke volume:

  • Cardiac output: This is the volume of blood that is pumped by the heart per minute. Cardiac output is a function of heart rate x stroke volume.
  • Heart rate: The rate at which the heart beats. The average resting heart rate for an untrained adult is between 70 to 80 bpm.
  • Stroke volume: The amount of blood pumped out of the heart with each contraction.

The two forms of inspiratory ventilation that occur are the normal resting state breathing and the heavy breathing. We describe normal resting state breathing as quiet and this requires the use of the primary muscles of respiration. We describe heavy breathing as deep and forced, and this requires the added use of secondary respiratory muscles like the Scalenes and the Pec Minor.

Expiratory ventilation may be passive or active. In normal breathing it is passive since it is the result of relaxation of the inspiring muscles that contract. In deepened and heavy breathing, we see a reliance on the activity of expiratory muscles for the compression of the thoracic cavity to force out air.

Blood flows through the heart in four steps:

  • The right atrium receives oxygen-poor blood from the body and pumps it to the right ventricle through the tricuspid valve.
  • The right ventricle pumps the oxygen-poor blood to the lungs through the pulmonary valve.
  • The left atrium receives oxygen-rich blood from the lungs and pumps it to the left ventricle through the mitral valve.
  • The left ventricle pumps the oxygen-rich blood through the aortic valve to the rest of the body.

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