Why does our breathing rate increase during running or heavy exercise? 

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The reason your respiration rate increases during heavy activity is becacuse your body's need for oxygen increases when expending more energy. Oxygen is required for aerobic cellular respiration, the process by which glucose is burned in living organisms to produce energy:

`C_6H_12O_6 + 6 O_2 -gt 6 CO_2 + 6...

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The reason your respiration rate increases during heavy activity is becacuse your body's need for oxygen increases when expending more energy. Oxygen is required for aerobic cellular respiration, the process by which glucose is burned in living organisms to produce energy:

`C_6H_12O_6 + 6 O_2 -gt 6 CO_2 + 6 H_2O`

The energy produced in this reaction is used to make ATP, which is the energy source for cellular processes in the body. When muscle fibers contract during physical activity they use ATP for energy. As ATP is depleted it must be replaced. When it's used at a higher rate the rate of cellular respiration increases and your lungs and respiratory system must provide more oxygen.

Carbon dioxide produced during cellular respiration is transported through the bloodstream to the lungs where it's exhaled. The increase in breathing rate during heavy activity also facilitates the release of the increased amount of CO2 that's produced. 

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