Learning about the Effect of Exercise on Your Body

The Effect of exercise on the body

This week, in science, I have been learning about exercise and how it effects the body. I have learned about how the heart and lungs work. Rather than just reading about it we think it is important to make it practical if possible.

When we are staying on Caravan Club sites we often get out and cycle, dance, skip, rollerblade, scooter and run. These are all good types of exercise. To help me understand my science, I did an outdoor experiment.  I was trying to find out what difference exercise makes to my heart beat and breathing pace. I know that the heart pumps blood around the body and supplies muscles with nutrients and oxygen that are carried via blood vessels like veins, arteries and capillaries.  The lungs take in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide, a waste product. I thought that when I did my experiment that the heart would pound faster and my breathing would be quicker too.

What I did

My experiment involved two people: Amy and me. We measured each other’s resting heart beat for 30 seconds so that we could compare it with our heart beat after exercising. We took it in turns to run around the caravan site as quickly as possible. Then as soon as one of us got back the other person took their pulse for another 30 seconds. After that we took the pulse after one minute, two minutes and then finally after five minutes.
Amy taking pulse

My results

The results were just as I predicted. Our heart beats increased by lots straight after the exercise and then gradually decreased. After five minutes they were almost back to normal. Our breathing after exercise was rapid and we were getting hot.

Name Before exercise Straight
After 1 minute After 2 minutes After 5 minutes
Ella 78 bpm 136 bpm 106 bpm 88 bpm 90 bpm
Amy 66 bpm 144 bpm 112 bpm 80 bpm 80 bpm

The Science – what’s happening?

While you exercise your muscles work harder than normal and need more energy. This means that the heart has to work harder to pump blood (containing oxygen and nutrients) around the body to the muscles. And that is why you have a quicker heart rate when you exercise. The quicker your heart beat recovers, the fitter you are.

The reason you breathe faster when exercising is because the body needs the more oxygen than normal to go into the blood to be pumped around the body.

Your turn

This was a fun and easy experiment to do. Why not try doing it with your family? You can see if the kids are fitter than the parents!


By Ella.