When a person stops exercising, the rate of oxygen uptake does not immediately return to pre-exercise levels; it returns slowly (the person continues to breathe heavily for some time afterward). This extra oxygen is used to repay the oxygen debt incurred during exercise. The oxygen debt includes oxygen that was withdrawn from savings deposits—hemoglobin in blood and myoglobin in muscle (see chapter 16); the extra oxygen required for metabolism by tissues warmed during exercise; and the oxygen needed for the metabolism of the lactic acid produced during anaerobic respiration.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.