Exercise – what it does to blood flow

January 14, 2023

Blood flows through your body providing critical oxygen and nutrition. When you exercise, the rate of flow of blood changes to accommodate the increased need for oxygen. If you have ever wondered how much it changes and why it is so good for you, listen in.
 
Your body has approximately five litres of blood flowing throughout every minute. This blood is distributed through various parts of your body, depending on the needs. So for example, your brain gets about 0.75 litres per minute. Your liver and digestion gets about 2.5-2.75 litres per minute. Your kidney which plays the role of filter, gets about a litre per minute. Your calf muscles gets less than a litre per minute.
 
As soon as you start to exercise this changes very dramatically. The total volume of blood flowing in your body changes to 25 litres per minute. Your blood is rushing about everywhere at five times the speed. Shockingly, your calf muscles get up to 20 litres or more of this blood. No wonder it is called the second heart. Your kidneys stay at the same level, the blood flow to your liver and digestion falls. Your heart which was pumping about 0.25 litres now starts to pump 1.25 litres of blood. Your experience it as rapid heart beat or pulse. The brain is able to coordinate all of this with the same amount of blood.
 
Needless to say, the volume of blood and the manner in which it is flowing changed with exercise. Vigorous exercise, the kind for at least for a brief while, you would find it difficult to speak and exercise.
 
When you do, your arteries and veins are getting flushed. The force of the blood flowing causes the flushing. Your cells get oxygenated. They get nutrition. Toxins, debris and lymph is removed. It is nothing short of a spring cleaning. If you needed a reason to exercise, you got one.

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