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Respiration is the process from which we derive energy from the foods we eat.

There are two types of respiration, Aerobic (with oxygen) and Anaerobic (without oxygen). Each type is used during a different intensity of activity. Anaerobic respiration is initially used by the body. It is sufficient to meet our energy demands over a short period of time, but produces lots of waste lactic acid. It could not provide enough energy for long duration exercise, and the build up of waste products would prevent long intensity being maintained for very long, hence intense exercise being short in duration.
The aerobic respiration involves the oxidation of glucose to provide energy. This type of respiration usually kicks in after about 5 minutes of continuous low-intensity exercise, and is sustainable for much longer periods than anaerobic respiration.

Respiration is often over-simplified and linked too closely with breathing, leading to confusion.

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