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7 presents the typical distribution of cardiac output at rest and during strenuous aerobic exercise. Notice that cardiac output has increased substantially (a fourfold increase) but that the distribution of the cardiac output has also changed dramatically. In fact, in this example, blood flow to the working muscle has increased from 1,200 ml/min to 22,000 ml/min. Blood flow to critical areas, such as the cerebral circulation, is maintained, while areas that require additional blood flow are enhanced, such as the coronary and skeletal muscle beds.

The area within the pressure–volume loop represents the stroke work of the heart. 4b), end-diastolic volume is enhanced because of increased venous return (owing to the skeletal muscle pump and venoconstriction), and end-systolic volume is reduced because of enhanced contractility (owing to sympathetic nervous stimulation). The enhanced end-diastolic volume and reduced end-systolic volume both contribute to an increase in stroke volume during exercise. Cardiac Output Cardiac output is the amount of blood pumped by each ventricle per minute (L/min).

Each myofibril is composed of smaller functional units called sarcomeres that are oriented end to end along the myofibril. The sarcomere is the basic contractile unit of the myocyte. Sarcomeres are composed primarily of overlapping thick and thin filaments, although they also contain additional proteins and connective tissue that constitute the cytoskeleton of the sarcomere and contribute to the mechanical stiffness and elasticity of muscle tissue. A sarcomere extends from one Z disc to the adjacent Z disc.

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Advanced cardiovascular exercise physiology by Denise L. Smith

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