Cardiovascular Physiology

Summary and Objectives:

The cardiovascular system plays an essential role during exercise. It is responsible for circulating oxygen to the working muscles, transporting hormones that help to regulate exercise response and assisting with thermoregulation. This module provides an overview of the basic cardiovascular physiology that you will need to know before discussing the cardiovascular system’s role in exercise.

By the end of this self-study module, you will be able to:

1) Describe the anatomy of the heart (chambers, valves, myocardium) and the direction of blood flow through the heart
2) Define how myocardial oxygen demand is estimated and how the myocardium is supplied with oxygen
3) Describe the electrical conduction of the heart and how it relates to the ECG signal
4) Define systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure and mean arterial pressure
5) Describe the factors that contribute to blood pressure regulation and the factors that regulate blood vessel radius

At the end of the module, you can do a quiz to test your cardiovascular physiology knowledge (not for grades!) to assess which areas you know and which you need to review.

There are other great resources (**not yet ipad compatible) you can use as supplemental material:

► How the Body Works: HEART (About Kids Health, SickKids) Shows the basic structure and function of the heart, including blood flow through the heart and lungs, the origin of the ECG and perfusion of the heart muscle


• Katch, McArdle & Katch. Chapter 10: The Cardiovascular System & Exercise.Essentials of Exercise Physiology. 4th Edition. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, 2011.

• McArdle, Katch and Katch. Chapters 15 to 17. Exercise Physiology: Energy, Nutrition and Performance. 6th Edition. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, 2007.