Some us workout to be more aesthetically pleasing to the crowd. Whether that means seeking washboard abs, a larger set of guns or toned legs we all want to look fit. While that is great motivation for individuals to start exercising, we also need to look at the more important benefits of exercise-the physiological aspect of the human body.
Physiological Benefits of Exercise
The body is composed of several systems that work together to maintain homeostasis, but when a stressor is present, i.e. exercise, there are many adaptations the body has to make to accommodate these changes and many of them are very beneficial.
Health Benefits of Exercise
-Increase in exercise tolerance
-Reduction in body weight
-Reduction in LDL (bad cholesterol) and total cholesterol
-Increase in HDL (good cholesterol)
-Increase in insulin sensitivity
Exercise increases the release of the following hormones:
-Catecholamines: epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine – the fight-or-flight hormones
-Growth Hormone: promotes cell division, protein synthesis, and bone growth
-ACTH-Cortisol: aids the body during stress by increasing glucose levels and suppressing immune system function
-TSH-Thyroxine: regulate metabolism
-Testosterone, estradiol-progesterone: develops/maintains sex organs
-Glucagon: breaks down glycogen stores to glucose for energy
Respiratory Response to Exercise
-An increase in VO2: the amount of oxygen taken up and used by the body
-Increased transportation of oxygen and carbon dioxide throughout the body.
-Increased motor unit recruitment: ability to use more muscle fibers for a given movement
-Increased fuel metabolism: efficiently using the right substrates for energy
-Increased oxygen consumption: VO2 max increases
-Increased production of metabolic by-products: ability to decrease or slow down the accumulation of lactic acid
-Increased muscle temperature: helps with the evaporation of sweat to keep the body cool
As overwhelming as the above may seem, it is just a snip-it of the highly complex machine that is the human body. If you are seeking specific results from your exercise program, the highly educated trainers at Beach Fitness would be happy to answer your questions and work with you to design an effective program.
– Helena Robel