It’s common knowledge that exercise promotes fitness and good health.
Nonetheless, not everyone knows about the 7 specific physiological processes that are affected by exercise.
Knowing about these processes can help you understand your body more. You can also learn why your body responds to exercises the way it does.
Take note that aside from these 7 major processes, there are still numerous physiological effects of exercise in the body that can take place.
For now, we will focus on the 7 major physiological processes.
Exercise promotes the smooth transportation of oxygen-poor blood from the various parts of the body through the veins.
And also, the transportation of oxygen-rich blood from the heart back to the different parts of the body through the arteries.
When you exercise, your heart rate increases prompting the blood in your vessels to flow more quickly. This would facilitate the distribution of essential nutrients and oxygen to various cells in the body.
Thus, the body cells are sufficiently nourished. This would ensure that theycould perform their physiological functions properly.
As the heart rate increases, respiration also increases.
This is because the lungs have to oxygenate the blood and eliminate carbon dioxide, as fast as the heart pumps it into the lungs. Thereby, hyperventilation occurs.
Through respiration certain toxic substances are also excreted namely: alcohol, some illicit drugs, and poisonous gaseous substances such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.
But, take note: In cases when inhalation and exhalation does not go back to normal after exercise, acid-gas imbalances may occur. This can cause fatal conditions such as respiratory alkalosis, coma and eventual death.
Respiratory alkalosis is the rapid loss of carbon dioxide through hyperventilation. The blood’s pH becomes more alkaline with the value higher than 7.
The blood pH value ranges from 7.35 to 2.45 with an average of 7.4.
Excretion of Waste Products
Exercise enhances the excretion of waste products.
When you exercise, the excretion process becomes rapid because of increased circulation. The kidneys have to work double time to cope with the increased amount of toxic waste products of metabolism.
In certain illnesses when the kidneys are not able to excrete these waste products, the waste products can accumulate in the body and cause toxemia.
This can lead to comma and eventual death.
Thus, exercise helps eliminate these toxic substances from the body, primarily, through the kidneys, skin, stool and lungs.
In most instances, the liver plays a major role in converting these toxic substances into less poisonous and water soluble forms so that they can be readily excreted.
Exercise helps hasten these excretory processes, cleaning the body of the toxic waste products of metabolism.
Perspiration is a natural process that occurs when the body’s temperature increases due to many reasons. One of them is exercise.
When this happens, the stimulus (hot body) is sent to the hypothalamus and the brain processes and recognizes this datum.
The brain then ‘commands’ the sweat glands to produce sweat to help cool down the body and maintain the normal body temperature, which is 37 degrees Celsius.
In addition, the body utilizes several modes of excretion and the skin is another way of excreting waste products such as alcohol, addictive drugs and excess salt.
This is the reason why your body smells like alcohol when you’re drunk.
Therefore, exercise stimulates two processes in the skin, perspiration and excretion of unwanted substances.
Exercise triggers the release of ‘emergency hormones’ called catecholamine, in particular, epinephrine.
The catecholamine increases in concentration because of the fast heart beat brought about by increased respiration.
The increased secretion and release of catecholamine will, in turn, elevatethe glucose levels in your bloodstream. It will also increase your heart rate and your respiration.
When your emergency hormones are increased in secretion, you become stronger and more energized. This is the reason why a person can lift a heavy object during emergency situations, but not under normal conditions.
The increase of epinephrine will help provide the energy that your body requires as you continue to exercise. However, sustained levels of epinephrine can also result to other illnesses. Thus, you have to take a break from exercise, every now and then.
Exercise promotes the increased secretion of testosterone, the true male sex hormone. With the increased secretion of testosterone, men would definitely acquire a 6-pack abdomenand well-toned muscles.
Men who exercise more would tend to grow larger muscles because of the increased concentration of testosterone in their bodies.
So, if you’re a female, and you want to become more masculine, you can exercise to bring out testosterone in your system. Yes, women have testosterone too, but only in small amounts.
This physiological process is superb for men who want to maintain their well-tonedmuscles and to sustain their muscle strength.
During exercise, muscle contractions occur.
The contraction will strengthen your muscles, making them firmer and larger. Muscles that are not exercised tend to atrophy and be reduced in size. Sometimes, muscular dystrophy (decreased muscle mass) may occur.
Muscle contraction occurs when the proteins, actin and myosin, slide against each other to produce contractions.
The presence of acetylcholine, calcium and troponin are essential for the physiological process to occur.
Acetylcholine binds the receptor cells and releases calcium. Calcium attaches to troponin and activates actin’s active site, so that myosin could attach to actin.
The myosin head that is attached to actin will then pull actin to slide towards myosin with the release of ADP from ATP, and muscle contraction occurs. This cycle goes on for as long as your muscle contracts during exercise.
These are the 7 major physiological functions that exercise affects. You can go over them to understand more how your body works when you exercise.
Knowing this information will help you cope properly when any incident occurs that may be the result of these processes.