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What Is Exercise Physiology – A General Overview

what is exercise physiology
Written by Michael Benedict
Last Update: August 23, 2021

Exercise physiology is undoubtedly a modern phenomenon that is indispensable for implementing strategies to optimize the physical performance of the people who have chronic diseases. However, this phenomenon is not anymore confined in only for clinical physiology. Everyone who has an interest in physical exercise should have at least a general overview of exercise physiology. In this article, you will have a general overview of exercise physiology.

What Is Exercise Physiology: Overview, Basic Concepts

Exercise Physiology: Definition

To build a fit and healthy body, appropriate regular exercise is a must for you. When you exercise, you feel how your body is responding with your move. Exercise physiology is an actual understanding of that feeling. It makes you understand how your body functions when you exercise. So, it’s a study of the relationship of your body with different movements. Kinesiology is the scientific research of human movement and exercise physiology is a part of this study.

In any standard exercise physiology definition, you may learn the analysis of how the cells and organs of your body react when you exercise for a short period (acute responses) and an extended period (chronic adaptation). It finds out the way you can adapt to various kinds of exercise to maximize your fitness and keep you healthy for a long time.

Physiology of exercise is the study of the effects of exercise on the human body. It examines the impact of acute responses and chronic adaptation of the body when it is exposed to exercises.

Clinical Exercise physiologists are medical professionals who apply the principles of exercise physiology to lessen the damage and risk of chronic diseases which are associated with physical inactivity and to maximize the use of exercise to treat the people who are already afflicted.

History of Exercise Physiology

Exercise physiology gained the status of a specialized area of study in between the mid-1960s and 1970s. However, the first appearance of this field of education came in the late 1800s.

  • In the early 1900s, McKenzie investigated the effects of exercise on various systems of the body and the idea of preventative medicine.
  • After WWII, the interest in fitness increased dramatically as a result of youth fitness tests and the results of the physical ability of men in the military.
  • In the 1970s, American Physiological Society declared exercise physiology as a specialized area of physiology.
  • In 1974, ACSM created the guidelines for Graded Exercise Testing and Prescription.
  • Understanding the relationship between physical activity and health started to become more apparent between the 1980s and 1990s.
  • The first ever certification exams for Clinical Exercise Physiologists was held in 2000.

Goals of Exercise Physiology

Goals of Exercise Physiology

Exercise Physiology has two reciprocally distinct goals

  • The first goal is to understand how the human body functions when exposed to exercises.
  • The second goal is to use the understandings of the first goal to develop instructions and guidelines that enact, promote, and advocate physical fitness.

In reality, if you know how your body responds to short-time (acute) physical activity and how it adapts that short-time physical activity over an extended period, you will be able to maximize the benefits of exercise for health and fitness. This is the primary goal of exercise physiology.

Areas of Exercise Physiology

There are a lot of areas of exercise physiology

  • Effects of various exercises on various systems of the body
  • Relationship of energy metabolism to performance
  • The effectiveness of training programs
  • Effects of environmental factors
  • Effects of individual differences on fitness development and performance
  • Identification of factors that limit performance
  • The effectiveness of various rehabilitation programs
  • Ergogenic aids and exercise
  • Health and therapeutic effects associated with exercise
  • Effects of nutrition on performance

Scopes and Benefits of Exercise Physiology

The scope of exercise physiology covers every human being of the world. A healthy individual with no disease can be benefitted from exercise physiology. However, the patients of metabolic, rheumatoid, orthopedic, cardiovascular, pulmonary, or neuromuscular diseases are the real beneficiary of this field of study. Here are some other scopes of exercise physiology.

  • It is essential to have general knowledge of the responses of normal physiology to acute and chronic exercise if you want to prevent, manage, or rehabilitate the disease.
  • Specific treatments may alter exercise therapy. Some examples include drugs and medications, surgical procedures, radiation therapy, orthopedic bracing, casting, or splinting; dialysis, and diet therapy.
  • Heart rate and blood pressure responses to exercise can be reduced significantly by a drug called Beta-Adrenergic Blocking Agent which is commonly used to manage angina or hypertension.
  • An exercise itself can produce effects requiring alterations in other therapies the patient is receiving.

Exercise physiology or physiology of exercise is arguably the most important field of study in modern days. Being fit and healthy should be the priority of every individual, and you must exercise to be fit and healthy. Thus, physiology of exercise is a very important field of study for our health and fitness.

About the author

Michael Benedict

I’m Michael. I’m a health advocate and a former fitness trainer with a decade of experience helping men and women build their body and become the envy of others in less than a year. Being a healthcare professional, my focus is on both fitness and nutrition. Everybody knows one thing that exercises are helpful. People also know nutrition is the linchpin of healthy living. But a few people can derive the real fun without the rigors of exercise. I’m proud to tell you that I can help people get that, from buying and using to living with and enjoying! This website is a good part of my mission (to help people live well). I hope you would find my articles useful for your purposes.

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