What happens to our bodies when we exercise?

So you’re going to workout…

Have you ever stopped to think about the mechanics within your body when you exercise?  In other words, what’s going on behind the scenes when we push our bodies physically?

As you can imagine, not every physical activity utilizes the same muscles and has the same goal in mind.  For example, when you run or swim, your muscles’ primary objective is to maintain a pace that propels your body forward.  On the other hand, with lifting weights, your muscles are working together to move the weight off the ground.

While this is all taking place, your muscles are “calling the shots,” so to speak to the rest of your body.  They are basically calling out to the rest of your body and its major organs to either lend a hand or take a break to conserve energy.  For example, your heart accelerates during vigorous exercise so that it can pump additional blood to your muscles while your stomach takes a break with digestion to conserve energy.

Imagine your muscles working like electric motors.  Instead of needing electricity to run like the motors do, muscles require a chemical called adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to fuel its energy.  Also, while burning ATP the body has three requirements:

  • It needs oxygen in order to create the chemical reaction resulting in ATP.
  • It needs to rid itself of metabolic wastes such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid that are a result of this chemical reaction.
  • It needs to eliminate the heat from the body working so hard.

Another main health factor in working out is that exercise supports the regulation of your glucose, insulin, and leptin levels.  This occurs by augmenting insulin/leptin receptor acuteness.  So, with that being said this is conceivably a vital part in boosting your complete health and thwarting chronic disease.

Nonetheless exercise influences your body in a plethora of other ways.  Some effects can be direct and others are indirectly useful.  As an example, some side effects of exercise consist of but are not restricted to the following:

  • Better quality sleep
  • Enhanced Mood
  • Vibrant skin
  • A boosted sexual prowess
  • Transformations in gene utterance.

Since we are talking about the biological effects of exercise let’s look at some other areas like your heart, brain, lungs, joints and bones.

  • Heart. As your exercise intensifies so does your heart rate in order to provide more oxygenated blood for your muscles. The better shape you are in the easier it is for your heart to make this transition occur, and you can work out harder and longer with ease.  This improved productivity will also lower your resting heart rate.  In addition, your blood pressure readings will dwindle as a result of new forming blood vessels.
  • Brain. The more blood that is introduced to the brain almost instantaneously creates better functionality.  Respectively, following exercise we feel more focused and proficient.  Moreover, a regimental approach to working out will stimulate the birth of new brain cells.  The new growth of brain cells will improve learning capabilities and memory.
  • Lungs. During a workout, our muscles require more oxygen. Sometimes it is as much as 15 times greater than when you are resting.  As soon as the muscles that encompass your lungs cannot move any quicker you have attained your VO2 max, which is your maximum capability of oxygen use.  The greater your VO2 peak constitutes a better fitness level.
  • Joints and Bones. Exercise sometimes places five or six times your body weight on them.  As we reach adulthood our bone mass reaches it hardest density.  It slowly declines as we age.  Weight training is a very effective antidote against osteoporosis, because our bones are very absorbent and soft, and with age they become frail and less compact.  The more active we are the better off our joints and bones will be.

Sure sounds like a lot of work huh?

So besides loosing weight and toned muscles, how else is exercise going to benefit someone physiologically?

When we push our bodies with exercise, our brain produces chemicals called endorphins which is an abbreviation from the more complex name of “endogenous morphine.” Simply put, it is a morphine formed naturally by the body.  The great thing about endorphins is that they have been shown to reduce stress and pain almost instinctively, as well as giving that euphoric high, so to speak.

Not to mention, one workout can unleash other natural antidepressant chemicals such as dopamine, serotonin, and nor epinephrine!  Just think, your very own prescription for these antidepressants without going to see a doctor!

In conclusion, exercise can change your life in the following ways:

  • Lower you daily and chronic dose of stress
  • Enhance how you feel about yourself and your self-confidence
  • Elevate your mood
  • Eliminate depressive feelings
  • Improve your mental focus
  • Overall feeling like you can take on the world!

So what do you say – shall we get moving today?


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