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WELLNESS

Response to exercise

When you exercise or compete in sports, you notice several things about your body. You breathe heavier and faster, your heart beats faster, your muscles hurt and you sweat. These are all normal responses to exercise whether you work out regularly or only once in a while or whether you are a “weekend warrior” or a trained athlete. When you watch world-class athletes compete, you see the same responses, only magnified. The body has an incredibly complex set of processes to meet the demands of working muscles.

Exercise physiology is the response of the body during physical activity to provide energy to the muscles that participate in the activity and maintain a balance in the non-essential muscles that do not participate.

Among other factors, the response to exercise depends on a person’s sex, age, exercise intensity, the muscle groups involved in the exercise, the position and the general health conditions of the individual. This balance depends on the interaction of the cardiovascular, respiratory, musculoskeletal apparatus of the body that, together with the action of the distinct neuro-hormones, work to supply adequate oxygen and nutrients to the active muscles and to eliminate metabolic wastes.

A low aerobic exercise capacity is associated with a higher risk of metabolic and cardiovascular illnesses as well as with premature death. Exercise capacity in prospective follow-up analyses is a stronger predictor of morbidity and mortality than other high risk factors such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

In the search for relevant mechanisms that connect aerobic capacity with illness, a notable observation is that humans can raise peak of oxidative potential through regular exercise with a degree of heterogeneity ranging from 0% to 100% which means that some subjects are not capable of bettering their aerobic capacity.

It is commonly thought that maximum aerobic capacity is limited by the maximal delivery of oxygen to the periphery and, hence, by cardiac function. This being the case, it is somewhat counterintuitive that baseline aerobic capacity neither positively nor negatively associates with the gains in exercise training-induced maximal aerobic power. The estimated heritability for gains in aerobic capacity in response to endurance training is ∼50%. Therefore it is genetically possible to have a greater predisposition to respond more effectively to exercise.

GENE OR REGION STUDIED


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