The Effects of Exercise

The Effects of Exercise

Short term effects

During exercise the heart rate increases rapidly.

This provides the muscles with the necessary oxygen and nutrients to provide the muscles with energy.

During exercise, cardiac output is increased.

Cardiac output = stroke volume x heart rate.

During exercise stroke volume increases because:

  • more blood is sent back to the heart due to the muscles squeezing blood in the veins.
  • as the heart fills up, it stretches.
  • as the muscle fibres stretch, they contract more strongly, pumping out more blood.

Long term effects

The heart muscle will grow and strengthen.

The heart muscle will become more efficient in heart rate and stroke volume.

Note: Stroke volume is the amount of blood leaving each ventricle on each beat.

Short term effects

During exercise, the body needs a supply of oxygen to release energy in the muscles.

Respiration increases to provide that oxygen and remove carbon dioxide.

This is done by:

  • increasing breathing rate by about three times the normal rate.
  • increasing tidal volume by five times the normal rate.
  • increasing blood supply to and through the lungs.
  • increasing oxygen up take.

Note: Tidal Volume is the amount of air taken in or out with each breathe.

Long term effects

The body becomes more efficient at using oxygen.

This is known as VO2 max and is a significant indicator of an athlete's physical fitness.

VO2 max can be accurately tested.

Short term effects

Blood is diverted to the heart, lungs and working muscles, away from parts of the digestive system.

It is best to rest for up to two hours after a meal before exercising.

Short term effects

During intense exercise the body's temperature rises.

Messages are sent from the brain to the skin to make it sweat. Sweat is formed by sweat glands under the skin.

Losing heat through sweating is caused by the evaporation of sweat from the skins surface.

Blood is diverted to the capillaries just below the skin. This causes the skin to redden.

Long term effects

Exercise improves the general health and well being of the body.

It is kept toned and helps to prevent heart disease in later life.

It provides positive mental and social contributions to a persons life as well as positive physical contributions.

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