You can feel it every time you engage in physical activity. Something is happening, physiologically speaking, when you train or work out. But what exactly is it doing, and what are the positive effects of the visual effects of change in breath patterns, muscle fatigue or a pounding heartbeat?
Here are some of the physical effects your body undergoes when you’re training.
Joints & Bones
If bone density is a priority for you (it starts to decrease once you reach your maximum in early adulthood) training can actually have a positive effect on your joints and bones. Inactivity is the quickest route to brittle bones – weight-bearing exercise helps build up your bone mass and staves off bone disease and weakness of joints.
So you’ve heard the phrase “get your blood pumping” when it comes to exercise, but what does that even mean? Well, when you’re working out or training, your bloodflow is redirected to the most pressing areas of need, namely muscles, where the increase of oxygen and decrease of waste and acid buildup improves flow efficiency in the long-term.
One of the bonuses of improved bloodflow is improved brain function – exercise and fitness actually has positive physical effects on your brain power. You might notice your ability to focus and recall facts is improved immediately following a workout. It’s a direct result of improved bloodflow.
Bloodflow is pretty much a wash without the heart, another element of the body that undergoes distinct physiological effects during training. With frequent physical activity, your heart becomes better over time at pumping more blood to the most effective locations in the body. This means a more efficient distribution of blood with a lower heart rate, something virtually impossible in a body devoid of frequent exercise.
The fact of the matter is, when you’re working out, you’re pushing your lungs to their maximum breathing capacity – often requiring as much as 15 times as much oxygen than when you’re sitting still. There’s a reason this has positive long-term effects. Each time you reach your maximum oxygen intake you’re building up the level at which it normally rests. The more you exercise, the more this level increases and improves your fitness.
When your muscles are in action, they require more oxygen and blood vessels expand to allow this intake. And the more they’re used, the more nutrients are delivered, spurring growth and ability. The process of working out delivers the right hormones and other elements to your muscular system to improve your athletic prowess over time.