Effects of Exercise

Effects of Exercise


  • Exercise is planned, structured, repetitive, and intentional movement intended to improve health and fitness. It results in significant changes in the body, especially the circulatory system.

Increased heart rate

  • The heart rate increases during exercise to pump more blood, providing muscles with the oxygen they need to produce more energy.
  • This is controlled by the autonomic nervous system, which regulates body functions without conscious control.
  • Over time, regular exercise can strengthen the heart and lower the resting heart rate, which can be a sign of improved cardiovascular health.

Improved blood circulation

  • Exercise promotes better circulation by causing the heart to pump more efficiently, allowing it to deliver nutrients and oxygen to the body’s tissues more effectively.
  • Improved circulation can have a variety of benefits, such as increased cell growth and organ function, better skin health, and faster wound healing.

Increased blood volume

  • The volume of blood in the body can increase with exercise, which can help the body deliver more oxygen to active tissues.
  • The additional blood volume also improves the body’s thermoregulation, helping to maintain a stable body temperature during exercise.

Enhanced respiratory system

  • Exercise also improves the efficiency of the respiratory system. With regular activity, the muscles used for breathing strengthen, and the lungs can extract more oxygen from the air.
  • This means more oxygen can be delivered to the muscles, improving endurance and reducing shortness of breath.

Adaptation to regular exercise

  • The circulatory system adapts to regular exercise with various physiological changes, such as increased capillarisation. This refers to the formation of new capillaries in the muscles, which can improve blood flow and oxygen delivery.
  • Other adaptations can include an increase in red blood cell count (improving oxygen-carrying capacity) and a decrease in resting heart rate and blood pressure.
  • The overall result of regular exercise is an improved efficiency of the circulatory system.

Potential Risks of Excessive Exercise

  • While regular exercise is beneficial, excessive exercise can put too much strain on the heart, particularly in those who are not accustomed to regular physical activity.
  • High-intensity exercise can also lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, which can affect heart function.
  • It’s essential to balance exercise with adequate rest and recovery periods.

Preventative Measures Against Risks

  • To prevent risks, it’s important to gradually increase intensity and duration of workouts over time, allowing the body to adapt.
  • Regular hydration and balanced nutrition are also critical for maintaining health and optimising performance.
  • Additionally, medical check-ups can help to monitor heart health, particularly for those undertaking strenuous exercise regimes.