Exercise Physiology

exercise physiology
study of how the body functions during physical activity and exercise

anxiety
state of uneasiness and apprehension

depression
act of lowering a muscle or bone or movement in an inferior or downward direction

sedentary
doing or requiring much sitting; minimal activity

physical fitness
physical components of well-being that enable a person to function at an optimal level

heart rate
number of heart beats per minute

mind/body vitality
individual’s ability to minimize or alleciate unnecessary stress and tension from the body through the integration of physical exercise and mental focus

muscular strength
maximal force a muscle or muscle group can exert during contraction

muscular endurance
ability of a muscle or muscle group to exert force against a resistance over a sustained period of time

cardiovascular or cardiorespiratory endurance
capacity of the heart, blood vessels, and lungs to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the working muscles and tissues during sustained exercise and to remove metabolic waste products that would result in fatigue; the ability to perform large muscle movements over a sustained period

aerobic
in the presence of oxygen

flexibility
ability to move joints through their normal range of motion

body composition
makeup of the body in terms of the relative percentage of fat-free mass and body fat

lean body mass
components of the body (apart from fat), including muscles, bones, nervous tissue, skin, blood, and organs

adipose tissue
fatty tissue; connective tissue made up of fat cells

essential fat
fatty acids that the body needs but cannot synthesize

storage fat
fat contained within adipose tissue that acts as an energy store and thermal insulation, and also cushions the internal organs

fat
essential nutrient that provides energy, energy storage, insulation, and contour to the body

overweight
term to describe an excessive amount of weight for a given height, using height-to-weight ratios

obesity
an excessive accumulation of body fat. Usually defined as more than 20% above ideal weight, or over 25% body fat for men and over 32% body fat for women

hypertension
high blood pressure, or the elevation of resting blood pressure above 140/90 mmHg

type 2 diabetes
most common form of diabetes; typically develops in adulthood and is characterized by a reduced sensitivity of the insulin target cells to available insulin

coronary artery disease
major form of cardiovascular disease; results when the coronary arteries are narrowed or occluded, most commonly by atheroschelotic deposits of fibrous and fatty tissue

carbohydrates
body’s preferred energy source; dietary sources include sugars (simple) and grains, rice, potatoes, and beans (complex). stored as glycogen in the muscles and liver and is transported in the blood as glucose

fatty acids
long hydrocarbon chains with an even number of carbons and varyine degrees of saturation with hydrogen

lactate
chemical derivative of lactic acid, which is formed when sugars are broken down for energy without the presence of oxygen

pulmonary ventilation
total volume of gas inspired or expired per minute

cardiac output
amount of blood pumped by the heart per minute; usually expressed in liters of blood per minute

hemoglobin
protein molecule in red blood cells specifically adapted to carry oxygen molecules (by bonding with them)

tidal volume
volume of air inspired per breath

respiration
exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the cells and the atmosphere

emphysema
obstructive pulmonary disease characterized by the gradual destruction of lung alveoli and the surrounding connective tissue, in addition to airway inflammation, leading to reduced ability to effectively inhale and exhale

asthma
chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways that affects genetically susceptible individuals in response to various environmental triggers such as allergens, viral infection, exercise, cold, and stress

protein
compound composed of a combination of 20 amino acids that is the major structural component of all body tissue

anemia
reduction in the number of red blood cells and/or quantity of hemoglobin per volume of blood below normal values

stroke volume
amount of blood pumped from the left ventricle of the heart with each beat

ejection fraction
percentage of the total volume of blood that is pumped out of the left ventricle during the systolic contraction of the heart

cardiovascular disease
general term for any disease of the heart, blood vessels, or circulation

myocardial infaction
episode in which some of the heart’s blood supply is severely cut off or restricted, causing the heart muscle to suffer and die from lack of oxygen

ischemia
decrease in the blood supply to a bodily organ, tissue, or part caused by constriction or obstruction of the blood vessels

oxygen extraction
amount of oxygen taken from the hemoglobin molecule and used in exercising muscle cells

mitochondria
the “power plant” of cells where aerobic metabolism occurs

viscera
collective internal organs of the abdominal cavity

vasoconstriction
narrowing of the opening of blood vessels (notably the smaller arterioles) caused by the contraction of the smooth muscle lining the vessels

vasodilation
increase in diameter of the blood vessels, especially dilation of arterioles leading to increased blood flow to a part of the body

amino acids
nitrogen-containing compounds that are building blocks of protein

gluconeogensis
production of glucose from non-sugar substrates such as pyruvate, lactate, glycerol, and glucogenic amino acids

anaerobic
without the presence of oxygen

creatine phosphate (CP)
storage form of high-energy phosphate in muscle cells that can be used to immediately resynthesize adenosine triphosphate

phosphagens
high energy phosphate compounds found in muscle tissue, including ATP and CP, that can be broken down for immediate use by the cells

adenosine diphosphate (ADP)
one of the chemical by-products of the breakdown of adenosine triphosphate during muscle contraction

adenosine monophosphate (AMP)
substance found in muscle cells that participates in energy released by working muscle

anaerobic glycolysis
metabolic pathway that uses glucose for energy production without requiring oxygen; produces lactic aced as a by-product

glycolysis
breakdown of glucose or of its storage form, glycogen

pyruvate
biochemical involved in the Kreb’s cycle that facilitates adenosine triphosphate production

aerobic glycolysis
metabolic pathway that requires oxygen to facilitate the use of glycogen for energy (ATP); same as oxidative glycolysis

oxidative glycolysis
metabolic pathway that requires oxygen to facilitate the use of glycogen for energy (ATP); same as aerobic glycolysis

acetyl-CoA
important molecule in metabolism, used in manu biochemical reactions; main use is to convey the carbon atoms within the acetyl group to the citric acid cycle to be oxidized for energy production; forms common entry point into the Kreb’s cycle for the oxidation of carbohydrate and fat

Kreb’s cycle
series of chemical reactions that act to break pyruvate down to carbon dioxide water, and many hydrogen-powered molecules known an NADH and FADH2

beta oxidation
metabolic pathway involving the breakdown of fatty acids (digested dietary fat) for the production of ATP

respiratory exchange ratio (RER)
ratio of the amount of carbon dioxide produced relative to the amount of oxygen consumed

maximum heart rate (MHR)
highest heart rate a person can attain

diabetes
disease of carbohydrate metabolism in which an absolute or relative deficiency of insulin results in an inability to metabolize carbohydrates normally

oxygen consumption
process by which oxygen is used to produce energy for cellular work

maximal aerobic capacity (VO2 max)
point at which oxygen consumption plateaus with an additional workload; represents a person’s capacity for the aerobic synthesis of ATP

steady state
constant submaximal exercise below the lactate threshold where the oxygen consumption is meeting the energy requirements of the activity

vagal withdrawal
effect produced on the heart when the parasympathetic nerve fibers (which are carried in the vagus nerve) controlling the heart rate are inhibited by the sympathetic nervous system during exercise thus increasing the heart rate

catecholamines
hormone released as part of the sympathetic response to exercise

excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC)
measurably increased rate of oxygen uptake following strenuous activity; extra oxygen is used in the processes that restore the body to a resting state and adapt it to the exercise just performed

Q10 effect
physiological phenomenon wherein chemical reactions occur twice as fast when the temperature is increased by 10 degrees C

anaerobic threshold (AT)
point during high-intensity activity when the body can no longer meet its demand for oxygen and anaerobic metabolism predominates

hyperventilation
greater-than-normal rate of breathing that results in an abnormal loss of carbon dioxide from the blood; dizziness may occur

ventilatory threshold (VT)
point of transition between predominantly aerobic energy production to anaerobic energy production; involved the recruitment of fast-twitch muscle fivers and identified via gas exchange during exercise testing

first ventilatory threshold (VT1)
intensity of aerobic exercise at which ventilation starts to increase in a non-linear fashion in response to an accumulation of metabolic by-products in the blood

second ventilatory threshold (VT2)
metabolic marker which represents the point at which high-intensity exercise can no longer be sustained due to an accumulation of lactate

respiratory compensation threshold (RCT)
metabolic marker which represents the point at which high-intensity exercise can no longer be sustained due to an accumulation of lactate; also called second ventilatory threshold

lactate threshold (LT)
point during exercise of increasing intensity at which blood lactate begins to accumulate above resting levels, where lactate clearance is no longer able to keep up with lactate production

talk test
method for measuring exercise intensity using observation of respiration effort and the ability to talk while exercising

glycogenolysis
breakdown of liver and muscle glycogen to yield blood glucose

SAID principle
training principle that states that the body will adapt to the specific challenges imposed upon it, as long as the program progressively overloads the system begin trained; specific adaptation to imposed demands

maximal oxygen consumption
point at which oxygen consumption plateaus with an additional workload; represents a person’s capacity for the aerobic synthesis of ATP

cholesterol
fat-like substance found in the blood and body tissues and in certain foods; can accumulate in the arteries and lead to a narrowing of the vessels

triclycderides
three fatty acids joined to a glycerol (carbon and hydrogen structure) backbone; how fat is stored in the body

neuron
basic anatomical unit of the nervous system; the nerve cell

sensory neurons
nerve cells that convey electrical impulses from sensory organs in the periphery (such as the skin) to the spinal cord and brain

motor neurons
nerve cells that conduct impulses from the central nervous system to the periphery signaling muscles to contract or relax, regulating muscular movement

synapse
region of communication between neurons

motor end plate
location of the synapse of a motor neuron and muscle cell

motor unit
motor nerve and all of the muscle fibers it stimulates

hypertrophy
increase in the cross-sectional size of a muscle in response to progressive resistance training

actin
thin contractile protein in a myofibril

myosin
thick contractile protein in a myofibril

myofibrils
portion of the muscle containing the thick (myosin) and thin (actin) contractile filaments; series of sarcomeres where the repeating pattern of the contractile proteins gives the striated appearance to skeletal muscle

vascularity
increase in the number and size of blood vessels enhancing blood supply and oxygen delivery to muscle cells

adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH)
hormone released by the pituitary glad that affects various important bodily functions; controls the secretion in the adrenal gland of hormones that influence the metabolism of carbohydrates, sodium, and potassium; also controls the rate at which substances are exchanged between the blood and tissues

cortisol
hormone that is often referred to as the “stress hormone” as it is involved in the response to stress; it increases blood pressure and blood glucose levels and has an immunosuppressive action

growth hormone (GH)
hormone secreted by the pituitary gland that facilitates protein synthesis in the body

insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1 and IGF-2)
polypeptide structurally similar to insulin as secreted either during fetal development or during childhood; mediates growth hormone activitiy

antidiuretic hormone (ADH)
hormone released by the posterior pituitary gland during exercise; reduces urinary excretion of water and prevents dehydration

vasopressin
hormone released by the posterior pituitary gland during exercise; reduces urinary excretions of water and prevents dehydration

osmolality
measure of the concentration of ionic substances in the blood such as sodium, potassium, and glucose

aldosterone
one of two main hormones released by the adrenal cortex; plays a role in limited sodium excretion in the urine

glucocorticoid
an adrenocortical steroid hormone that increases gluconeogenesis, exerts an anti-inflammatory effect and influences many bodily functions

islets of Langerhans
irregular clusters of endocrine cells scattered throughout the tissue of the pancreas that secretes insulin (beta cell) and glucagon (alpha cells)

beta cells
endocrine cells in the islets of Langerhans of the pancreas responsible for synthesizing and secreting the hormone insulin, which lowers the glucose levels in the blood

alpha cells
endocrine cells in the islets of Langerhans of the pancreas responsible for synthesizing and secreting the hormone glucagon, which elevates the glucose levels in the blood

androgenic
effects related to developing masculine characteristics associated with manhood

amenorrhea
absence of menstruation

female athlete triad
condition consisting of a combination of disordered eating, menstrual irregularities and decreased bone mass in athletic women

peripheral vasodilation
widening of the blood vessels of peripheral vasculature in the systemic circulation

dehydration
process of losing body water; when severe, can cause life threatening consequences

heat index
guidelines regarding when exercise can be safely undertaken or when it should be avoided based on measures of heat and humidity

hyperthermia
abnormally high body temperature

vasoconstriction
narrowing of the opening of blood vessels (notably the smaller arterioles) caused by the contraction of the smooth muscle lining the vessels

windchill
chill factor created by the increase in the rate of heat loss via convection and conduction caused by wind

evaporation
process by which molecules in a liquid state spontaneously become gaseous

partial pressure
pressure of each gas in a multiple gas system

angina
common symptom of coronary artery disease characterized by chest pain, tightness, or radiating pain resulting from a lack of blood flow to the heart muscle

anemic
reduction in the number of red blood cells and/or quantity of hemoglobin per volume of blood below normal values

principle of specificity
exercise training principle explaining that specific exercise demands made on the body produce specific responses by the body

depression
condition of general emotional dejection and withdrawal; sadness greater and more prolonged than that warraned by any objective reason

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