Sports Medicine
A Crucial Period
Good Pain, Bad Pain
On Your Knees
Secondary Injuries
Imaging Technology
What's Sciatica?
The Female Athlete
Putting Your Feet First
Itis Schmitis
Too Much, Too Soon
Under the Influence
What's Goin' On?
Think Inches, Not Pounds
Preventing Vaginitis
That Painful Pull
Athlete's Heart
Exercise & Arthritis
Chilled to the Bone
Measuring Body Fat
Exercise and Your Breasts
Choosing a Sports Doctor
Lean on Me (Shoulder)
Exercise & Anemia
Exercise Abuse
Pelvis Sighting
Hand Aid
It's All in the Wrist
Back in Action
Altitude Adjustment
Tennis Elbow, Anyone?
Exercising in the Heat
Agony of the Feet
Restless Legs
Night Time Cramps
Birth Control Concerns
No Periods, No Babies?
Post Partum Prescription
Weight Loss Mystery
Undesirable Cooldown
To Brew Or Not To Brew
Fitness After Baby
Biking and Back Pain
Swimmer's Shoulder
A Hidden Athlete
Avoiding Osteoporosis
Drug Testing
Maximum Heart Rate
Headway Against Headaches
Torn Rotator Cuff
Fat Figures
Bloody Urine
Sag Story
Lackluster Leg
Bothersome Bulge
Gaining in Years
Taking It On the Shin
Aching Ankles
Hoop Help
Tender Toes
Meals For Muscle
Growing Pains
Hot Tips
High Altitude PMS
Personal Bests
Air Pollution
Ankle Blues
Heartbreak Heel
Yeast Relief

What's Going On in There?

The physiological effects of exercise on your body.

A month ago you could barely run two miles; your heart would be racing and your leg muscles would be sore. Now after running four times a week, a three-mile run is no sweat. What's going on inside your body?

Anyone who has exercised regularly has experienced the thrill of improving. You've improved, of course, because you've trained. But how exactly has your body adapted to the training? In what way have your muscles changed? What has happened to your heart? Why doesn't it beat as fast when you're in shape?

When you begin exercising regularly, your body undergoes several physiological and neuromuscular changes. Naturally the changes will vary according to the frequency duration and intensity of your training.

If you train for speed, you'll get faster. If you train for strength, you'll get stronger. Genetics also play a part in how your body adapts to training. Even if you and a friend follow the same training schedule, one of you may improve more quickly and dramatically than the other.

Remember that all of these changes take time - usually four to eight weeks -and all of the beneficial adaptions disappear when you stop training, usually faster than they developed.

How the Heart Adapts

The most important muscle that adapts to training is the heart. During exercise, it pumps blood containing oxygen, fluids and nutrients to the active muscles. Blood flow then drains the metabolic waste products away. The more blood pumped, the more oxygen is available to the exercising muscles. And as muscles train, they're better able to extract and use the oxygen to produce more work.

The heart adapts to aerobic exercise over time so it can pump more blood per stroke. In untrained people who exercise, cardiac output can increase to four times resting capacity. In the untrained female, it goes from pumping 4 to 5 liters a minute at rest to 16 to 20 liters a minute during exercise, primarily through an increase in heart rate.

What happens in trained athletes?

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Billie Jean King

Comments by Barb Harris
Editor in Chief,
Shape Magazine

General Health
Common Medical Problems
Dental Health
Infectious Disease
Sexual Health
Emotional Well-Being
Eating Disorders
Alcohol & Other Drugs
Environmental Health

The information in this web site is for educational purposes only and is not providing medical or professional advice. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. If you have or suspect you might have any health problems, you should consult a physician.

Copyright 2000 - Sports Doctor, Inc.