Exercise diverts blood from your liver and digestive system to your skeletal muscles. Hormones tell the body to convert fat into glucose, reduce the pain you feel and improve your mood. Muscles generate lactic acid as a by-product of intensive exercise and, as this builds up, the pH of the blood around the muscles drops. This drop in pH eventually prevents the muscles contracting further. At this point, you need to rest to allow the lactic acid to be metabolised

1. Brain

What happens to my body when I exercise? © Raja Lockey
© Raja Lockey

The brain makes neurotransmitters, like serotonin, dopamine and GABA. This is part of the reason why the brain consumes more energy during exercise.

2. Heart

What happens to my body when I exercise? © Raja Lockey
© Raja Lockey

Adrenaline levels rise, which stimulates the heart to beat faster. Capillaries in the muscles open wider, increasing blood flow there by up to 20 times.

3. Lungs

What happens to my body when I exercise? © Raja Lockey
© Raja Lockey

The muscles of the ribcage assist the diaphragm to pull in up to 15 times more oxygen than at rest. Breathing gets faster but also deeper.

4. Skin

What happens to my body when I exercise? © Raja Lockey
© Raja Lockey

Your two million sweat glands can produce 1.4 litres of sweat per hour. Waste heat is carried away by the latent heat of evaporation as it dries.

5. Muscles

What happens to my body when I exercise? © Raja Lockey
© Raja Lockey

As you exercise, the large muscles in your arms and legs squeeze the veins running through them, pumping blood back to your heart.

6. Bones

What happens to my body when I exercise? © Raja Lockey
© Raja Lockey

High-impact and weightlifting exercises stimulate bone formation and reduce the rate of calcium loss as we get older.

What causes muscle soreness after exercise?

It’s often claimed that the soreness we feel a day or so after a work-out is the result of lactic acid build-up in our muscles during exercise. This is now known to be a myth: the lactic acid rapidly disappears. The real cause of such delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is now thought to be inflammation caused by damage to muscle cells, which repair themselves after a few days.

Is there a threshold where more exercise makes your life shorter not longer?

An increase in lifespan can be the affect of regular exercise, but amount you need to do to reach a plateau is surprising.

Living a long life is really about dodging the bullet. If you can avoid dying from physical trauma, infectious disease, heart disease, stroke and cancer, you’ll grow old. Exercise doesn’t extend your life, rather lack of exercise shortens it.

Thirty minutes of moderate exercise, three times a week, seems to be enough to reduce your risk of heart disease and Type-2 diabetes down to the minimum dictated by your genes. After that there’s a large plateau where increased exercise doesn’t really affect your lifespan one way or another.

Excessive exercise beyond this point can increase your chance of stroke as well as your chances of being hit by a truck when you’re jogging at 5am.

 

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