The physiology of fitness

In this page we look specifically at the relationship with the energy, nervous and musculoskeletal systems. Fitness Components and the energy systems Each of the fitness components has a duration and intensity that can be linked to the energy systems that allow our body to complete the work. A high duration and low intensity activity will mainly use the aerobic energy system. A moderate intensity and moderate duration will use a mix of anaerobic glycolysis and the aerobic system.

The physiology of fitness

The physiology of fitness

From the fat cell to the fat furnace, find out exactly what causes the body to burn fat. Fat may seem like the enemy of civilized people—especially sedentary ones. Yet we cannot live without it.

Fat plays a key role in the structure and flexibility of cell membranes, and it helps regulate the movement of substances through those membranes.

Special types of fat, known as eicosanoids, send hormone-like signals that exert intricate control over many bodily systems, mostly those affecting inflammation or immune function. Of course, the best-known function of fat is as an energy reserve. Fat has more than twice the energy-storage capacity of carbohydrate 9 calories per gram vs.

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Understanding how fat travels through the body can help personal trainers work with clients to reduce excess body fat and improve athletic performance. Most adipocytes are just under the skin subcutaneous fat and in regions surrounding and protecting vital organs visceral fat.


Nearly all fat in adipocytes exists in the form of triacylglycerols TAGs or triglycerides. Each TAG consists of a backbone glycerol with three fatty-acid tails see Figure 1. Depending on energy supply and demand, adipocytes can either store fat from the blood or release fat back to the blood.

After we eat, when the energy supply is high, the hormone insulin keeps fatty acids inside the adipocytes Duncan et al. After a few hours of fasting or especially during exercise, insulin levels tend to drop see Figure 2while levels of other hormones—such as epinephrine adrenaline —increase.

When epinephrine binds to adipocytes, TAG stores go through a process called lipolysis Duncan et al. After lipolysis, fatty acids and glycerol can leave the adipocytes and enter the blood.

Fatty Acids in the Blood Because fat does not easily dissolve in water, it needs a carrier protein to keep it evenly suspended in the water-based environment of the blood.

Fitness Components and Human Physiology — PT Direct

The primary protein carrier for fat in the blood is albumin Holloway et. In the very small blood vessels capillaries surrounding the muscle, fatty acids can be removed from albumin and taken into the muscle Holloway et al. The first is the cell lining of the capillary called the endotheliumand the second is the muscle-cell membrane known as the sarcolemma.

Fatty-acid movement across these barriers was once thought to be extremely rapid and unregulated Holloway et al.

More recent research has shown that this process is not nearly as fast as once thought and that the presence of special binding proteins is required at the endothelium and sarcolemma for fatty acids to pass through Holloway et al.

The physiology of fitness

CoA is a transport protein that maintains the inward flow of fatty acids entering the muscle and prepares the fatty acid for one of two fates: Fatty acids stored in muscle are called intramyocellular triacylglycerols IMTAGs or intramuscular fat.Full text Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version.

Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Updated for its Fourth Edition with increased art and photos, this undergraduate exercise physiology textbook integrates basic exercise physiology with research studies to stimulate learning, allowing readers to apply principles in the widest variety of exercise and sport science careers.

Physiology of Fitness Subject Description NAT is the General Education Course which is designed to be both theoretical and practical, combining traditional classroom activity and practical application of health and fitness theory.

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Christine Mermier, PhD, is an assistant professor and exercise physiology laboratory director in the exercise science program at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Her research interests include the effect of exercise in clinical patients, women and aging populations, and high-altitude physiology.

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Whether your goal is to live to be , run a marathon, reduce your waistline, or just get the most from daily life, functional fitness is the foundatio.

Physiology of Fitness by Brian J. Sharkey