The Impact of Physical Exercise on the Body

Fitness / Health

Regular physical exercise positively affects organs of the body and decreases the risks of chronic disease like cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Engaging in exercise at a regular basis improves cognitive abilities, boost the immune system, maintain muscles tone, increase lifespan and improve sleep. All these beneficial effects of regular exercise can be attributed to enhanced functionality of the mitochondria in its role of producing energy for the body. Research studies have shown that both numbers and content of the mitochondria can be enhanced through regular physical training.

The plasticity of skeletal muscle as well as its adaptation to exercise has been widely investigated because of its essential role in exercise performance and the promotion of health. Exercise stimuli lead to repetitive contraction of muscles thereby improving cardiovascular output. It regulates endothelial dysfunction and metabolic disorders like obesity and insulin resistance. Examining the molecular mechanisms that underlie the adaptation of skeletal muscle in response to physical exercise has been made possible following the advancement in proteomic tools and data analysis. Several studies have been conducted with the aim of investigating proteome adaptation to acute and chronic exercise. The physiology of mitochondria and its replication in response to physical training has a profound effect on health.

Energy production in body cells

Mitochondria are tiny intracellular structures that are commonly referred to as the powerhouse since they are responsible for the production of energy. The organelle plays a key role in transforming energy from food into cellular energy. Physical exercise is crucial in increasing the number of mitochondria in particular muscle groups that are being worked out. Increasing the number of mitochondria improves the ability of the body to produce energy.  Individuals with more mitochondria are capable of training longer and faster, as well as generating more energy. Mitochondria convert chemical energy from food into cellular energy using oxygen in a process known as oxidative phosphorylation. The process occurs inside the mitochondria.

Mitochondria fuels the production of energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) using fat, proteins and carbohydrate. Oxygen is required in the production of ATP in mitochondria through a process referred to as oxidative phosphorylation. Energy release occurs when ATP is broken down to Adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and adenosine monophosphate (AMP).  The energy is used in powering various cellular processes like the contraction of muscles. Mitochondria tend to be more in cells with a high and constant supply of energy. The fraction of mitochondrion in cardiac muscle cells is more than 25% since a constant flow of ATP is needed to keep the heart beating.

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