What Happens to Your Body During a Work-Out?
Exercise - for some, it can be a bit of an addiction, but luckily, it’s an addiction to being healthy and keeping fit! How many people who regularly exercise know what is going on in their body as they get active? From the brain to your internal organs, when you’re working out, everything is affected, whether it’s working harder or slowing down to let other processes take priority.
These processes happen every time you exercise, from beginners to established professionals, whether you work-out at home or take it to the gym, exercising alone or as part of a class. If you are looking for classes at a gym, in or around Islington, London, we’ve included our details at the bottom of this post.
Exercise can, of course, target different areas and muscle groups and there is a wide range of different workouts you can take part in from cardio to strength training. We discuss a brief outline of what happens to the body during lengthy exercises like running and riding a bicycle.
First Ten Minutes of Exercise
As you start to exercise, your internal systems begin to release signals to different parts of your body, telling them to react differently. Your digestive system slows down so priority can be passed to your heart and lungs and your pupils dilate, increasing the amount of available glucose in your blood for energy.
You will also feel your heart rate begin to increase. This occurs as the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) – another energy-storing chemical in the body - and glucose get used up. As your body now needs to make more ATP, you require more oxygen and your breathing quickens to increase oxygen in the blood. Your heart now works harder to pump this newly oxygenated blood around your muscles.
As you continue with your exercise, you may notice that your skin feels hot to the touch. Your body heats up from activity and needs to cool, so blood vessels under the skin dilate to increase blood flow. The generated heat then dissipates from your dilated blood vessels and through your skin, making you feel cooler.
A similar thing happens as you sweat. Your body produces an (odourless) perspiration, which evaporates from your skin, lowing your body temperature.
At this point (depending on your fitness levels) you may have noticed or started to notice soreness in your muscles. Soreness presents as tiny, micro-tears occur in your muscle. This is completely natural and in fact, as these tears repair themselves, this is how muscle builds strength.
After 20 minutes of exercise, your brain has moved into the “feel good” zone and is releasing all sorts of happy hormones known as endorphins. You will also feel more awake, alert and focused at this point due to the increased blood flow to your brain.
After you finish an exercise, your body will return to its resting state, although depending on your fitness levels, this could take a little time. Eventually, your heart rate will begin to fall, your breathing will slow, your blood pressure drops and your other processes (like digestion) come out of standby and return to normal rhythm.
It’s quite interesting to see how our body copes with some of the stresses we can put it under, considering humans evolved from an ancestor designed to walk rather than run long distances.
If you are looking to get fit or are a fitness addict looking to join some classes and try somewhere new, come and check out the Bodyjunkies studio gym near Islington, London. You can find us on Holloway Road or get in touch if you’d like more information on exercise and classes.