Healthy Mind, Healthy Body: Benefits of Exercise

What goes inside your body when you pedal a bike or take a stroll? These activities set off complicated physical processes that affect nearly every organ system. When you exercise several times a week or more, your body adapts so you’re able to do so more efficiently. Knowing about this process will help you understand why physical activity has so many benefits.

Exercise and your body :
Like all machinery, your muscles must have fuel. This fuel comes from the food you eat and your body’s reserves of fat and glucose. The food you eat contains energy stored in a variety of forms — proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Your body needs to extract that energy. To do this, your stomach and small intestine break the food into millions of tiny molecules, which enter the bloodstream and find their way to every cell in the body. The food molecules undergo a series of chemical reaction.
Regular exercise conditions the lungs, heart, and blood vessels, enabling them to deliver oxygen to muscle cells more quickly and efficiently.

When you engage in physical activity, your body doesn’t rely solely on one process or the other. Because of this distinction, exercise is classified into two broad categories — aerobic and anaerobic. If the intensity of exercise is such that your lungs and heart are able to supply oxygen for energy production, then the activity is almost exclusively aerobic. But if intensity rises so that demand for oxygen outstrips supply, then the activity becomes anaerobic. Walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming at an even pace are aerobic activities. Activities in which your body tends to go anaerobic more quickly include wind sprints and weight lifting.
Once the food you eat is digested in your stomach, its components are absorbed into your bloodstream and delivered to cells throughout the body. Oxygen from your lungs also travels to your cells, which provides energy for everything from walking to thinking.
When you exercise more intensely, however, your muscles’ need for oxygen increases. Your heart must pump harder and faster. The amount of blood your heart pumps and the oxygen your body consumes rise in direct proportion to the amount of work your muscles are performing. And your level of physical conditioning dictates how well this system works.
As you continue to exercise, especially in hot, humid weather, more blood is diverted to your skin to maintain a safe body temperature.

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