Physical activity and fitness are associated with a lower prevalence of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes. This review discusses the body's response to an acute bout of exercise and long-term physiological adaptations to exercise training with an emphasis on endurance exercise. An overview is provided of skeletal muscle actions, muscle fiber types, and the major metabolic pathways involved in energy production. The importance of adequate fluid intake during exercise sessions to prevent impairments induced by dehydration on endurance exercise, muscular power, and strength is discussed. Physiological adaptations that result from regular exercise training such as increases in cardiorespiratory capacity and strength are mentioned. The review emphasizes the cardiovascular and metabolic adaptations that lead to improvements in maximal oxygen capacity.
Copyright © 2012 American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.