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As humans, most of us put a lot of our trust in blind faith every day. That may seem like a controversial statement, but don’t misunderstand – it’s not a comment on religion, one way or the other. It’s more to do with the fact that we use and put our trust in things without truly knowing how they work.
Don’t get me wrong; we know they work. We know they wouldn’t be available for sale if they didn’t, and hadn’t been through rigorous testing to prove it. The toaster you used at breakfast. The aspirin you used to remove a headache before lunch. The car you drove home. They all work.
But … how? I’m not saying you don’t know. You very well might. But a lot of us don’t know. The toaster works due to electricity. The aspirin uses chemical formulation. The car … it’s internal combustion something or other, right? After that is where most people’s certainty runs dry. And the same is true of exercise.
Calories, Energy, Work And Then Something Else…
Here’s what we learn in basic science at school when it comes to working out and fitness. We eat food, which puts calories in our body. Calories are a measure of energy. We use up energy by doing exercise. If we use up more energy than we take in, we lose weight.
That’s as much as some of us know – more than quite a few people know, actually. Do we know how the energy gets from the food to our bodies and why we gain weight if we don’t use it? Would it be fair to say that if I said it was carried around by little creatures who made muscles work by rubbing the food against them, you’d half believe it?
Go on, you can admit it. But for the avoidance of doubt, that’s not how it works. Here is a fun guide to how exercise affects your body – what’s actually happening when you work out.
Image via PixaBay
Whatever exercise you’re doing – whether it’s lifting for bulk or aerobic exercise for weight loss – your muscles are at work. In order to contract and move, they use a substance known as ATP (Adenosine triphosphate). This is an energy-carrying enzyme. Nothing at all to do with little creatures rubbing food on muscles. Promise. To make more ATP, the body uses oxygen, which comes from…
After a short time working out, we’ll start to breathe heavier. For some of us, that time is shorter than for others. But it’s not a bad thing. Your breathing rate is increasing because your muscles are calling for more oxygen. While exercising those muscles can use up to fifteen times more oxygen than when you’re at rest. On account of all the ATP you’re making, using up all that energy.
If you’ve been on http://exercisebikesexpert.com/the-best-spinning-bikes/ and are hitting the exercise bike, those lungs will be delivering oxygen to…
If you’re using a particularly fancy exercise machine, you’ll be able to see your heart rate, and see it rising. It’s doing this because it needs to deliver oxygenated blood to your muscles. The more you do this, the more efficient your heart will get at doing it – it creates more blood vessels. This has the added benefit of reducing your resting heart rate and your blood pressure.
That’s good news – the heart can only sustain raised activity for a certain period of time. You want a lower resting rate and lower blood pressure. Raised blood pressure is a major risk for conditions such as heart disease, and mental health issues like stress. Exercise is also good for…
Regular exercise increases blood flow to your brain. As well as assisting you with focus, this will contribute to the growth of new brain cells.
If you’ve had issues with mood disorders such as depression in the past, you’ll know what people say. “Get out, go for a walk, you’ll feel better.” And while it may sound like a cliche, it does actually work as https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/regular-walking-can-help-ease-depression/ shows.
Frequent exercise means that you will be releasing more of the neurotransmitters that affect mood control. So by hitting the treadmill or the exercise bike, you’ll be gaining the chance to feel fitter and happier.
So there you have it. It’s sometimes hard to motivate yourself to work out, and on occasion you just won’t want to. But if you didn’t know before how it worked, now you do – and the more you do it, the more motivation you’ll have. And that’s not just inspiration speaking. That’s SCIENCE.