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Exercise Physiology: The Science Behind Your Workout

Exercise physiology is the study of how your body reacts to physical activity. It involves scientific principles that can allow you to train better, perform better and recover faster.

Exercise-induced adaptations vary depending on the primary stimulus of training Muscles can be remodelled to be either fatigue-resistant, stronger and more powerful, bigger or better coordinated These adaptations have implications for sporting performance, rehabilitation after injury and treatment of disease

The reversibility principle states that exercise adaptations slowly regress back to the pre-training state when the training stimulus is removed (e.g. muscle strength increases little with repeated low repetition strength training despite increasing the total volume of muscle fibres).

Specificity is another important principle that states that only the system or body part repeatedly stressed will adapt to chronic overload. This is especially true for strength training, where muscle size, strength and power are increased through the synthesis of muscle protein.

During exercise the body adapts to stress by rebalancing its homeostatic balance to ensure a safe and normal internal environment for all cells, particularly those involved in exercising. This process involves a number of physiological processes such as increased heart rate, oxygen consumption and blood flow to muscles, changes in body temperature and release of hormones.

This can occur during any type of exercise, including walking, jogging, running, swimming and weightlifting. However, this process is regulated by specific factors and depends on the intensity, duration and frequency of each session.

There are four basic principles that affect how the body responds to a single bout of exercise: overload, specificity, reversibility and individuality. These are influenced by the nature of the exercise, the level of fitness and the ambient conditions.

The overload principle is a major factor in the body’s response to a given training stimulus. It relates to the intensity of the exercise stressor (load), the number of repetitions, the amount of rest and the frequency of the session. The reversibility principle states that training adaptations will regress back to the pre-training level when the exercise stimulus is removed.

As an exercise physiology Toowoomba, you will be responsible for administering health assessments, including body composition and cardiorespiratory testing to clients, coordinating these tests in order to gain understanding of their health status and developing an appropriate physical rehabilitation program for them. You can also help your clients develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle through education about nutrition, weight loss and stress management.

You will be able to work in hospitals, private practices and community settings with people from all walks of life. You can provide services for people with a range of health conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease, osteoporosis and depression.

Your qualifications are recognised by most national and international professional bodies, and you may also be able to get reimbursements from major health funds. Please check with your health fund for details.

The exercise physiology faculty in the Department of Health and Exercise Science has expertise in a range of areas including cardiorespiratory, neuromuscular, bone metabolism, body composition, endocrinology and metabolism. We have an active research program, and are involved in clinical studies that include sedentary young people, elite athletes and elderly patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis and obesity.

Exercise physiology is a fascinating area of science that has led to great advances in our collective understanding of physical fitness and how to maximize it. It has been used to develop various training protocols to improve muscle performance as well as improved health and quality of life for people from every walk of life.

In sum, there’s no underestimating the power of exercise physiology for attaining better physical and mental health. Check out Optimise Health website ( for more information on how we can all make use of exercise physiology today!