Tip Over Exercise

Finally, the effects of stressful exercise on these hormones is especially pertinent to the chapters that follow because exercise throws the human body out of homeostatic balance even more than stressful environments alone. Tablesummarizes these effects. Clearly, different stressor-induced hormones are enhanced by different types of exercise. During high-intensity exercise power events involving predominantly anaerobic metabolism, epinephrine and cortisol are secreted. During endurance exercise aerobic energy production, the production of norepinephrine, growth hormone, thyroxine, and prolactin increases. The text above describes the various influences that these hormones exert.

Years ago, when I was teaching high school biology and chemistry in the Midwest, I entered a k road race near West Unity, Ohio, on a sultry Saturday morning in July. At about the -K mark, I found myself cruising on a country road in the middle of a long procession of runners. Deep in thought and straining to maintain a fast pace, something caught my eye in a culvert that was recessed below the level of the road by about m.It was a motionless body, lying face down. I knew that my race was finished. Within seconds, I realized that this was a race competitor who had been overcome by intense exercise in a hot-humid environment. It was exertional heatstroke!

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I ran to a nearby house, summoned help, and called the local EMTs. We began pouring cold water on the body. Later, I learned that this unconscious runner was a student, working on his master’s degree in exercise physiology.

That was the first time I realized that heat illness can strike anyoneeven the well informedif they push beyond their abilities in a hostile environment.

Chapter explains ways that challenging environments and exercise can disrupt your body’s homeostatic balance. Exercise in a hot environment provides a classic example of such an imbalance. Metabolic heat, produced during muscle contraction, must be removed from the central organs or they will overheat. Sweating causes a shift of internal body fluids, a reduced urine output, and usually leads to increased drinking. Circulatory and central nervous system adaptations maintain the blood’s delivery of oxygen and essential nutrients to the brain, vital organs, and skeletal muscle.

Although the body can acclimatize to heat, if environmental and exercise stressors overwhelm the body’s adaptive responses, heat illnesses occur. Because these illnesses involve imbalances of temperature, fluids, and electrolytes, they can be avoided. In this chapter, guidelines are provided that will help you make sound judgments, maintain good health, and optimize performance.

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