Strength and Endurance Exercises: Effects on the Cardiovascular System
Everyone should exercise, but not everyone knows why or in what ways they should exercise. Although exercising is a great habit to keep a person in shape for a sport, it is also a habit to keep a person in shape for life. Very positive and long lasting effects occur when one participates in regular exercise. Many facts about the cardiovascular system and its involvement in exercise are already known, so a few will be mentioned in the succeeding paragraphs. Explanations on how the cardiovascular system works during exercise, the different types of exercises which can affect it, and also the possible effects of the exercises on the function of the cardiovascular system will be looked at in the succeeding paragraphs of this paper.
The cardiovascular system is a crucial component of exercise. The heart has a response to the workout before it even begins to help prepare the body for the work to come and it also reacts to the exercise during the workout. The way in which the cardiovascular system responds to this is it increases the heart rate, which in turn increases blood flow. These are two responses that are very important responsibilities of the heart. They happen to be part of the several important things included in the heart's list of functions. The increase in blood flow caused by the faster heart rate helps to deliver oxygen found in blood to the working muscles. Because of the never ceasing need for blood by the muscles during exercise, the cardiovascular system through the heart supplies it so the muscles can continue working. Not only do the muscles need blood, but because of this, the blood needs oxygen, so the cardiovascular system must also supply oxygen to the blood. These are ways in which the cardiovascular system is involved in working out. Any activity requiring physical effort, especially those which are used to sustain good health counts as an exercise. With that in mind consider these types of exercises.
There is strength exercise, which is used to raise the highest amount of force one's muscles can exert. Some exercises included in this type of training is pushups an exercise which is used to increase the strength of the triceps brachii (back of the upper arms), the pectoralis major (chest muscles), and multiple back muscles. There is also the dreaded sit-up, which works the stomach muscles; there is the pull-up, used for the biceps and latissimus dorsi (muscle on the back); and squats, which increases strength in almost all of the leg muscles. These are strength exercises, but there are also endurance exercises. Endurance exercises are low intensity aerobic exercises specifically used to increase the time of which a person can continue until reaching fatigue. Endurance exercises include running, jumping-jacks, and working the bag (using a punching bag). Each of those exercises is used to increase the length of time one can continue in strenuous activity. Two types of exercises have been looked at and these two are often used to help one be a great sportsman or just to stay healthy in general.
Coupled with the exceedingly important points on the cardiovascular system and on exercise, one must also recognize the possible effects exercise will have on the cardiovascular system. One of the positive effects in exercising is having a reduced resting heart rate, which means the heart and cardiovascular system is very proficient in transporting blood throughout the entire body, lowering heart disease risk and making a person much more capable of long term and intensive work. Another good effect is that of having a reduced recovery time from an intensive workout or time of labor. This is especially significant for those that engage in any type of sport. Along with those two effects is having a faster metabolism and reducing overall body fat, specifically of importance to adults and anyone considered overweight. Quickening metabolism causes the speed of losing fat to increase, much like those of teenagers and allows a person to eat more of what they want without gaining weight quite as fast. As one can see there are many benefits to exercising regularly and living in an active way, but as with anything good, one must also list the negative effects exercising could have.
Without the correct balance of strength exercises and also endurance exercises, a few issues can arise. There are three effects which will cause a person to end up lop-sided or even injured in the area of exercise. Those would be to increase resting heart rate, lose muscle mass, and even cause injury from overtraining. One may ask how it is possible to increase heart rate even while training and it is actually very simple. When one focuses on only strength training and leaves out endurance training, he will begin to unbalance his strength to endurance ratio and can get to the point where the level of his cardiovascular endurance is lower than the level of his strength. This would cause a higher heart rate while in rest because the more muscle one has and the larger it is, the harder the heart must work to pump blood into all of the muscles; and thus, making him actually less healthy than those that do not work out and are considered thin. Another effect is that of losing muscle mass. If one seeks simply to increase the cardiovascular endurance or lose weight there is almost no reason to see this as an issue, but those seeking to have great strength and great cardiovascular endurance will have to still consider this. If a person solely does endurance exercises, he will eventually lose a considerable amount of pure muscle mass, not a huge issue, but should still be brought to attention. Lastly, along with the rest of this negativity, the most severe issue is that of injury from overtraining, which can possibly incapacitate a person for not just weeks or years but even for an entire lifetime. An injury caused by overtraining is a serious problem that occurs most commonly among athletes and bodybuilders, and usually affects the muscle, joints, ligament, any other connective tissue, and even bone. Although a person may overly train on purpose thinking they will have fast muscle gain or gain quick endurance increases, they will instead do quite the opposite, causing much time to be added to heal up. These are negative things that can occur by working out, two of which are due to imbalance.
In conclusion, one can see how exercising is very important for anyone, even those that are elderly, and can even help reduce stress in a person's life. Always remembering that being born-again and living for the Lord is the most important thing in life, and should stay the center piece of every Christian's life, one must consider how exercising can help him serve the Lord. Exercising can help make the body capable to endure the physical mountains, so that with God, the person can climb spiritual mountains, while still remembering that God can do anything through a person's life, whether or not they are fit and active, of course. In this paper, one will not only understand the basics of how the cardiovascular system functions in exercise, but one will understand the different types of exercises, and the possible positive or negative effects on the body caused by both of these types of exercises. (1245 words)