aerobic training adaptations

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Physiological adaptations associated with regular, vigorous aerobic exercise include: enlargement and strengthening of heart muscle, improving the ability to pump blood; improvement of coronary blood supply, reducing the risk of heart attack; lowering of resting heart rate; lowering of heart rate needed to perform given workload, reducing stress on heart; improvement of lung ventilation; strengthening of respiratory muscles (e.g. intercostals); enhancement of pulmonary blood supply; improvement of ability to extract oxygen from lungs; thickening of articular cartilage and bones with weight-bearing aerobic exercises; increase of plasma volume; increase of total number of red blood cells, improving oxygen transport; increase of high density (beneficial) lipoproteins, while low density (harmful) lipoproteins are reduced, cholesterol level lowered, and arterial blood pressure lowered, reducing tendency for blood to clot spontaneously; strengthening and enlargement of skeletal muscles used during the exercise; increase in the size (but probably not the proportion) of slow-twitch muscle fibres; increase of the total number of capillaries and the number of capillaries per unit area of muscle; increase in muscle glycogen and fat (triglyceride) content, improving fuel supply; improved ability to utilize fatty acids, sparing muscle glycogen stores; increase in size and density of mitochondria; increase in myoglobin content, improving muscles' ability to use oxygen; improvement of mental alertness; reduction of depression and anxiety; improvement of ability to relax and sleep; stress tolerance improved; lean-body mass increased; metabolic rate increases, reducing tendency to suffer from obesity or diabetes mellitus. Individuals vary in their response to aerobic training, but if performed properly with due regard for individual abilities, it has a positive effect on many components of health and fitness.

Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.

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