Physiology of physical strain

Authors: V. Vančura 1;  J. Radvanský 2
Authors‘ workplace: Kardiologická klinika IKEM, Praha 1;  Klinika tělovýchovného lékařství 2. LF UK a FN Motol, Praha 2
Published in: Kardiol Rev Int Med 2007, 9(Mimořádné): 5-9
Category: Editorial


Physical strain results in a number of coordinated comprehensive and harmonised physiological processes which allow increased performance of the striped muscles. Muscles under strain have a higher oxygen demand, which also increases the load of the cardiovascular system. It has long been known that physical activity increases the heart minute volume through a rise in the heart rate and pulse volume, yet the precise mechanisms causing the increase of pulse volume are still a matter of controversy. After major physical strain, a number of physiological changes occur. Hyponatremia may be present in the ionogram after intense and protracted sporting activities. Both procoagulation and fibrinolytic mechanisms are activated. Simultaneously, there are changes in immunity which may temporarily increase the tendency towards infections of the upper respiratory tract after extreme physical strain. There is a clear evidence of oxidative stress during acute exercise reaction, but adaptation to the regular physical physical exercise is one of the best ways for the long lasting oxidative stress elimination. In the hours following an intense sporting activity, the volume of blood grows, which is one of the typical manifestations of adaptation of the body to repeated physical exercise. After physical exercise, the level of triglycerides decreases, the HDL cholesterol level grows and the blood pressure decreases. The mode and the degree of adaptation to physical activity depends on the type of physical activity as well as on the genetic predisposition of the given person. In spite of individual variability in results of adaptation, the processes related to the repeated and individually adjusted physical activity are beneficial.

sport – physical strain – haemostatic mechanisms – oxidative stress – immunity changes – adaptation


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Paediatric cardiology Internal medicine Cardiac surgery Cardiology
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