Long Term Effects of Exercise

by Naomi Jones

Muscular system

is where the muscle increases in size and bulk. Hypertrophy is normally a result of an increase in the volume of contractile proteins within the muscle cell so they can contract with a greater force. These proteins are actin and myosin.

Increases in tendon strength
tendons are tough bands of fibrous connective tissue which are made to withstand forces. Like muscles, tendons adapt so therefore when regular exercise happens it will adpat. One of the biggest adaptions is the increase in strenght, but then again it all depends on the sort of exercise you are doing to what effect it has.

Another adaption whats happens is that your ligament and tendons will increase in flexibility and strenghtm and also your articular cartilage also becomes thicker.

Muscle stores & Mitochondria

A long term effect of the muscle is that their oxidative capacity increases which means that their ability to use oxygen to produce energy will increase and be more effective. And what helps this to happen is by increasing the number of mitochondira within the muscle cells, which then help increase the supplu of ATP and then should increase the quantity of enzymes that are invovled in the proess of ATP.

Lactic acid

Anaerobic training allows the muscles to become better able to tolerate lactic acid and clear it away more efficiently. With endurance training the capillary extends which then allows for a greater volume of blood to supply the muscles with oxygen and nutrients. Therefore the muscles are then able to use more fats as a fuel source and become more efficient at using oxygen.

Cardiovasular System

Cardiac Hypertrophy

Is where the heart increases in size and volume and the wall of the left ventricle gets thicker which can increase the force of contraction.

Stroke Volume

At rest your stroke volume has been shown to have been higher after regular exercise. When your heart gets used to regular exercise your heart can pump more blood out in a minute, which then increase cardiac output when exercising to your best ability. Then by this it should hopefully increase the flow of blood, which should increase the size and number of blood vessels. This allows for a more efficient delivery of oxygen and nutrients.

Cardiac output

Cardiac outout during exercise increases as a there is an increase in the heart rate and stroke volume. Stroke volume doses not increase by a lot so that there is increase in cardiac output, which is achieved through an increases in the heart rate. As stroke volume increases as result of regular exercise it will give increase in the cardiac output.

Resting heart rate

Your resting heart rate decreases after your body is used to regular exercise as there is a increase of resting stroke volume, so therefore the heart does not have to beat as fast at rest.


A long term exercise can lead to the development of the capillary network to a part of the body. Regular exercise can increase the number of capillaries, which then helps the flow of blood to the muscle will increase which will give a more efficient delivery of oxygen and nutrients.

Increase in blood volume

Blood volume represents the amount of blood circulating in the body and this varies is the cause of the increase. from person to person and can increase when regular exercise happens. Capillarisation is the causes to this increase.

Resting blood pressure
Exercise increases blood pressure during the activity but it returns to normal afterwards. The quicker it does this the more aerobically fit you are likely to be.

Decreased recovery time
Your heart rate recovery is a measure of how much your rate falls during the first minute after exercise. The fitter you are the quicker the heart rate will return to normal.

Energy System

Aerobic & anaerobic enzymes

Increases in size and number of mitochondria are accompanied by increases in the enzymes that work inside to increase the production of aerobic energy. These changes explain increased performances in aerobic exercise. The same can be said of enzymes that help produce energy within the Lactic acid system when glucose is being broken down.


Fat is a main source of energy during low intensity exercise. When glycogen stores deplete during long periods of exercise the use of fat as a fuel increases. Trained athletes can use a greater amount of fat as a fuel compared to non-athletes which can help in preserving glycogen stores for a longer period.

Glycogen stores

These increase within the muscles cell and can then lead to increased duration / speed of performance.

I got this information of WWC PHYSIOLOGY Unit: Long Term Effects of Exercise: Energy System [online] at: http://wccphysiologyunit.weebly.com/long-term-effects-of-exercise---energy-systems.html

Respiratory system

Some of the long term effects for the respiratory system is that the muscles demand more oxygen as there is more CO2 being produced. For your body to get the extra demard of oxygen your body needs to:

- Increase in strenght of your respiratory muscles.

if you increase the strenght of your diaphragm and intercostal muscles it would allow for better expansion of the chest cavity. Which allow you to have more efficient inhalation and expiration.

- To increase vital capacity

Vital capacity is the maximum volume of air that can be breathed in after once breath, and you would be able to get more air in one breath if you had strong intercostal muscles.

- Increase oxygen diffusion rate

Having a increase in the number and size of capillaires leads to more effecient diffusion. As more oxygen from the capillaries goes into the tissues and more cardon dixoide is exhaled. Regular exercise helps to better transportation of oxygen and cardon dixiode which then increase oxygen diffusion rate.