Sierra College Department of Biological Sciences

Discover the Biological Sciences

The introductory information for this site has been contributed as a joint assignment by students in Bio. Sci. 10.

Physiology - Exercise Physiology

By: Rachael Davenport

Exercise Physiology

The biological sub-topic that I chose to do some research on was exercise physiology. On the Collegeboard website, I found the most comprehensive definition of exercise physiology: “the way the body works during exercise and other movements…look at the effects of injury and disease on the body’s ability to move”. Physiology in the function of the various parts of the body; therefore, when the study of physiology is combined with exercise, we learn what sort of things happen to the body during physical activity or movement as well as how the body may respond after activity. Rehabilitation for athletes with injuries or people with physical ailments, the best ways to maximize muscle or endurance for men and women, different exercises that benefit the bodies of the male and female, the best exercise regimen for a specific person based upon their personal goals and/or needs, and dietary needs are some of the things that can be studied within exercise physiology.

I found an interesting article that discussed female athletes and injury. I am a very active person; in high school I participated in basketball as well as crew, and during my college years I have taken up running and enjoy competing in half-marathons. This article was important to me, as I am sure it would be to other active people, because it gave me an awareness of the large number of injury among women especially. Women are more likely to have lower body injuries during competitions than are men. This could be explained by the differences between the male and female body and the fact that females are generally smaller. Another factor that was discussed was the fact that there seems to be more intense training for males than females earlier in sports. Many boys learn the technical ways of doing different drills before girls do. Exercise physiologists can then create workout routines to meet the needs of a woman’s body and to strengthen as well as create stabilization in the areas of the body that are most prone to injury. Within this field is also the study of how to correct or help already existing injuries.

The thing that surprised me the most after looking into exercise physiology is the fact that the field covers so many things. It does not only include the study those people that are regular gym-goers, but because it deals with movement, it can be applied to any moving person. Physiology is studying the function of the different parts of the body, which ultimately brings us back to the basis of all sciences: atom, molecule, cell, tissue, muscle, organ, organ system. Because the subject is rather broad there are many careers that can be labeled under exercise physiology: personal training, physical therapists, nutrition, kinesiology, physician, orthopedic. Some occupations, like massage therapy and sport psychology, I was surprised to see were considered to be a part of exercise physiology.

Informational Websites to Check Out:


American Society of Exercise Physiologists. Accessed 6 September 2007.
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Barnett, Jeanne (Medrise). “Exercise Physiology”. (M.L. Burke Consulting, 2007).
Accessed 6 September 2007. <> .
Collegeboard. “Major: Exercise Physiology”. (2007). Accessed 6 September 2007.
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Oliver, David; Healy, Dana. “Help Female Athletes Avoid Injury and Maximize
Performance”. (Scholastic Inc., Jefferson City: Aug 2005. Vol. 75, Iss.1; pg. 89)
Accessed through Sierra College Proquest 6 September 2007.

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