Short term effects of exercise on the body systems

When a person takes part in exercise the cardiovascular, respiratory, energy and muscular systems all work together to supply energy to the working muscles and remove waste products.

When the muscles start to work, they need more oxygen so the respiratory system responds by getting more oxygen into the lungs. The blood carries greater amounts of oxygen and the heart responds to pump more oxygenated blood around the body.

These effects are shown in the table:

Short term effects of exercise
Cardiovascular systemIncrease in stroke volume (SV); increase in heart rate (HR); increase in cardiac output (Q); increase in blood pressure (BP)
Respiratory systemIncrease in breathing rate; increase in tidal volume
Cardio-respiratory systemIncrease in oxygen uptake; increase in carbon dioxide removal
Energy systemIncrease in lactate production
Muscular systemIncrease in temperature of muscles; increased pliability; muscle fatigue

After exercising, the muscles need to rest, adapt and recover. There is a risk of injury if the body is not rested for long enough after exercise. This concept can be better understood by studying the Principles of training.


Why is a person less likely to strain a muscle if they have warmed up before taking part in exercise?

Warming up increases the temperature of the muscles which makes them more pliable and therefore more likely to stretch rather than tear.