This is the end of the assembly line. This is where the oxygen is turned over to the consumer and the waste products are picked up for carting away.
Your body contains all kinds of tissues, including bone, muscle and nerve. The smallest unit in any of them is the individual cell. This is the ultimate consumer.
Each cell is like a small factory, with its own receiving and shipping facilities, storeroom and power plant for creating energy, heat and new protoplasm, the stuff of which all cells, and all living things, are made. As complicated as the body is, it’s as simple as that. All the food you eat and all the oxygen you breathe is meant to serve these tiny factories.
Whether you service them well or poorly depends to a large extent on whether you send the proper proportions of food and oxygen. Unhappily, the ratio is usually too much food and not enough oxygen, so the food stacks up in the storeroom because there is no requirement to burn it. Even if there were, it couldn’t be burned in the power plant without oxygen.
So, when you think of exercise, think how you’re trying to pump enough oxygen around your body to fuel all those little power plants, and burn all that stored food to keep all those factories in business.
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Now, to come back up in size from the microscopic cell, a group of specialized cells together from tissue, such as bone, muscle and nerve; various tissues combine to form organs, such as the heart, lungs and stomach; and several organs and assorted parts combine to form entire systems, such as the pulmonary and cardiovascular systems.
Two of these systems, the digestive system and the muscular system:
Exercise has a relaxing effect on the body generally, and on the digestive system specifically. The effect isn’t all psychological. Some of it is physical. Well-conditioned people generally produce less acid in their stomach. Exercise has a soothing effect, reducing peak levels of hyper-acidity and its effect. One such effect can be ulcers. Instead of exercise, some people rely on pseudo-relaxers, such as tranquilizing pills or antacids. They’re poor substitutes at best.
Another benefit: Exercise is a natural cathartic. It aids the muscles of the digestive tract in moving waste material and consequently increases the activity of the bowels.
Exercise and regularity go together. This is an established fact, and anyone who exercises regularly is rarely irregular. This is especially important for older people who tend to become chronically constipated.
Your body had three types of muscles: voluntary muscles, which respond to an act of the will, such as your arm muscles when you do a dumbbell curl; involuntary muscles, which acts independently of the will, such as the muscles lining the blood vessels or digestive tract; and the cardiac muscle, the heart, which is a little of both, beating independently of the will, but still responsive to it, especially in moments of emotional stress.
The involuntary muscles are affected by aerobic conditioning, as in the discussions on blood vessels and the digestive system, but not to the same extent as the voluntary or the cardiac muscles.