Exercise physiology is "the identification of physiological mechanisms underlying physical activity, the comprehensive delivery of treatment services concerned with the analysis, improvement, and maintenance of health and fitness, rehabilitation of heart disease and other chronic diseases and/or disabilities, and the professional guidance and counsel of athletes and others interested in athletics, sports training, and human adaptability to acute and chronic exercise."  Exercise physiologists use exercise to model or define physiological concepts, that is, the how's and why's of the function of the human body or, how the body works. An example of this is the study of the heart as being analogous to the study of an automobile. A car enthusiast can look at a parked and non-moving automobile and marvel at its design. A physiologist wants to know how this design works. Under this description an automobile must be driven to determine its true qualities. Likewise, exercise must be undertaken to determine not only how the heart works but skeletal muscle as well. Moreover, a persons responses to exercise can be used to determine the potential extent of certain diseases as well as being used to rehabilitate certain disease states. Exercise and health are inextricably linked!
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