Exercise is as varied as it is ubiquitous. A single episode of exercise, or "acute" exercise, may provoke responses different from the adaptations seen when activity is chronic— that is, during training. The forms of exercise vary as well. The amount of muscle mass at work (one finger? one arm? both legs?), the intensity of the effort, its duration, and the type of muscle contraction (isometric, rhythmic) all influence the body's responses and adaptations.
These many aspects of exercise imply that its interaction with disease is multifaceted. There is no simple answer as to whether exercise promotes health. In fact, physical activity can be healthful, harmful, or irrelevant, depending on the patient, the disease, and the specific exercise in question.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.