How does exercise help the endocrine system?

Exercise and the Regulation of Endocrine Hormones

The endocrine system has profound regulatory effects within the human body and thus the ability to control and maintain appropriate function within many physiological systems (i.e., homeostasis). The hormones associated with the endocrine system utilize autocrine, paracrine, or endocrine actions on the cells of their target tissues within these physiologic systems to adjust homeostasis. The introduction of exercise as a stressor to disrupt homeostasis can greatly amplify and impact the actions of these hormones. To that end, the endocrine response to an acute exercise session occurs in a progression of phases with the magnitude of the response being relative to the exercise work intensity or volume. Various physiologic mechanisms are considered responsible for these responses, although not all are completely understood or elucidated. Chronic exercise training does not eliminate the acute exercise response but may attenuate the overall effect of the responsiveness as the body adapts in a positive fashion to the training stimulus. Regrettably, an excessive intensity and/or volume of training may lead to maladaptation and is associated with inappropriate endocrine hormonal responses. The mechanisms leading to a deleterious maladaptive state are not well understood and require additional research for elucidation.

Keywords: Endocrinology; Physical activity; Physiology; Sport; Stress.

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