- University of Colorado Boulder
- 4 weeks
- 5 hours/week
- Paid Certificate Available
Learners who complete Science of Exercise will have an improved physiological understanding of how your body responds to exercise, and will be able to identify behaviors, choices, and environments that impact your health and training. You will explore a number of significant adjustments required by your body in order to properly respond to the physical stress of exercise, including changes in carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism, nutritional considerations, causes of muscle soreness & fatigue, and the effectiveness and dangers of performance enhancing drugs. Active learning assessments will challenge you to apply this new knowledge via nutrition logs, heart rate monitoring, calculations of your total daily caloric expenditure and body mass index (BMI). Finally, learners will examine the scientific evidence for the health benefits of exercise including the prevention and treatment of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity (weight loss), depression, and dementia.
The Energetics of Exercise
In this module you will learn about the various metabolic pathways (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) that are activated in order to supply the necessary energy required for the mechanical work of skeletal muscles during exercise. How these pathways are regulated, the methods for assessing the extent to which specific fuels are being utilized and the overall estimation of your metabolic rate will be addressed. Additionally, the importance of the chemical energy stored in ATP and its requirement for muscular work will be discussed.
Physiological Systems During Exercise
In this module you will learn how a number of key physiological systems (muscular, respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine and immune systems) are regulated during exercise to help maintain homeostasis. These adjustments are critical for exercise to continue for any significant duration. This will include: how the respiratory system adjusts during exercise to ensure proper oxygen delivery and carbon dioxide removal from active muscles; how the cardiovascular system responds to ensure adequate blood flow to various organs, including muscle, during exercise; how the endocrine system plays a major role in regulating key biochemical and physiological responses to exercise and; how exercise influences the immune system and your ability to fight infections.
Exercise for Fitness & Performance
This module will teach you about the training guidelines needed to optimize your endurance and strength adaptations associated with a regular exercise program. Important nutritional requirements for both endurance and strength training will be addressed. The causes of both muscle soreness and fatigue will be explained. Finally, the effectiveness and mechanisms whereby performance enhancing drugs exert their effect will be covered.
Exercise in Health, Wellness and Disease
In this module you will learn about the role of exercise as medicine in both the prevention and treatment of various diseases. This will include: the contribution of diet and exercise in weight control including the prevention and treatment of obesity; the many health benefits from participation in a regular exercise program related to major risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and cancer will be addressed. Finally, the benefits of exercise associated with healthy aging and brain function will be discussed.
Robert Mazzeo, Ph.D.
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