What happens to our bodies when we exercise?

Dr Huk is not only inspirational when it comes to taking care of our immune system from medical and nutritional perspectives, he is also a strong advocate of physical exercise. With his ability to regularly run over 20 kilometers over hilly terrain, he is clearly practicing what he preaches.

Yet in his early career as a busy doctor, Dr Huk himself had not yet discovered the key role of exercise in our physical and mental wellbeing. He explains, “Nature does not like accidents! Everything has a law and generally works to a pattern. Exercise is the same in terms of its impact on our bodies; you cannot just run as fast as you can once in a while and expect your body to be in an optimal condition; and I don’t just mean how your body looks, although of course, this is a benefit. Our bodies like to move regularly so that our body as a whole works in the most effective way.” But what actually happens to our body when we exercise, and why is this necessary?

The physical changes that occur when we exercise include our blood circulation increases, our heart rate is controlled, we increase our bone density, our heart and lung function is improved, and we see an antithrombotic effect.

The mental impact of exercise is important too; physical activity promotes concentration and is a strong mood enhancer. Dr Huk continues, “In controlling our blood pressure, we call it ‘shear stress’ blood flow in our arteries. This increase is a potent stimulator in releasing nitric oxide from the cells on the inner surface of our arteries. This has a terrific impact on how well we can concentrate and how stressed we feel, particularly after – or before or during – a mentally draining day.”

Regular exercise – which Dr Huk defines as running at least 5 – 10 kilometers three times a week – helps to promote good cholesterol and decrease bad cholesterol, as well as supporting our skeletal muscle and helping to regulate hormones.