Course Description

Course Name

Exercsie Physiology

Session: VDNS3121

Hours & Credits

18 Credit Points

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Acute and chronic responses to exercise, including limitations within and between individuals, effects of different types of exercise and environments, effects on health, and methods of analysing responses, limitations and effects.

Exercise physiology is the study of how the human body functions and responds during exercise and how it adapts to repeated exercise stress (training). This paper uses students' incoming knowledge of anatomy, physiology and basic exercise science to study acute and training responses, from the whole-body level down to responses within cells. Exercise intensity, duration and modes are considered in regard to acute responses and training adaptations, along with gender (sex), age and fitness and the purpose of exercise (especially performance or health). The effects of exercising in adverse environments (heat, cold and altitude) are also addressed. 
This paper provides basic knowledge in exercise science, which is essential for exercise testing and prescription, including the design and monitoring of training programmes in sport or for health.

Course Structure
The paper covers the following topics in relation to both acute and adaptive (fitness) responses to exercise:

  • Body composition
  • Producing, controlling and measuring force, work and power
  • Energy provision/systems
  • Cardiorespiratory function (including basis of fitness tests)
  • Hormones and immune function
  • Warm up, recovery, tapering
  • Stressful environments (heat and dehydration, altitude, cold)

Some topics are also covered in eight lab modules.

Learning Outcomes
Upon completing this paper students should be able to

  • Explain acute physiological responses to different durations and intensities of exercise at the level of the cell, organs or tissues and the whole body
  • Explain the likely physiological adaptations to different types of exercise training
  • Understand the effects of personal factors (e.g. age, sex) and environmental factors (e.g. heat) on exercise performance and physiological responses
  • Explain the basic principles of fitness testing and of prescribing fitness training for different forms of exercise (endurance, power, strength)

*Course content subject to change