Spotlight On: The Muscular System

Many of us only think about our muscles when they are sore from being a “weekend warrior” or shoveling out after a snowstorm. However, without skeletal muscles we would not be able to breathe, stand upright, walk or run. The fact that our muscles make up between 40 and 50 percent of our body mass … Continue reading Spotlight On: The Muscular System

And Down the Stretch They Come: A Look at How Horses Power Themselves

In May, only one word is on the minds of people from Kentucky—Derby! Always held on the first Saturday in May, this year was the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race. This year’s outcome was a shocker: For the first time in race history, the horse that crossed the finish line first was … Continue reading And Down the Stretch They Come: A Look at How Horses Power Themselves

Why Being an ‘Active Couch Potato’ Is Bad for Your Health

Did you know that even if you exercise regularly, you may be what researchers call an “active couch potato?” Consider this: If you exercise 30 to 45 minutes a day—completing your daily workout all at one time—it is easy to still spend 80 to 90 percent of your waking hours sitting. A study in England … Continue reading Why Being an ‘Active Couch Potato’ Is Bad for Your Health

2018’s Most-read Posts

December is here again, and we’ve tackled another year of physiology facts on the I Spy Physiology blog. This year, we’ve delved into topics ranging from the link between childhood stress and medical problems in adulthood, to how researchers use virtual reality in the classroom to teach physiology, to the many reasons why marriage is … Continue reading 2018’s Most-read Posts

Pregnancy, Altitude and Exercise: One Serious Set of Challenges

Frequent readers of the I Spy Physiology blog will know that topics such as altitude, pregnancy and exercise are some of our favorites to write about. All of these conditions provide a challenge to our body’s homeostasis, or ability of the body to regulate all of its systems and functions. Until recently, scientists did not … Continue reading Pregnancy, Altitude and Exercise: One Serious Set of Challenges

Four More Reasons Why You Should Exercise Regularly

You may know that being physically active can lower your risk of heart attack and stroke. Exercise also helps prevent age-related declines in muscle size and aerobic capacity. Aside from the well-known benefits of regular exercise on leading a long and healthy life (also known as the healthspan), there are other important advantages that may … Continue reading Four More Reasons Why You Should Exercise Regularly

Walk It Out: How Frequent Walking Breaks Help Your Brain

“Sit less, move more.” This message is being increasingly promoted in the world of health and fitness and in society at large and for good reason. The time we spend sitting is directly related to our health. In fact, too much sitting might even be harmful to people who exercise regularly. Sitting continuously for three … Continue reading Walk It Out: How Frequent Walking Breaks Help Your Brain

The Dog Days of Summer Running

  It’s August in Louisville, Ky., and my alarm goes off at 5:40 a.m. Time for my morning run with my four-legged running buddy, Julep. After I do some light stretching, we’re pounding the pavement by 6 a.m. to get a 5-mile run in. I choose to exercise before work because it’s (slightly) cooler compared … Continue reading The Dog Days of Summer Running

Here Comes the Sun (and the Heat)

Summer is in full swing, and with a near-peak number of daylight hours, chances are good that there is still plenty of light left to enjoy once your workday is done. Before you get outside and bask in the sun and heat, check out these I Spy posts that explain how your body responds to … Continue reading Here Comes the Sun (and the Heat)

Relieve Stress and Anxiety with Exercise in the New Year

If getting more exercise is one of your New Year’s resolutions, here is another reason to stick with it: daily exercise—which is known to lower blood pressure—has also been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. I am not the first to notice that physical activity improves my ability to respond to stressful situations, but as … Continue reading Relieve Stress and Anxiety with Exercise in the New Year