Sample Medical Science Coursework Paper on Human Metabolism

Human Metabolism


With the increase in the changes in climatic conditions and economic trends, human beings have resorted to different techniques of increasing productivity and maintaining good health. Understandably, various global organizations such as the World Health Organization have over the years developed several strategies that limit the increase of preventable diseases and promoting physical exercise among multiple populations. Notably, when challenged with any form of the material task, human body responds to a series of changes in the functioning of various physiologic systems. In essence, movement requires the activation and control of musculoskeletal system, the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. However, since many people have distinct lifestyles, the amount of physical exercise recommended by both physicians and the international health organization differ immensely from those used by non-health professionals. As such, this article will illuminate on the importance of increasing sedentary person’s physical activity by small amounts rather than suggesting tremendous exercise. Additionally, the research will discuss the difference in response to exercise training of the elderly persons to those of younger adults.

Sedentary Persons and exercise 

Understandably, man was created to be an energetic and active creature hence the increase in sedentary lifestyle is against human nature. Scientifically, people were always active and engaged in various vigorous muscular activities including fishing, hunting and migrating that promote healthy living among human beings. In essence, the aspect of lifestyle is one of the significant determinants of healthy living. According to Chapman, Aslan, Spence, DeFina, Keebler, Didehbani, & Lu, (2013) most of the deaths recorded in both the 20thand 21st century are as a result of illnesses associated with individual lifestyles and behaviors. Equally Sallis, et al., (2015) established that sedentary lifestyle has diverse effects on cardiac output, human metabolism, wellbeing and physical functioning of the human body. Sedentary lifestyle can be termed as a class of behaviors that are characterized by low energy expenditures and limited physical movement. An individual living such a lifestyle involves himself in activities such as socializing, reading, watching television, and playing video games.  This lifestyle is promoted by various factors such as technological advancement, ethnic and socioeconomic status, long working hours and demographic aspects.

Small amounts of raining among the sedentary population have for many years been promoted by both health professionals and international organizations due to the numerous benefits it has on the human body. For instance, it helps in reducing the development of various diseases including stroke, heart complications, high blood pressure, thinning of bones, some cancers, and type 2 diabetes (Sallis, et al,. 2015). Consequently, regular physical activity helps in controlling of body weight and easing stress. Considering the lifestyle adapted to the sedentary population, regulated amount of exercise also helps in increasing energy levels in the body, developing better moods, and feeling more relaxed and reducing the risks of falls.  Extreme exercising, on the other hand, leads to the development of different complications that may limit the performance of the sedentary population. For instance, it increases stress levels and denies the body the chance to recover properly after sustaining any form of injury. Moreover, it may lead to the development of various overtraining syndromes such as fatigue, mood swings, and lack of mental focus, headaches and sleep disturbances.   

Aging and Exercise Training

According to the US agency for health care and research, the incorporation of training exercise among the aging population has immense benefits in reducing the number of patient enrollment in the care homes. Undoubtedly, most physicians and other health professionals underestimate the capability of exercise to improve the health conditions of their patients. Young adults’ covers the period between 20 and 35 years who have both biological and physical performances at their peak (Parsons, 2014). On the other hand, old age starts at 65 years and people within this age group encounter numerous complications including physical disability and reduction inactiveness. Understandably, exercise training has different effects on various age groups, especially their metabolic and cardiovascular functioning. According to Chapman et al., (2013) some of the benefits of training exercise to the human population include cognitive improvements, lowering the risks of dementia and the reduction in pathological changes. 

Essentially, the physiological adjustments of the healthy sedentary aging individuals are similar to those of the young adults and are sufficient in meeting the regulatory demands for exercise including the control of blood pressure in the arteries, augmentation of oxygen and the dissipation of heat.  Most elderly individuals respond positively to training exercise in different aspects such as improved metabolism especially on those suffering from coronary heart disease, heart failure, and hypertension. Other documented benefits of training exercise among the sedentary elderly population include lowering of blood pressure, insulin resistance life satisfaction, and reduced mortality.  However, the aging requires training exercises that aim at increasing their physical fitness and increasing their blood circulation around the body and should be carried out at different intervals of the day. 

This is primarily to help their bodies to have enough rest and to adjust adequately. Although training exercise has numerous established benefits to the elderly, most of them resort to home-based rehabilitation that is guided by health professionals since it is convenient and less costly. Similarly, young adults respond positively to training exercise in distinct ways which have health benefits on their bodies. Understandably, training exercise among this particular age group helps in increasing aerobic power and greater volume of the entorhinal cortex. Chapman et al., (2013) assert that aerobic exercise may help in restoring cognitive decline in people at risk of dementia thus improving brain development and immunity of the body.

Effects of Exercise on Appetite and Body Composition.

 Body weight is primarily regulated through the balancing of energy intake and expenditure. Essentially, most health professionals recommend exercise as a method of increasing energy use in the body.  Additionally, the training exercise is regarded as valuable component of behavior that influences body weight and can, therefore, be used in obesity management. However, Sallis, Owen, & Fisher, (2015) noted that increased exercise helps in increasing hunger and driving good intake thus reducing the energy expenditure. Understandably, exercise plays a significant role in increasing the activeness of the human body thus influencing energy equation in the body.  To change the energy intake exercise will impact the biological metabolism controlling human appetite. Undoubtedly, the major influences on appetite that arise from the fat-free mass, resting metabolic rate, changes in episodic peptides such as leptin, insulin, and ghrelin. Chapman et al., (2013) noted that exercise influences all these components that have control over the drive to eat. However, the effects of exercise on the consumption rate of any individual will depend on the on the strength of the person as well as the duration and intensity of the training. 

Environmental Factors and Body Performance

 Various environmental factors have differentiated effects on the metabolic performance of the human body. Exposure of the human body to environments including heat, altitude, and hypoxia, can have adverse effects on the functioning of the body.  Notably, increased temperature leads to decreased muscle endurance thus limiting the ability of the muscle to contract repeatedly. Additionally, heat and high altitudes shift energy production to anaerobic mechanisms, therefore, making the body to use up its tissue stored energy more rapidly.  According to Parsons, (2014) at high temperatures of about 95 degrees, foreign heights human beings are prone to making mistakes without their knowledge. Understandably, both heat and high altitudes alter the concentration of the body from energy production to cooling the skin thus leading to increased heartbeat. At this rate, other body organs including the muscles and the brain operate with limited blood as the rest help in reducing the high rate of dehydration. This can, in turn, interfere with the cognitive performance of an individual thus provoking other emotions such as anger and combative behavior.  


 Exercise is an essential component in maintaining both physical fitness and immunity of the body. However, the effects of training exercise vary with the intensity and the age group of the person.  Understandably, while the aging population requires small amounts of exercise to help increase their metabolism, the young adults use it as a means of growing body performance and reducing the risk of infections. Equally, sedentary population require small amounts of exercise to increase performance and control calories and depression levels.


 Chapman, S. B., Aslan, S., Spence, J. S., DeFina, L. F., Keebler, M. W., Didehbani, N., & Lu, H. (2013). Shorter term aerobic exercise improves brain, cognition, and cardiovascular fitness in aging. Frontiers in aging neuroscience5.

Parsons, K. (2014). Human thermal environments: the effects of hot, moderate, and cold environments on human health, comfort, and performance. CRC press.

Sallis, J. F., Owen, N., & Fisher, E. (2015). Ecological models of health behavior. Health behavior: theory, research, and practice. 5th ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 43-64.