The topics of neuro-endocrine physiology pertinent to exercise are difficult to cover within the context of exercise physiology. First of all, there is the need to explain why the topic is a combination of neurology and endocrine physiology. Then, the more direct academic aspects of neuro-endocrine regulation of the body's responses to exercise stress come into play. This is difficult because there is relevant neuro-endocrine regulation of muscle, liver and adipose tissue metabolism that are all exercise intensity and duration specific. Then there is neuro-endocrine involvement in cardiovascular regulation , pulmonary function, thermoregulation, fluid balance, electrolyte balance, bone metabolism, responses to altitude and hypoxia, nutrition before , during and after exercise, the role of the menstrual cycle for females, etc. The figure on the left documents the complexity of the menstrual cycle, as the hormonal fluctuations impact exercise behavior, cellular metabolism, fluid balance, and even thermoregulation. The multi-systemic nature of neuro-endocrine regulation of exercise physiology means that you cannot cover all this in one chapter, and that many aspects are probably best covered within content specific to the physiological system of interest. The content of this Section could be better organized from this latter perspective. However, I present here the fundamental aspects of neuro-endocrine physiology that I feel best support more advanced study of metabolism and the physiological systems that follow.
Recommended sequence of topics:
Overview of neuro-endocrine physiology
Cell response mechanisms
Exercise and blood glucose regulation
Regulation of fluid and electrolyte balance
Regulation of electrolyte balance