‘Hacking your health: the science of exercise and fitness’ Trinity Elective


Hi, I’m Áine Kelly, I’m a professor in Physiology and with other colleagues from across the School of Medicine, I’ll be teaching the Trinity Elective ‘Hacking your health: the science of exercise and fitness’. Exercise training reveals the incredible ability of the human body to achieve amazing feats like running 100 meters in under 10 seconds or finishing a marathon in less than 2 hours. But exercise science isn’t just about breaking records. It has the capacity to change the health of the world. It’s been said that if exercise was a drug, it would be the most widely prescribed medicine on the planet. But many of us spend far too much time being sedentary, and this lack of exercise can damage our own health and increase the incidence of life-limiting disease in the wider population. But the good news is that regular exercise can reduce risk of cancer, heart and metabolic disease and improve mental health. If you want to know more about the science of exercise and how it influences health then this is the Trinity Elective for you. In this Elective, we’ll discuss the fundamental physiology of what happens in our bodies when we exercise. We’ll explore the biological differences between sedentary people, those who exercise recreationally, and elite athletes. We’ll discuss how exercise can be used as a tool to prevent and treat disease, What the World Health Organisation physical activity guidelines are, and how those guidelines evolved based on scientific research and evidence. In this elective you’ll engage in a mixture of face to face and online lectures and tutorials. You’ll learn how to monitor your own physical activity and fitness using lab and gym-based techniques and wearable technologies and you will produce a scientific report based on your data. You’ll also work in groups to investigate key issues in exercise science such as nutrition and sport, the ethics and the dangers of performance enhancing drugs, and whether public health policy on exercise has any impact on how we live our lives. The module is assessed using different methods incorporating individual and groupwork components. More information about the module, including the learning outcomes, is available on the website. We look forward to welcoming you to this Trinity Elective.

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