Exercise physiology is all about how the body responds and adapts to exercise. When you start to exercise there are particular mechanisms that make your heart rate go up, redistribute blood throughout your body, turn on sweat glands and make available the fuels your body needs to operate. All these systems can change and adapt to repeated exercise stresses — like as you get in shape.
To understand exercise physiology really well, it helps to have a good background in biology, chemistry and physics. In my classes we learn about the major organ systems that are involved in the exercise response: the cardiovascular system, the metabolic system and the muscular system. But nearly every system in the body is altered by exercise — some of my favorites are the nervous system and the immune system.
We also spend quite a bit of time learning WHY and HOW exercise is good for you.
Students conducting research in the Pacific Fatigue Lab
Our Pacific Fatigue Lab is composed of a group of researchers that use the stress of exercise to test patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. My favorite part of working at Pacific is getting to conduct research with our students. Several students are working in the lab on a variety of different projects, and last year five of them presented their research findings at an international conference on fatigue.
Student Career Goals
My job is great because I get to work with great students. Most of the students in my classes are working toward graduate programs in allied health-related fields like physical therapy, medicine (physician assistant, etc.) and nursing. Others want to work in the health and fitness field where sophisticated techniques are used for training and monitoring progress.
Courses I regularly teach:
SPTS 45: Science of Nutrition
SPTS 147: Exercise Physiology I
SPTS 177: Exercise Physiology II
BENG 193: General Biology I and II for Engineers
BIOL 11: Human Biology
The post-exertional immunological, autonomic and neuroendocrine responses in women with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
J. Mark VanNess, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences Department
Office: Main Gym, Rm. 209
University of the Pacific
3601 Pacific Avenue
Stockton, CA 95211