The Limits of Exercise Physiology: From Performance to Health

Brendan Gabriel, Juleen R. Zierath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Citations (Scopus)


Many of the established positive health benefits of exercise have been documented by historical discoveries in the field of exercise physiology. These investigations often assess limits: the limits of performance, or the limits of exercise-induced health benefits. Indeed, several key findings have been informed by studying highly trained athletes, in addition to healthy or unhealthy people. Recent progress has been made in regard to skeletal muscle metabolism and personalized exercise regimes. In this perspective, we review some of the historical milestones of exercise physiology, discuss how these inform contemporary knowledge, and speculate on future questions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1000-1011
Number of pages12
JournalCell Metabolism
Issue number5
Early online date2 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2017

Bibliographical note

The authors are particularly grateful to Professors John A. Hawley, Anna Krook, Henning Wackerhage, and Mr. Petter Alm for critical comments and helpful discussions during the preparation of this Perspective and to Mattias Karlén for preparation of the artwork. The authors are supported by grants from Novo Nordisk Foundation (NNF14OC0011493 and NNF14OC0009941), Wenner-Gren Foundation, Swedish Research Council (2015-00165), European Research Council (233285), and the Strategic Program in Diabetes Research at Karolinska Institutet (2009-1068).


  • Exercise physiology
  • skeletal muscle
  • mitochondria
  • exercise training
  • trainability
  • circadian rhythm


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