Personalizing Physical Exercise

The beneficial effects of physical activity for the prevention and management of several chronic diseases are widely recognized. Mathematical modeling of the effects of physical exercise in body metabolism and in particular its influence on the control of glucose homeostasis is of primary importance in the development of eHealth monitoring devices for personalized medicine. Formulating a model describing the metabolic responses to a physical exercise session is a challenging task since the effects vary depending on its intensity, duration, modality and are also dependent on the subjects’ physical characteristics (e.g. age, gender, body weight, fitness status). To date, only a few mathematical models have aimed at this specific purpose and none of the existing computational models had been able to provide this level of “personalization.”  

Italian researchers have now developed a whole-body computational model of the effects of a bout of physical exercise on metabolic homeostasis. “Modeling the influence of physical exercise on the control of glucose homeostasis is of primary importance in the understanding of how physical activity prevents disease and improves health outcomes…” stated the study’s lead author, Maria Concetta Palumbo of the National Research Council of Italy. (PLOS Computational Biology)