I found your thought about exercise as the body managing scarse resources quite interesting. That explains something funny I noticed. When I am learning a new exercise, I can only do a few repetitions. Yet the next day, I can usually do about twice as many - without any possibility of strength of stamina gain in-between. It feels like the body is learning something, and it takes it some pause to process the new knowledge. It's the same effect as learning a new math concept, of which there is a Russian saying, "You need to sleep with any big idea you meet." Which means you understand the idea better next day.
The effect of daily habits
It's easy to forget that our bodies are very complex machines constantly adapting to the challenges of life. The changes they make can build up over time and this our regularly lives have a big impact on how our bodies work.