The Gift of Aerobic Power and Maximum Strength

April 8, 2020
Reading Time: 4 mins

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Fitness: The physical ability to perform athletic activity

Health: The condition of optimal well-being. This means that the nervous, muscular, skeletal, circulatory, digestive, lymphatic and hormonal systems are all working optimally.

As you can see, you don’t just want to be fit; you want to be healthy, too.

In order to be both fit and healthy, you need to have a mix of aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Athletic training often requires both of these energy systems to be well developed. This is because your aerobic system helps your body perform longer, while the anaerobic system enables muscles to recover for the next round.

Most types of exercise fall into one of these two categories.

Aerobic exercise refers to moderate intensity exercise that is performed over a prolonged period of time. This type of exercise is sometimes also known as cardio.

Aerobic exercise refers to activities which involve or improve oxygen consumption. Often, these are activities that can be sustained over prolonged periods of time.

When you are doing cardio, fat becomes the primary fuel for your muscles. That is, you burn a higher percentage of fat than you do carbohydrates.

When burning fat, muscles need more oxygen .This is because fat is denser than carbohydrates. In fact, the word ‘aerobic’ literally means ‘with oxygen’. It comes from Ancient Greek, aero- “aēr” + bios “life”. During aerobic exercise, your heart rate and breathing rate in crease in order to deliver more oxygen to your muscles. This, in turn, allows your muscles to meet the energy demands during exercise. This process is referred to as aerobic metabolism.Aerobic fitness refers to the body’s ability to use the maximum amount of oxygen during exercise. Over time, aerobic exercise can make your longs more efficient, thereby maximising your ability to use oxygen. The heart also becomes more efficient. Finally, blood volume, hemoglobin and red blood cells increase, so the body can transport more oxygen from the lungs to your muscles.

Aerobic exercise doesn’t just strengthen the heart and lungs. It also improves mood, burns fat and reduces your risk of diabetes. It can also help delay osteoporosis. This is due to the loss of fat, and increase in bone density that often accompanies aerobic exercise.

Some examples of aerobic exercise include: running, hiking, aerobics, walking, dancing, swimming and kick-boxing. 

An important note about running: you should be able to carry out a conversation while jogging. According to Grayson Wickham, a New York-based physical therapist and conditioning specialist, this is the ideal pace and heart rate for aerobic running and promoting health.

Anaerobic exercise is high intensity. It literally means ‘without oxygen.’ This is because when you perform an aerobic exercise, you run out of breath quickly.

The word anaerobic also has its roots from Ancient Greek: an- ‘without’ + aēr ‘air’ + bios ‘life’.

During anaerobic exercise, your body builds up lactic acid. When lactate levels get very high, this can contribute to discomfort and fatigue. This is another reason why this type of exercise is performed in short bursts.
Anaerobic exercise is great for weight management. This is because it helps the body build more lean muscle mass. Bodies that have more muscles burn calories more efficiently, even while at rest. Athletes often use anaerobic exercise to get stronger, faster and more powerful. If you want to build muscle mass, then you’re talking about anaerobics.

Examples of anaerobic exercise include sprinting and lifting weights.Many types of exercise actually have both aerobic and anaerobic components. Any activity lasting longer than 2 minutes, regardless of intensity, has a large aerobic component. Meanwhile, exercises such as jogging and cycling become anaerobic when performed at 90% of your maximum heart rate.

New research has shown that both aerobic and anaerobic exercise promote the excretion of myokines. The benefits of this are multifold: it promotes the growth of new tissue, while repairing old tissue; it also has various anti-inflammatory benefits. As a result, both types of exercise have endocrine benefits, and help reduce your risk of developing inflammatory diseases.In general, aim to exercise for longer periods of time. As Tony Robbins says, “if you exercise at 70% of your heart rate rather than 90%, you can exercise forever, and afterwards, you won’t feel physically stressed, stiff, beat up or exhausted – what an incredible feeling!” Plus, you are more likely to keep up with your exercise routine.

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Photo credits: freepik.com


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