Aerobic Exercise With Oxygen
Aerobic exercise (exercising "with oxygen") refers to the use of oxygen in a muscle's energy generating process of moderate intensity and undertaken for a long duration.
Many types of exercises such as walking, jogging, tennis, bicycling, and swimming are included.
Properly performed exercises should involve 5-10 minutes of warming up at an intensity of 50-60% of
maximum heart rate,
followed by at least 20 minutes of exercise at an intensity of 70-80% of maximum heart rate, ending with 5-10 minutes of cooling down at an intensity of 50-60% of maximum heart rate.
Aerobic exercise and fitness can be contrast with anaerobic exercise, of which
strength training and weight training
are good examples.
The two types of exercise differ by the duration and intensity of muscular contractions involved, as well as by how energy is generated within the muscle.
Initially during aerobic exercise, glycogen is broken down to produce glucose, but in its absence, fat metabolism is initiated instead. The latter is a slow process accompanied by a decline in performance level and a major cause of what marathon runners call "hitting the wall".
Anaerobic exercise refers to the initial phase of exercise, or any short burst of intense exertion in which the glycogen or sugar is consumed without oxygen, causing a far less efficient process.
Some of the recognized health benefits are:
- Strengthening the muscles involved in respiration to facilitate the flow of air in and out of the lungs.
- strengthening and enlarging the heart muscle to improve its pumping efficiency and reduce the resting heart rate.
- Toning muscles throughout the body which can improve overall circulation and reduce blood pressure.
- Increasing the total number of red blood cells in the body to facilitate transport of oxygen throughout the body.
- Reduce the risk of death due to cardiovascular problems.
- High impact exercise such as jogging or jumping can stimulate bone growth as well as reduce the risk of osteoporosis for both men and women.
Some of the performance benefits are:
- Increased storage of energy molecules such as fats and carbohydrates within the muscles, allowing for increased endurance.
- Increased blood flow through the muscles.
- Improving the ability of muscles to use fats during exercise, preserving intramuscular glycogen.
- Enhancing the speed at which muscles recover from high intensity exercise.
One of the greatest problems is that some people suffer repetitive stress injuries with some forms of the high-impact exercises.
Aerobic conditioning exercises are invaluable to your total fitness level and still be pleasurable. Remember: if this type of exercise, or any other exercise, is new to you start off slow with short sessions and build your way up gradually. If you have any health concerns or medical conditions be sure to check with your doctor for advice before you begin a program.
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