Aerobic Exercise vs. Anaerobic Exercise

Aerobic Exercise vs. Anaerobic Exercise

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  1. Do you remember your mom telling you that she was going to "aerobics class?" What did she really mean by that? Whether she knew it or not she was telling you that she was going to a class that was going to use the oxygen that she breathed in to harness the glucose, or sugar, in her body in order to create energy. Now, if you remember high school physics class, which many of us don’t, you may recall that energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be transferred in form. That comes from Sir Newton. So this energy that your mom was creating was actually derived from the glucose and fat stores in the body in the form of calories. So, what does this all mean? Your mom was merely doing a sustained exercise that allowed the body to use oxygen and glucose to release energy and in turn "burn calories"

    So what are aerobic exercises?

    An aerobic exercise is any exercise that the body is able to do over a sustained period of time. It is the most efficient form of exercise because the body is able to use oxygen in able to produce energy. Forms of aerobic exercise include long distance running, biking, walking, swimming, hiking, and many sports that do not require quick bursts of energy with stoppage in between. The aerobics class that your mom was talking about was a sustained exercise class for normally about an hour that required constant movement and a steady elvation of her heart rate. Aerobic exercise is one of the best ways that there is to maintain cardiovascular health.

    What about anerobic exercise?

    Anerobic exercise can be thoughts of short bursts of exercise. There is a rapid elevation in heart rate and the body is not able to use oxygen to help form energy. As a result, there is an inefficent usage of glucose, and less energy can be harnessed. Energy is created by a chemical process known as fermentation which creates a minimal amount of energy, about 18 times less than with areobic energy creation, and also creates lactic acid as a by product. This all sounds pretty negative, doesn’t it? Well, not exactly, while it is certainly not as efficient, there are times when our body just doesn’t have enough time to use oxygen. It’s the body’s mechanism to create energy when it needs it quickly. Examples of anerobic exercises are heavy weight lifting, sprinting, short football plays, running to first base in baseball, or any activity that requires a short burst of energy. While it is recommended that humans get 30-60 minutes of aerobic exercise 5 days a week, anerobic exercise is not bad for the body, it just doesn’t have the cardio-protective benefits that aerobic exercise does.

    Remember, before starting any exercise or diet program, consult your doctor to make sure it is right for you.

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