What is Aerobic exercise & Anaerobic Exercise eTech Guide Tips:
Endurance, or aerobic activity, implies exercise which involves the muscles continuously for a sustained period of time at below maximum effort. Aerobic – literally ‘with air’ – means exercise which depends on a steady supply of oxygen to maintain the activity for a minimum of ten minutes.
This kind of endurance exercise increases stamina by enhancing the ability of the muscles to use oxygen and by improving and strengthening the cardiovascular system.
Aerobic exercise: For many people, the term ‘aerobics’ brings to mind the activity of dance and exercise done in a studio to music. These classes have attracted a great deal of criticism due to the large and ever-increasing number of injuries sustained by participants.
By association, all exercise classes as ‘aerobic’ has gained a somewhat confused reputation. However, the two should not be branded together.
Although exercise that falls into the aerobic category (see overleaf) is undoubtedly good for you, aerobic exercise classes, often supervised by teachers with little or no training and even less understanding of the body’s anatomy and physiology, can be dangerous.
In fact, the very title is a misnomer in that the exercises are mostly anaerobic, concentrating largely on exercising each muscle group to maximum effort. Also, the bouncing movements that many teachers practice in these classes are not only counterproductive but may be damaging to the muscles; bouncing damages the fine spindle fibers within the muscle which can’t stretch that quickly.
If you think of a rubber band (although the muscle is more complicated than this), when you stretch it quickly and then release it, it snaps back to its original state. Muscles should be treated more gently with slow, long stretches which encourage them to relax and become longer without strain.
Anaerobic exercise: In these exercises and sports, muscles are used to their maximum in a massive effort, the kind of effort that cannot be sustained for long because the muscles go into ‘oxygen debt’ very quickly. It is for this reason that you feel puffed when you rush upstairs or sprint.
Anaerobic exercise creates a lactic acid build-up in the muscles due to the oxygen debt, and it is this that makes the muscles ache or burn. That famous rallying cry of Jane Fonda, ‘Go for the burn!’ thus actually encourages pupils to push their muscles beyond their capacity. Pain is a warning signal that should always be heeded; it is the body’s way of telling us we need a rest.
Your Choices of Exercise:
Any kind of exercise is good for you, but for women who want to be fit rather than train as an athlete. Aerobic exercise is excellent for promoting all-round health. Most important is that you choose something you enjoy.
Exercise is not a duty and should really be renamed ‘play’ to banish the puritan image that still lingers in some minds. Just as play is an essential part of a child’s growing experience, it is equally important for an adult’s sense of well-being.
Exercise that is drudgery, undertaken solely because it is meant to do you good, will not benefit you half as much as exercise that you enjoy. Anything done just for the result is a heartless activity, and the same goes for exercise.
In deciding which kind of exercise is the one for you, think about the following:
- Do you prefer to exercise alone or with others?
- Would you like the camaraderie of joining a club?
- What time of day do you want to exercise – before breakfast, at lunchtime, after work?
- How regularly can you spare the time?
- How fit are you all ready?
- Have you done any regular form of exercise before?
- Which kind of exercise best fits your routine?
- Can you afford equipment such as rackets or shoes?
- What about the cost of memberships? Some sports are more expensive than others in terms of initial outlay – club membership fees, etc.
- Do you know the location and opening times of sports centers and facilities near you live or work?
Aerobic exercise: All these factors will affect your choice of exercise.
The training effect (Aerobic exercise):
Yes, exercise is going to seem difficult in the beginning, but if your exercise program is build up gradually and you have chosen something you enjoy, which gives you the determination to persist, then within a matter of weeks your capacity to intensify and prolong the activity will increase, and you will be able to do so with less fatigue.
The fundamental principle behind the training effect is that the body thrives on use. If you give your body something to do which is a little more strenuous than it has been used to, it will every soon adjust to this ‘overload’.
The benefits of training also come when you least expect it. When the body is at rest, strengthening and rebuilding takes place, bringing renewed vigor and a sense of refreshment.
Aerobic exercise: Movement for mobility and suppleness:
Although aerobic activity increases the health of your lungs and heart, making you feel more vital. It is also important to stretch fully, slowly and deliberately, all the muscle groups in your body. This form of exercise is the necessary complement to the more dynamic forms and brings the benefits of joint mobility, balance, suppleness, and grace. Yoga is the archetypal stretching exercise and forms the basis of all modern variations.
When you stretch, you contract and relax a muscle, squeezing out blood and cellular wastes, and allowing fresh, oxygenated blood to flow back in. This movement of blood does not depend on the heart for its circulation or the strenuous raising of the body’s metabolism.
It is altogether a quieter, slower form of movement, and as such brings relaxation and a sense of calm and renewal. Your exercise program should combine aerobic activity with some form of slower, stretching movement.
Aerobic exercise: Movement for body awareness:
All exercise and movement forms from the East are founded on the principles of being aware of your body, how it functions, and how your energy flows. There are also a few Western forms that have these principles as their aim.
The principle of ‘entering’ involves finding and utilizing the core of your energy flow (or chi) which comes from a place roughly in the center of your body around the solar plexus, and is fundamental to all the martial arts.
Being constantly aware of this center, and acting from it, keeps the whole being balanced, strong, and vital.
Of course, the martial arts are very much more complicated than this and in their pure form require life-long study and devotion, but for those women who are looking for a recreational form of movement that combines grace, skill, and a finely-tuned awareness of their body. And how it relates to its surroundings, practicing an Eastern form of movement can be very satisfying.
Movement forms that are slow, flowing, and emphasize awareness of the body are extremely valuable to us in the modern world of rush and hurry. For women – and for men – an exercise that works in a gentle, intimate way helps us to know our bodies from the inside out and to get in touch with our inner strength, our center, and our contact with the ground.
‘Grounding’ is an important process; it means feeling a sense of solidity and communication with the ground – both real and metaphorical – that we stand on. We could also call it ‘earthiness’, and people who have that earthy quality also have a sense of self-possession which is attractive and calming.
Movement for body awareness, such as T’ai Chi, yoga, and contact dance, brings better posture, grounding, and greater sensitivity in one’s relation to self and others.
Aerobic exercise: Tests For Fitness:
Before you start an exercise program test how fit or unfit you are by running on the spot for 30 seconds or do step-ups on to the second step of a staircase for one minute.
Afterward, find your pulse at your wrist or neck (do not use your thumb) and count the number of beats for 15 seconds. Then multiply this figure by four. When you exercise, your heart rate should not exceed this rate, to begin with.
Obviously, as you get to filter your heart will grow stronger and your capacity greater, but your heart rate should never exceed 60-80 percent of its maximum rate. To find out what your average maximum is, subtract your age from 220. Aim to gradually build up your exercise to a period of at least 15-20 minutes at this heart rate for maximum benefit.
Make sure you do these tests before embarking on any exercise regime. If you have tested your fitness as above and your pulse is over 100 beats per minute ten minutes after exercise ceases, or if you suffer from a weight or blood pressure problem. It is advisable to see your doctor for a check-up.
Grasp your left wrist with your right hand so that you can feel your pulse under your thumb. Then either count for ten seconds and multiply by six. This figure gives you your pulse rate.
Tests For Fitness