Aerobic Exercise

For most people training is, well, training. This may be true, however, there are many forms of training. The most widely used form of training is Aerobic training.

Aerobic means ‘with oxygen’ so the energy source used for this exercise requires oxygen. The other form of exercise requires little or no oxygen and is called Anaerobic. Aerobic training activities that most people have engaged, in their lifespan, include swimming, running and cycling.

So just what exactly distinguishes aerobic training and is it beneficial for a healthy lifestyle?

Aerobic training, also known as endurance training, is the ability to perform an exercise for a prolonged period of time at a medium to low intensity. In Aerobic training the body is capable of providing enough oxygen to the muscles so that the energy system used is sustainable over a long period of time. This energy system is called Oxidative Phosphorylation. This cycle can be broken down into three stages; the generation of a key two-carbon molecule, the breakdown of this molecule in the Kreb’s cycle and lastly the process of Oxidative Phosphorylation in the respiratory chain.

The other system used to derive ATP is aerobic glycolysis. Glycolysis is also used in anaerobic energy production but differs in the amount of ATP produced.

Your ability to keep going without feeling the build up of lactate in your system is called your aerobic threshold. This is the most beneficial point that you should train at to improve your aerobic capacity and endurance fitness.

So why is it beneficial to have a good aerobic capacity?

With an increased aerobic capacity you’ll have an:

• Increased cardiac output – the amount of blood able to be pumped in a minute

• Increase stroke volume – the amount of blood your heart can pump in one beat

• Increase in blood volume and oxygen carrying red blood cells

• Decrease in resting heart rate and blood pressure

• Increase in cells ability to burn more energy

• Increased reliance on stored fat as an energy source

• Increase in capillary density

This means that your body becomes more efficient at providing oxygen to the body’s cells and the biggest point you all took notice of, burns more fat.

So just how long do you have to exercise to increase your aerobic capacity and what activities can you do?

The list of activities is endless to your imagination. There are some guidelines to gaining the most out of improving your aerobic capacity. The first one is intensity.

You should eventually build up to around 60-70% of your maximum heart rate. The easiest way to estimate your maximum HR is to use this basic formula:

• Max HR = 220 – age

From this you should slowly build up the length of activity so that it last for a minimum of 20 minutes but a better length of time would be 30 minutes. There is no limit to the length of time you exercise for but it wouldn’t be recommended to exercise aerobically for longer than an hour unless prescribed or are a very experienced endurance athlete. If your starting fresh, following the eight week training plans in this program is a good guideline to use to build up your aerobic capacity.