Aerobic & Anaerobic Exercise

Implement a combination of aerobic and aerobic exercises to improve your health, fitness and functionality.

Aerobic Training: Aerobic exercise is defined as prolonged or endurance training. During aerobic exercise the muscles demand oxygen carried by blood. The cardiovascular system responses by increasing the heart rate in order to supply the muscles with the higher requirement of needed oxygenated blood.

Simple examples of aerobic training include walking, jogging, cycling, and roller skating. Aerobic exercise strengthens the heart, lungs and muscles for long distance or sustained duration to build endurance and stamina.

Anaerobic Training: Anaerobic exercise is defined as activity in which the body relies on energy stored in the muscles for fuel. The heart responses to anaerobic exercise by increasing the rate of beats per minute and by strengthening its contraction.

Common examples of anaerobic exercise are weightlifting, resistance training and sprinting. Anaerobic exercise develops strength in the cardiovascular system and musculoskeletal system for short time frames to develop strength and power.

Anaerobic Threshold: The point when the body switches from aerobic to anaerobic exercise is called the anaerobic threshold. At this time the body switches from using oxygen as its primary source of energy to using stored sugar in the muscles for fuel.

Beginners reach anaerobic threshold faster than more experienced athletes. Consistent aerobic exercise increases the time frame before anaerobic threshold is reached.  

Well-designed exercise strategies implement a combination of aerobic and anaerobic training. This technique known as cross training or interval training incorporates two or more exercise types.

These various exercise modes can be utilized in one program or during alternating phases of training to focus on developing different aspects of physical fitness at different periods within a long-term training plan.

A plethora of choices exists if you want to combine aerobic and anaerobic exercise in one program.

Kettlebells: Functional kettlebell training is a perfect example. Most kettlebell exercises are multi-joint lifts, meaning numerous muscle groups are worked in unison to raise the weight. Squats, swings, high pulls, and cleans are basic kettlebell moves that incorporate multiple muscles groups in conjunction.

Higher repetitions are utilized in addition to the multi-joint exercises in functional kettlebell training to tax the body in an aerobic and anaerobic manner.

Bike Riding: Shifting gears and speeds while cycling helps combine aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Long distance cycling is an example of aerobic exercises while bike sprints are anaerobic.

Combine sprints with long distance for aerobic and anaerobic benefits. An easy formula is to switch to a harder gear and sprint for 100 yards at the beginning of every other mile. After the sprint shift to an easier gear and continue pedaling to build strength and stamina.

A modified version can be adapted with running and swimming. In the gym be creative with your training by combining resistance and endurance training.

Interval Training: A different approach is to focus on different aspects of fitness at various phases of training within a long-term training program. This is known as interval training.

Perform long aerobic sessions and lighter resistance for 3 to 8 weeks, and then execute short aerobic routines and heavier resistance for 3 to 8 weeks, followed by moderate length aerobic workouts and moderate weights for 3 to 8 weeks.

The first phase develops endurance and stamina in the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems with the use of lighter weights, high repetitions and long cardio sessions.

The second aspect emphasizes strength and power training by implementing heavy weights, low repetitions and short explosive cardio workouts.

The third section builds both endurance and power with the utilization of moderate weights combined with medium length aerobic workouts.

Conclusion: Follow a thorough exercise program that develops aerobic and aerobic fitness simultaneously to achieve your health and fitness goals.

Dr Donald A Ozello DC of Championship Chiropractic in Las Vegas, NV

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**Disclaimer: Always consult a medical professional before beginning an exercise program. Always work within your capabilities. Never perform an exercise that elicits or increases pain or symptoms. Reading this article and viewing the linked videos does not take the place of seeing a medical professional. Please visit a medical professional for evaluation, diagnosis & treatment.

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