aerobic exercise (also known as "cardio" in gym lingo); any activity that you can sustain for more than just a few minutes while your heart, lungs, and muscles work overtime.
THE HEART heart needs a fresh supply of oxygen, and as you just learned, the lungs provide it. Once the heart uses what it needs, it pumps the blood, the oxygen, and other nutrients out through the large left ventricle and through the circulatory system to all the organs, muscles, and tissues that need it.
Oxygen consumption and muscles
It's the amount of oxygen the muscles extract, or consume from the blood, and it's expressed as ml/kg/minute (milliliters per kilogram of body weight)
Muscles are like engines that run on fuel (just like an automobile that runs on fuel);
only our muscles use fat and carbohydrates instead of gasoline.
Oxygen is a key player because, once inside the muscle, it's used to burn fat and carbohydrate for fuel to keep our engines running.
The more efficient our muscles are at consuming oxygen, the more fuel we can burn, the more fit we are, and the longer we can exercise.
How aerobically fit can we be? The average sedentary adult will reach a level of oxygen consumption close to 35 ml/kg/minute during a maximal treadmill test (where you're asked to walk as hard as you can). Translated, that means the person is consuming 35 millilitres' of oxygen for every kilogram of body weight per minute. That'll get you through the day,
but elite athletes can reach values as high as 90 ml/kg/minute!
How do they do it?
They may have good genes for one, but they also train hard.
And when they do, their bodies adapt. The good news is that the bodies of mere mortals like the rest of us adapt to training too.
What are the fitness benefits of aerobic exercise?
How our bodies adapt
Here's what happens inside your body when you do aerobic exercise regularly:
Your heart gets stronger and pumps more blood with each beat (larger stroke volume).
Conditioned hearts also have greater diameter and mass (the heart's a muscle too and gets bigger when you train it), and
3. they pump efficiently enough to allow for greater filling time, which is a good thing because it means that more blood fills the chambers of the heart before they pump so that more blood gets pumped with each beat.
4. Greater stroke volume means the heart doesn't have to pump as fast to meet the demands of exercise.
5. Fewer beats and more stroke volume mean greater efficiency
5 . Downstream from the heart are your muscles, which get more efficient at consuming oxygen when you do regular aerobic exercise
inside the muscle increase in number and activity.
Mitochondria are the powerhouses of your cells.
They do all the heavy-duty work to keep you moving.
They use the oxygen to burn the fat and carbohydrate that makes you go.
The good news is that they increase in number and activity, by as much as 50%, in just a matter of days to weeks in response to regular aerobic exercise in adults of all ages.
Burn, baby, burn
body gets better at using oxygen and burning fat when you do regular aerobic exercise; like I described, your heart pumps more blood, your muscles consume more oxygen, and you have more mitochondria
What is the difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise?
It's any activity that stimulates your heart rate and breathing to increase but not so much that you can't sustain the activity for more than a few minutes.
Aerobic means " with oxygen,“ and anaerobic means "without oxygen."
is the type where you get out of breath in just a few moments, like when you lift weights for improving strength, when you sprint, or when you climb a long flight of stairs
examples of types of aerobic or cardio activities
climbing steps (two at a time for a more vigorous workout),
low-impact dance classes,
all the cardio machines at the gum (treadmill, elliptical, bike, rower, x-c skiing, stair-climber), ETC.
all examples of types of aerobic or cardio activities, but they can be anaerobic too if they are performed at a high enough intensity
What are the health benefits of aerobic exercise?
There is a mountain of evidence to prove that regular aerobic exercise will improve your health, your fitness, and much more. Here's a partial list of the documented health benefits of aerobic exercise.
Research is clear that physically active men and women have about a 30%-40% reduction in the risk of developing colon cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer compared with inactive individuals.
is a disease characterized by low bone density, which can lead to an increased risk of fracture
exercise may increase bone density or at least slow the rate of decrease in both men and women
exercise can elevate our mood.
Aerobic exercise can also improve insulin resistance.
least fit individuals had much higher rates of cardiovascular disease than fit individuals -- in some cases, the risk was twice as high .
Aerobic exercise works in many ways to prevent heart disease ; two of the most important are by reducing blood pressure and allowing blood vessels to be more compliant
Obesity and weight control
. Evidence is also accumulating that active individuals perform better on cognitive function tests such as tests of memory and spatial relations than sedentary individuals.
How much aerobic exercise do you need to do to gain the benefits?
The recommendation is that all adults should accumulate 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most, if not all days of the week, or
20-60 minutes of continuous aerobic activity (biking, walking, jogging, dancing, swimming, etc.) three to five times a week, at 60%-90% of maximum heart rate, and two to three days of resistance training
How do I go about getting started on an aerobic exercise program?
Keep it simple,
keep it practical,
keep it convenient,
keep it realistic,
keep it specific,
and don't try to make up for years of inactivity all at once
How do I calculate my target heart rate during aerobic exercise?
Heart rate reserve
Your heart rate rises during aerobic exercise. It can rise from 70 beats per minutes (bpm) at rest to as high as 170 bpm or even higher during exercise, depending on the intensity of the exercise, your fitness level, your age, and other factors
1. 220-age = Max HR. 2. Subtract resting heart rate from Max HR = Heart Rate Reserve (HRR). 3. Multiply HRR times percent you want to train at. 4. Add back resting heart rate. Assuming a resting heart rate of 70 bpm, 27 years old, and 70% training range: 220 - 27 = 193 193 - 70 = 123 123 x .70% = 86 86 + 70 = 156 Please note: There's been some recent research to suggest a new way of estimating maximum heart rate. The formula is the following: Multiply 0.7 times your age Subtract that number from 208. An example if you're 26 years old is: 0.7 x 26 = 18, then 208 - 18 = 190. You'd then take 190 and plug it in as usual to the formula above. This new formula makes a slightly bigger difference as you get older.
If you learn only methods, you'll be tied to your methods, but if you learn principles you can devise your own methods. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson