01 April 2014

Aerobics

Aerobics is commonest abbreviation of aerobic exercise, something that many of us take up regularly. In simple language it means exercise that is done when oxygen (that our body gets from the air we breathe) is used sufficiently to cater to energy demand during the actual exercise. E.g. Fast walking, cycling, dancing, swimming, jogging. During this type of exercises, our heart rate and breathing  rate go up in such a manner that exercise can be sustained for that session. As the heart rate goes up, more blood is pumped into the muscles and the increased breathing rate means oxygenation is faster. Thus the muscles get much needed oxygen required to burn the stored fat or carbohydrate to produce energy to jog, cycle, dance or lift weights (exercise)!

When we exercise, glycogen present in muscles is broken down to glucose which is then metabolised to produce water, carbon dioxide and energy is released.There are several benefits from aerobic exercise. The most important one is that it helps fight depression. Weight bearing aerobic exercises can help improve bone density as well.

The opposite is anaerobic exercise when the heart and respiratory rate cannot keep up with the intense exercise. e.g. fast sprint (as in 100 m race) or lifting heavy weights. Due to the shortage of oxygen, the metabolism occurring in the muscles is of a different type. Metabolic wastes accumulate in muscles which cause pain ("muscle burn") and one cannot sustain the exercise for a long time. If 'aerobic exercises' are performed at a excessively high intensity then they can turn into anaerobic exercises. These too have some benefits but in general its better to devote majority of an exercise plan to aerobic activities.

This is the first post on exercising for fitness. All through April 2014, I plan to cover important aspects of exercising for fitness and share links that  you can read at your leisure. Stay tuned..
Stay fit, stay happy.
Cheers! 

Disclaimer: All suggestions are general in nature. Readers are advised to exercise caution before implementing them and seek expert advise about what is suitable for their specific needs.  

7 comments:

Deepa Iyer said...

Great post. I used to do aerobics until my ortho said I shouldn't be. Had some ligament injuries and they just aggravated. That said, I found tremendous impact with Yoga, so Yoga it is these days.

Natalie Bowers said...

My favourite aerobic exercise is walking. I also like swimming. Exercise is definitely good for fighting depression. :)

Rajlakshmi said...

very informative post... I used to aerobics as a child... but after growing up I have sort of become a couch potato. Your post is inspiring :)

Archana said...

Thank you Deepa, Natalie and Rajlakshmi. Yes, aerobics does conjure images of leotard clad people moving to thumping music. Yoga and swimming are excellent exercise.

fortyandfantastique said...

Happy Beginning-of-A-to-Z day ! Great post, my fave is walking. I got a pedometer to keep track and it's really fun to know how far you walk sometimes :-)

jetgirlcos visiting via Forty, c'est Fantastique

Sonia Lal said...

I like walking best! The others, not so much. I actually did not anaerobic excerise.

Archana said...

Thanks all!! :)