AEROBIC EXERCISE

THE IMPORTANCE OF GOOD HEALTH

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THE IMPORTANCE OF GOOD HEALTH

We take so much for granted, and don’t realize how fortunate we are until something or someone is taken from us.

Good Health starts from the very infancy. It is here that protection and care is needed, so that each organ functions well, each organ develops naturally, and there are no deformities, disabilities and diseases but often the health of children remain neglected, with the result that they grow unhealthily and that affects their education as well. A healthy child develops into a healthy adult. In case the child does not grow properly, and he remains handicapped in some way, his ill-health spoils his adult life. He cannot join any active service; he cannot be a successful professional, nor can he live his life happily.

Health is real wealth. A healthy person is an asset to himself, to his family and to his community. On the other hand an ailing person is a burden on all. He is a danger for coming generations because heredity plays an important part in this respect. Health is the pivot upon which a man’s whole personality and its well-being depend. An ailing and aching body saps the enthusiasm for pursuit. Unwholesome feelings and sensations retard the pace of functional activity, economic development and spiritual uplift.

Health cannot be achieved merely by taking one or two pills every day or by observing a few restrictions. It can be achieved only by understanding what health is, on what it depends and then applying this knowledge in every-day life.

The care of the body regarding food, cleanliness, exercise, rest and protection against disease, are essential for the preservation of sound health. Life is for living. Without health, life is deprived of not only much of its usefulness but also its joys and pleasures.

The stream of life will be rich and lasting in proportion to the sources which nourish it. These sources belong to every person. They are food, exercise, and proper posture, care of bodily functions, avoidance of alcohol and tobacco and wholesome mental and emotional attitudes.     If we ignore even the smallest of issues, get in to a doctor right away. Don’t think it will go away overnight; it could be something serious and lead to other issues.

Why is there a need to have an amputation?   Can’t the limb be saved?   Is there a reason why this American woman has an interest in such a topic?     Do we personally know anyone who has had an amputation?   I personally know what this all about especially after spending 5 ½ weeks in the hospital due to a serious infection in one of my limbs which ultimately resulted in the amputation of part of the limb. In time I will be getting a prosthetic limb and am learning how to do things in a new manner and more.

In the US, the majority of new amputations occur due to complications of the vascular system (the blood vessels), especially from diabetes. But there are many in the military that have lost limbs as a result of injuries sustained in war, so the numbers of amputees has substantially increased.     I understand the situation so very well with the loss of a limb and the need to relearn how to do even the basic tasks and things we routinely take for granted and do out of habit.

Amputation is the removal of a body extremity by trauma, prolonged constriction, or surgery. As a surgical measure, it is used to control pain or a disease process in the affected limb, such as malignancy or gangrene. In some cases, it is carried out on individuals as a preventative surgery for such problems. A special case is that of congenital amputation, a congenital disorder, where fetal limbs have been cut off by constrictive bands. In some countries, amputation of the hands, feet or other body parts is or was used as a form of punishment for people who committed crimes. Amputation has also been used as a tactic in war and acts of terrorism; it may also occur as a war injury. In some cultures and religions, minor amputations or mutilations are considered a ritual accomplishment. Unlike some non-mammalian animals (such as lizards that shed their tails, salamanders that can regrow many missing body parts, and hydras, flatworms and starfish that can regrow entire bodies from small fragments), once removed, human extremities do not grow back, unlike portions of some organs, such as the liver. A transplant or prosthesis is the only options for recovering the loss.

In the US, the majority of new amputations occur due to complications of the vascular system (the blood vessels), especially from diabetes. Between 1988 and 1996, there was an average of 133,735 hospital discharges for amputation per year in the US.

Reasons for Amputation. Amputation is the surgical removal of all or part of a limb or extremity such as an arm, leg, foot, hand, toe, or finger. About 1.8 million Americans are living with amputations. Amputation of the leg — either above or below the knee — is the most common amputation surgery. The amputation I had is below the knee, so I am fortunate that it did not spread further and that I still have the knee, bone, tendons, muscles, nerves and other parts of the leg which will make things easier for me when I get my prosthetic limb.

There are many reasons an amputation may be necessary. The most common is poor circulation because of damage or narrowing of the arteries, called peripheral arterial disease. Without adequate blood flow, the body’s cells cannot get oxygen and nutrients they need from the bloodstream. As a result, the affected tissue begins to die and infection may set in.

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Other causes for amputation may include: (1) Severe injury (from a vehicle accident or serious burn, for example); (2) Cancerous tumor in the bone or muscle of the limb; (3) Serious infection that does not get better with antibiotics or other treatment; (4) Thickening of nerve tissue, called a neuroma; and (5) Frostbite

An amputation usually requires a hospital stay of five to 14 days or more, depending on the surgery and complications. The procedure itself may vary, depending on the limb or extremity being amputated and the patient’s general health.

Amputation may be done under general anesthesia (meaning the patient is asleep) or with spinal anesthesia, which numbs the body from the waist down. When performing an amputation, the surgeon removes all damaged tissue while leaving as much healthy tissue as possible.

A doctor may use several methods to determine where to cut and how much tissue to remove. These include: (1) Checking for a pulse close to where the surgeon is planning to cut; (2) Comparing skin temperatures of the affected limb with those of a healthy limb; (3) Looking for areas of reddened skin; and (4) Checking to see if the skin near the site where the surgeon is planning to cut is still sensitive to touch.

During the procedure itself, the surgeon will: (a) Remove the diseased tissue and any crushed bone; (b) Smooth uneven areas of bone; (c) Seal off blood vessels and nerves; and (d) Cut and shape muscles so that the stump, or end of the limb, will be able to have an artificial limb (prosthesis) attached to it.

The surgeon may choose to close the wound right away by sewing the skin flaps (called a closed amputation) (this was done in my case). Or the surgeon may leave the site open for several days in case there’s a need to remove additional tissue.

The surgical team then places a sterile dressing on the wound and may place a stocking over the stump to hold drainage tubes (if necessary) or bandages. The doctor may place the limb in traction, in which a device holds it in position, or may use a splint.

Recovery from amputation depends on the type of procedure and anesthesia used. It is important to have a positive outlook during the entire process, and have an excellent support team. Faith and trust are also important.

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In the hospital, the staff changes the dressings on the wound or teaches the patient to change them. The doctor monitors wound healing and any conditions that might interfere with healing, such as diabetes or hardening of the arteries. The doctor prescribes medications to ease pain and help prevent infection.

If the patient has problems with phantom pain (a sense of pain in the amputated limb) or grief over the lost limb, the doctor will prescribe medication and/or counseling, as necessary.

Physical therapy, beginning with gentle, stretching exercises, often begins soon after surgery. Practice with the artificial limb may begin as soon as 10 to 14 days after surgery.

Ideally, the wound should fully heal in about four to eight weeks. But the physical and emotional adjustment to losing a limb can be a long process. Long-term recovery and rehabilitation will include: (a) Exercises to improve muscle strength and control; (b) Activities to help restore the ability to carry out daily activities and promote independence; (c) Use of artificial limbs and assistive devices; and (d) Emotional support, including counseling, to help with grief over the loss of the limb and adjustment to the new body image..

 Kathy Kiefer

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THE BENEFITS OF WALKING

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THE BENEFITS OF WALKING

“Of all exercises walking is the best.” 

Thomas Jefferson

Walking and running offer numerous benefits, ranging from increased physical fitness to an enhanced sense of well-being. Because both walking and running can help you develop physical strength, ward off disease and enhance wellness, which option is preferable often comes down to individual preference and fitness level. For example, if you can run for only very short distances, walking might be better because you might be more inclined to participate more frequently and for longer amounts of time. Examining some of the positive results associated with both exercises – or a combination of walking and running – can help you determine which exercise makes sense for your lifestyle.

Good for beginners – If you are new to the world of exercising, walking is the best form. You will not feel the pain of working out, yet lose weight. But do not expect a drastic weight-loss, because walking doesn’t ensure you that.

Improves muscle endurance – Walking is good for your muscles especially because when you are walking, all the muscles in your body contract. You might feel a little pain when you start off because your body is not in the habit of exercising, but keeping up with it will definitely give you results.

Good for cardiovascular health – Those endless hours spent at the gym will drain you for sure, thus if you are looking at an exercise that will take care of your cardiovascular health, walking is ideal.

Brisk walking is considered to be the best form as opposed to walking at a normal pace. However, if your knees don’t permit you to walk fast, walking at a good pace will surely give you the much desired benefits.

Tones your butt and thighs – The ideal way to tone your butts and thighs is by walking as fast as you can. Walking fast will tone your glute muscles. However, if you set a comfortable pace, you will not feel the pressure. Speed up slightly each time you hit a low. During your walks, remember to squeeze your butt to a count of ten.

Increases supply of oxygen to your body – If you have been feeling breathless or have breathing issues, walking should be your motto. Though other forms of exercise also help increase the flow of oxygen in your system, walking does it better. This is because you are out in the fresh air, helps your lungs function smoothly.

Power walking for weight loss – For weight loss, indulge in power walking.   This is a fast-paced walk, which burns the same amount of calories while you are running or jogging. For this, you need to keep a brisk pace at moderate or high intensity.

Does not lead to injury – Since this is a low-impact workout, walking does not pose the same risk of injury as opposed to working out in the gym or running. People of all age groups can walk –in fact; it helps in tissue-cleansing for those in their 50s and above. Walking is also better for the spine than running and it puts less stress on your disc.

What you need to have – A pair of good walking shoes: A pair of good walking shoes is required before you step out. Look out for a low and supportive heel that will help you walk better. Also, choose a shoe that fits properly and be sure that your toe has enough room in the toe box. Loose walking gear: As much important as it is to have a comfortable pair of shoes, the right walking gear is crucial. Wear loose, relaxed clothes that will leave enough room for air to circulate while you are walking.

How much should you be walking? Most people, at times don’t know how much time they should invest in walking and end up either walking too much or too less, thus not reaping any results. According to fitness experts, one should walk for at least 30 minutes, five times a week, if not more.

Walking for different age groups teens and 20s – Since this is the time you can exert yourself the most, an hour-and-a-half of walking will give you the desired results.
Make sure that you are wearing a comfortable pair of walking shoes that will help you walk at a fast pace. Merge your walking with running or jogging in between. People in this age are prone to other habits like high alcohol intake, smoking, low vitamin D and calcium intake, and prolonged inactivity, which can all reduce bone density .

30s AND 40s – This is the time when you need to concentrate on the pace of your walking.
Brisk walk but make sure that you take ample amount of rest in between. Start by walking at a slow pace and then slowly pick up speed. Again slow down for a few minutes and then fasten up again.

An hour of walking should give you the desired results. This is the time when women cope with motherhood and people reach the peak of their career. So walking as a form of exercise is the best.

50s and above – Bone mineral density falls with age. So you need to make sure that you are walking as much as possible so that your joints do not get stiff. Don’t walk for more than half an hour. Make sure that you walk at a comfortable pace and don’t exert yourself too much. Walking in short intervals will also benefit you. If you don’t get tired too easily, try jogging in between your walks. This will increase your metabolism and keep you fit.

Walking as an exercise nourishes the spinal structures and facilitates strong circulation, pumping nutrients into soft tissues and draining toxins. It also increases flexibility and posture -walking along with regular stretching allows greater range of motion, helps prevent awkward movements and susceptibility of future injury.”

The American Heart Association states that walking can reduce the risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis. It can also alleviate high blood pressure and improve blood sugar levels. Taking a brisk walk every day can contribute to your overall fitness by burning calories, improving muscle strength and tone and working your cardiovascular system. Wellness can be positively affected, since walking releases endorphins that improve your mood and helps increase concentration levels. Because of its low impact, walking is one of the safest forms of physical activity, according to the American Association of Retired Persons, and it may also contribute to helping reduce abdominal fat.

It seems we’ve all been a bit misled during the fitness craze that’s accompanied the baby boom generation into believing that something enjoyable can’t possibly be beneficial. But the facts don’t support that view. There is ample evidence that walking has a multitude of benefits.

Studies show that walking can: (1) Reduce risk of coronary heart disease and stroke; (2) Reduce high cholesterol; (3) Lower blood pressure; (4) Reduce risk of colon cancer; (5) Reduce body fat; (6) Help control body weight; (7) Increase bone density and help prevent osteoporosis; (8) Help with osteoarthritis; (9) Reduce risk of non-insulin dependent diabetes; (9) Help with overall flexibility; and (10) Increase mental well-being.

Regular participation in physical activity is associated with reduced mortality rates. (US Dept. of Health 1996). In particular, studies have shown that: (a) Fit and active people have approximately half the risk of cardiovascular disease compared to unfit people; (b) Because the bones are strengthened, fit people are less likely to fall and suffer injuries such as hip fractures; (c) Fit people are less likely to sustain injury because joints have a better range of movement and muscles are more flexible; (d) Fit people are less prone to depression and anxiety; (e) Fit people tend to sleep better; and (f)   Fit people have better control of body weight.

So in a nutshell, you can increase your chances of living longer by the simple act of walking at least 30 minutes per day.    Walking should be an aerobic exercise. Aerobic means that exercise is carried out at a comfortable pace to ensure that the muscles have sufficient oxygen available. If you are gasping for breath, you are doing anaerobic exercise. Regular aerobic exercise done three times a week for 30 minutes or more will result in increased levels of fitness and aerobic capacity.

An interesting study done at Loughbrough University came up with some very interesting results. The researchers found that walking continuously for 30 minutes 5 days a week provided nearly identical increases in fitness as splitting 30 minutes into three 10-minute walks. More surprising was the finding that the short walkers lost more weight and reported greater decreases in waist circumference than the long walkers!   All of this research seems to point to the fact that getting fit is really very simple and doesn’t require any sort of complicated exercise regimen. Just get out there and walk every day in whatever manner you can manage and you will reap the benefits of walking!

In theory, losing weight is easy. All you have to do is expend more calories than you take in and you will lose weight. In practice, losing weight is difficult. For many the cycle of dieting, losing weight and eventually gaining it back is all too familiar. There are literally thousands of diets to choose from, all of which claim to be THE way to lose weight. You may have tried a few yourself with mixed results.

The problem with diets is that they only focus on half the equation. Of course it’s important to pay attention to what you eat, but this is important for everyone, not just those trying to lose weight. Dieting alone, especially fad diets that contradict common sense and centuries of human nutritional history, will rarely work in the long term. Good diet must be combined with exercise to really be of any value. And walking is the perfect exercise for those wishing to lose weight.

Another benefit of walking is that walking alters your body’s fat metabolism so that fat is burned up instead of sugars. This will help you lose weight. The bottom line if you want to lose weight is: start walking today and walk every day and you WILL lose weight – guaranteed!

Walking affects not only your physical health, but your mental health as well. It has been shown to improve self-esteem, ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety, and improve mood. A gentle walk in the fresh air and sunshine is relaxing and it makes you feel good. What else could
you ask for?

Most recent studies of young people indicate declining participation in physical activity. Only half of 11-16 year olds currently walk for ten minutes a day. Children generally walk much less than they did a decade ago. Childhood obesity is becoming a major health concern in western countries. TV, computers, and video games account for part of the change, but increased parental fear for children’s safety out of doors also plays a large part.

So how do you get children walking? An excellent approach is to make walking part of a fun activity – make the walk a means to an end. If children know that a playground, a swim, or a treat awaits them at the end of a walk, they are more likely to feel positive about it.

It’s important to get children into the habit of walking at an early age. The best way to get them walking is to integrate walking into their lifestyles. For example, rather than driving the kids to school, why not walk them to school? This may be impractical, but even if you can walk once or twice a week or even walk part way and drive the rest, the benefits to your children (and you) will be enormous. Make walking a priority and you and your children will both benefit.

Kathy Kiefer

THE HEALTHY BENEFITS OF YOGA

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THE HEALTHY BENEFITS OF YOGA

Yoga is on par with aerobic exercise as one of the best things you can do for mind, body,

and spirit, research suggests.

diges1For decades, aerobic exercise—the type that raises your heart and breathing rates, such as running or cycling—has been touted by scientists as the gold standard in terms of the number of health benefits it brings. More energy, improved mood, lower risk of heart disease and certain cancers, better sleep, better thinking, better sex, and on and on.   There may be another form of exercise that does even more for you: yoga. And weight control may be at the top of the long list of yoga benefits.

The only way to be certain of what yoga can do for you is to try it for yourself and see.   Yoga does more than calm you down and makes you flexible.

Aerobic exercise remains a fun, simple, inexpensive, highly effective form of exercise that confers all sorts of important benefits. And it’s important that we all be active every day if we can, taking breaks to move around so we don’t spend our entire time sitting.

Yoga is a valid exercise choice.  Yoga should no longer be seen as something even remotely fringey, or even as something that’s only good foryoga-benefits improving flexibility.  It has become clear that yoga deserves a permanent place at the health and fitness table, alongside other forms of exercise that may be more familiar to most people. To put it another way, if you like yoga, don’t feel like you’re missing out if you’re not also putting in time on the treadmill or exercise bike. Yoga seems to be able to provide many of the physical benefits of exercise—and then some. It behaves as both exercise and meditation.

Yoga exercise aims to improve strength, flexibility and breathing, while at the same time helping with physical health and mental well-being. This ancient system of postures, called asanas, and breathing exercises has been around for more than 5,000 years.

Some meditation techniques may also be involved.

yoga-health-benefitsThere are different types of yoga to suit different needs and abilities for relaxation, flexibility, strength and balance.   When some people think of yoga, they imagine having to stretch like a gymnast. That makes them worry that they’re too old, unfit, or “tight” to do yoga. The truth is you’re never too old to improve flexibility.

The series of yoga poses called asanas work by safely stretching your muscles. This releases the lactic acid that builds up with muscle use and that causes stiffness, tension, pain, and fatigue. In addition, yoga increases the range of motion in joints. It may also increase lubrication in the joints. The outcome is a sense of ease and fluidity throughout your body.

Yoga stretches not only your muscles but all of the soft tissues of your body. That includes ligaments, tendons, and the fascia sheath that surrounds your muscles. And no matter what your level of yoga, you are likely to see benefits in a very short period of time. In one study, participants had up to 35% improvement in flexibility after only eight weeks of yoga. The greatest gains were in shoulder and trunk flexibility.

Some styles of yoga, such as ashtanga and power yoga are more vigorous than others. Practising one of these styles can help you improve muscle tone. An even less vigorous style of yoga, such as Iyengar yoga, which focuses on less movement and more precise alignment in poses, can provide strength and endurance benefits.

Many of the poses, such as downward dog, upward dog, and plank pose, build upper-body strength. This becomes crucial as people age. The standing poses, especially if you hold them for several long breaths, build strength in your hamstrings, quadriceps, and abdominal muscles. Poses that strengthen the lower back include upward dog and chair pose. When practised correctly, nearly all poses build core strength in the deep abdominal muscles.

With increased flexibility and strength comes better posture. Most standing and sitting poses develop core strength. That’s because you’re counting on your deep abdominals to support and maintain each pose. With a stronger core, you’re more likely to sit and stand tall. Another benefit of yoga is the increased body awareness. This heightened awareness tells you more quickly when you’re slouching or slumping so you can adjust your posture.

Because of the deep, mindful breathing that yoga involves, lung capacity often improves. This in turn can improve sports performance and endurance. But yoga typically isn’t focused on aerobic fitness the way running or cycling are. Taking an intense power yoga class that gets you breathing hard in a heated room, however, can provide an aerobic benefit.

Most forms of yoga emphasise deepening and lengthening your breath. This stimulates the relaxation response: the opposite of the fight-or-flight adrenaline boost of the stress response.

Even beginners tend to feel less stressed and more relaxed after their first class. Some yoga styles use specific meditation techniques to quiet the constant “mind chatter” that often underlies stress. Other yoga styles depend on deep breathing techniques to focus your mind on the breath. When this happens, your mind becomes calm.

Among yoga’s anti-stress benefits are a host of biochemical responses. For example, there is a decrease in catecholamines, the hormones produced by theparasymp dia adrenal glands in response to stress. Lowering levels of hormone neurotransmitters, dopamine, norepinephrine, noradrenaline and adrenaline, creates a feeling of calm. Some research points to a boost in the hormone oxytocin. This is the so-called “trust” and “bonding” hormone that’s associated with feeling relaxed and connected to others.

Harder to pin down and research scientifically, concentration and the ability to focus mentally are common benefits you’ll hear yoga students talk about. The same is true with mood. Nearly every yoga student will tell you they feel happier and more contented after class. Researchers have begun exploring the effects of yoga on depression, a benefit that may result from yoga’s boosting oxygen levels to the brain. Yoga is even being studied as an adjunct therapy to relieve symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Perhaps one of the most studied areas of the health benefits of yoga is its effect on heart is heart disease. Yoga has long been known to lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate. A lower blood pressure can benefit people with heart disease and stroke. Yoga was a key component to the heart disease programme designed by American specialist Dr Dean Ornish. This was the first programme to partly reverse heart disease through lifestyle and diet rather than surgery. On a biochemical level, studies point to a possible anti-oxidant effect of yoga and yoga has been associated with decreased cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as a boost in immune system function.

As yoga has become more popular in the West, medical researchers have begun studying the benefits of therapeutic yoga. This is also called integrative yoga therapy or IYT. It’s used as an adjunct treatment for specific medical conditions, from clinical depression to heart disease. Yoga benefits other chronic medical conditions, helping to relieve symptoms of asthma, back pain and arthritis.

Some studies have suggested that yoga may have a positive effect on learning and memory. Other researchers have been studying whether yoga can slow the ageing process, increase a person’s sense of self-acceptance, or improve energy levels.

Some potential benefits of yoga may be hard to study scientifically. For instance, yoga has been said to increase spiritual awareness. Nevertheless, there is an abundance of claims for what yoga can do. Go to any yoga studio and listen to students after the class. Some will even tell you that yoga can help improve marriages and relationships at work.

Yoga may be an untapped resource for losing weight.    There appears to be an intriguing role for yoga in the area of weight control, with the key mechanism being yoga’s stress-reducing power. There is evidence that suggests chronic stress leads to changes in food-seeking behavior, including increased consumption of foods high in sugar and fat, which may eventually lead to obesity.   Yoga provides many of the benefits typically associated with exercise, and is also so effective at reducing stress and it’s possible that yoga might be a particularly useful weapon in the arsenal against obesity.

It’s good for beginners to find a teacher. If you’re considering giving yoga a try, rest assured that you don’t have to be a contortionist to do it. But it’s best to find a class with a teacher, as starting on your own with a video can be tough. It’s important to learn how to do the poses correctly, at which point you can supplement your class time by doing yoga at home.  Scientific literature has shown that the health benefits of yoga can be obtained with a single weekly class, but most studies have used a bigger dose. So it is logical to assume that the more you put in, the more you’ll likely get out.

Kathy Kiefer

AEROBIC vs. ANAEROBIC EXERCISE

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AEROBIC vs. ANAEROBIC EXERCISE

 

Aren’t they the same or similar types of exercise?

If not what is the difference?

Is one better than the other?

Most often when we think about exercise we think aerobic. That is in part because of the high energy classes available at most gyms. Aerobic exercise is not confined to those classes, however. For most people, low to moderate exercise or exertion is generally aerobic. So what is the difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise? In the simplest terms the difference comes down to the oxygen. With aerobic exercise oxygen is carried through your breath to the muscles giving them the energy needed to sustain the effort. Oxygen is not present with anaerobic exercise.

There seems to be a debate on whether aerobic exercise or anaerobic exercise is better. It seems that it just would depend on your goals, body type and your fitness level. There are some approaches that may yield better results than others. The chances are that some will swear by one type of exercise while others will swear by another.

Modern exercise science shows that all exercise is not created equal. In other words, it’s no longer as simple as inputs and outputs.    So if your goal is to lose weight, this begs the question—what is the best exercise to burn fat? While not a simple answer, a look into aerobic versus anaerobic exercise could help shed some light on how to approach your workouts.

Many people get confused between the technical terms – aerobic and anaerobic exercise. It’s really quite simple and we’ve broken it down for you with some great examples that you can implement in your routines.

Aerobic exercise is a form of activity that involves low intensity but over a period of time. If you go to the gym then you should be familiar with its other name ‘cardio’. It is also any activity that causes your heart, lungs and muscles to work overtime and you’re able to sustain it for at least a few minutes, then it’s considered aerobic or cardio exercise.

What are some of the benefits of aerobic exercise?   (1) Doing regular aerobic exercise will help your body to burn off more calories and is the only form of exercise that’ll directly burn off fat; (2) It makes your respiratory system stronger by improving the efficiency of how your system supplies oxygen; (3) It reduces the build-up of plaque in your arteries and keeps them clear by raising HDL cholesterol (good) and lowering LDL cholesterol (bad); (4) The strongest muscle in your body – your heart, will become stronger. This means that blood is pumped around your entire body more efficiently which results in effective removal of toxins and waste materials from your body; (5) Cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, arthritis and stroke are all conditions that can prevented by doing regular aerobic exercise; and (6) Protects you from illnesses by strengthening your immune system.

Examples of Aerobic Exercise include: (a) Low intensity swimming; (b) Cycling; (c) Walking; (d) Rowing; (e) Rope skipping; and (f) Jogging.

You can improve on your aerobic conditioning by increasing the pace, duration and distance at which you’re performing a certain activity.   So if you’ve been jogging for 3 miles twice a week for a few weeks, then you should increase this distance to 3.5 miles and then increase it again when you feel you can push it a bit further. Alternatively, you stick to the same distance but complete your jog in a shorter timescale.

Explosiveness and intensity are attributes that best describes what anaerobic exercise consists of. It’s utilizing a group of muscles in your body to perform a certain activity to maximum effect.

This means that your body can only perform this activity of a short time span, around 2 minutes. Any more than that then an aerobic element kicks in.

What are the benefits of anaerobic exercise? (1) It can help prevent healthy problems such as type 2 diabetes, low back pain, and arthritis. Just like aerobic, anaerobic exercise also strengthens your immune system; (2) Helps to shape your body for a better appearance. Strength training is the most effective way to build and tone muscles giving you a healthier and stronger appearance; (3) Reduces body fat through building lean muscles which provides you with a higher metabolism used for burning more calories; and (4) Increases bone density and strength by going through intense training that puts pressure on your bones structure. Your bones will adapt and become stronger instead of becoming soft and brittle.

Examples of Anaerobic Exercise Include: (a) Lifting weights; (b) Pull ups; (c) Sprinting; and (4)   Jump squats

The more explosive activities that you do, then the stronger your body will naturally become. Whenever a part of your body aches the next morning after perform a form of anaerobic exercise, you must allow your muscles to heal and you’ll be able to perform at a higher level next time.

In order to reach your physical fitness peak, you need to train on both aerobic and anaerobic exercise as they go hand in hand with each other. You shouldn’t neglect either one because they’re both essential to maintain a healthy body and mind.

There are several ways that the terms aerobic and anaerobic exercise get tossed around. The more formal definitions of the two revolve around the level of oxygen consumption needed to perform a given activity. During aerobic exercise there is sufficient oxygen intake needed to sustain the current level of activity without using additional energy from another energy source.

During anaerobic exercise, oxygen consumption is not sufficient to supply the energy demands being placed on your muscles. Therefore, your muscles begin to break down sugars, resulting in higher lactic acid production.

However, there is a simpler way to differentiate the two. Aerobic exercise is light activity you can sustain over long periods of time, such as jogging. Anaerobic activity is bursts of activity for short periods of time, such as sprinting.   Both types of exercise burn fat and boost the metabolism that will last for hours after the workout. The key to getting the best results is to have a workout that incorporates both.  Aerobic exercise increases your endurance and cardiac health while anaerobic exercise will not only help you burn fat but also help you gain lean muscle mass.

Many group classes, like Jazzercise, incorporate both exercises. Aerobic and anaerobic segments are placed in perfect balance to give you maximum fat burning benefits. Each Jazzercise class has choreographed movements that burn fat aerobically and build lean muscle anaerobically.  All the exercises are carefully designed and choreographed to music to achieve these goals. The tempo of the music along with the style of the moves affects heart rate. The cardio portion of class is an excellent form of aerobic exercise while the strength training is anaerobic and will help you develop lean muscle that burns more fat.

Exercise requires energy. When we exercise aerobically our bodies use glycogen and fat as fuel. This low to moderate level of exertion can be sustained over long periods. As you breathe more heavily with exertion carbon dioxide is expelled from your body. Lactic acid is not produced as it is with anaerobic exercise.

It is difficult to overstate the benefits of aerobic exercise. It not only improves overall health and quality of life, but may also extend your life. Aerobic exercise burns fat, improves mood, strengthens the heart and lungs and reduces your risk of diabetes.

 Oxygen is not present with anaerobic exercise. When we exercise anaerobically glycogen is used as fuel. Once all the glycogen has been depleted (usually in about two hours) you can expect to hit the proverbial wall. Endurance athletes avoid this performance buster with carbo loading before exercise (which when converted to sugar gives more energy) and supplements during exercise to sustain energy.

During anaerobic exercise your body builds up lactic acid, which causes discomfort and fatigue at sustained levels. For this reason anaerobic exercise or high intensity exercise happens in short bursts. It may be helpful to consider the difference between a sprinter (anaerobic) and a marathoner (aerobic). Sprinting is an all-out effort that is sustained for a comparatively short period while marathoning is a sustained effort.

Anaerobic exercise helps build lean muscle mass. Calories are burned more efficiently in bodies that have more muscle. Anaerobic exercise is especially helpful for weight management in that it helps to burn more calories even in a body at rest. Anaerobic exercise can also help build endurance and fitness levels.

Anaerobic exercise is very high intensity or at your maximum level of exertion. Examples include sprinting and weight lifting.   Consider using intervals, aerobic with some bursts of anaerobic exercise mixed in periodically to improve weight loss and overall fitness.

 kathy Kiefer

AEROBIC EXERCISE

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AEROBIC EXERCISE

Aerobic exercise (also known as cardio) is physical exercise of relatively low intensity that depends primarily on the aerobic energy-generating process. Aerobic literally means “relating to, involving, or requiring free oxygen”, and refers to the use of oxygen to adequately meet energy demands during exercise via aerobic metabolism. Generally, light-to-moderate intensity activities that are sufficiently supported by aerobic metabolism can be performed for extended periods of time.

When practiced in this way, examples of cardiovascular/aerobic exercise are medium to long distance running, jogging, swimming cycling and walking.

Aerobic exercise and fitness can be contrasted with anaerobic exercise, of which strength training and short-distance running are the most salient examples. The two types of exercise differ by the duration and intensity of muscular contractions involved, as well as by how energy is generated within the muscle.

New research on the endocrine functions of contracting muscles has shown that both aerobic and anaerobic exercise promote the secretion of  myokines, with attendant benefits including growth of new tissue, tissue repair, and various anti-inflammatory functions, which in turn reduce the risk of developing various inflammatory diseases. Myokine secretion in turn is dependent on the amount of muscle contracted, and the duration and intensity of contraction. As such, both types of exercise produce endocrine benefits.

In almost all conditions, anaerobic exercise is accompanied by aerobic exercises because the less efficient anaerobic metabolism must supplement the aerobic system due to energy demands that exceed the aerobic system’s capacity. What is generally called aerobic exercise might be better termed “solely aerobic”, because it is designed to be low-intensity enough not to generate lactate via pyruvate fermentation, so that all carbohydrate is aerobically turned into energy.

Initially during increased exertion, muscle glycogen is broken down to produce glucose, which undergoes glycolysis producing pyruvate which then reacts with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide and water and releases energy. If there is a shortage of oxygen (anaerobic exercise, explosive movements), carbohydrate is consumed more rapidly because the pyruvate ferments into lactate. If the intensity of the exercise exceeds the rate with which the cardiovascular system can supply muscles with oxygen, it results in buildup of lactate and quickly makes it impossible to continue the exercise. Unpleasant effects of lactate buildup initially include the burning sensation in the muscles, and may eventually include nausea and even vomiting if the exercise is continued without allowing lactate to clear from the bloodstream.

As glycogen levels in the muscle begin to fall, glucose is released into the bloodstream by the liver, and fat metabolism is increased so that it can fuel the aerobic pathways. Aerobic exercise may be fueled by glycogen reserves, fat reserves, or a combination of both, depending on the intensity. Prolonged moderate-level aerobic exercise at 65% VO2 max (the heart rate of 150 bpm for a 30-year-old human) results in the maximum contribution of fat to the total energy expenditure. At this level, fat may contribute 40% to 60% of total, depending on the duration of the exercise. Vigorous exercise above 75% VO2max (160 bpm) primarily burns glycogen.

Major muscles in a rested, untrained human typically contain enough energy for about 2 hours of vigorous exercise. Exhaustion of glycogen is a major cause of what marathon runner’s call “hitting the wall”. Training, lower intensity levels and carbohydrate loading may allow postponement of the onset of exhaustion beyond 4 hours.

Aerobic exercise comprises innumerable forms. In general, it is performed at a moderate level of intensity over a relatively long period of time. For example, running a long distance at a moderate pace is an aerobic exercise, but sprinting is not. Playing singles tennis, with near-continuous motion, is generally considered aerobic activity, while golf or two person team tennis, with brief bursts of activity punctuated by more frequent breaks, may not be predominantly aerobic. Some sports are thus inherently “aerobic”, while other aerobic exercises, such as fartlek training or aerobic dance classes, are designed specifically to improve aerobic capacity and fitness. It is most common for aerobic exercises to involve the leg muscles, primarily or exclusively. There are some exceptions. For example, rowing to distances of 2,000 m or more is an aerobic sport that exercises several major muscle groups, including those of the legs, abdominals, chest, and arms. Common kettlebell exercises combine aerobic and anaerobic aspects.

Among the recognized benefits of doing regular aerobic exercise are: (a) Strengthening the muscles involved in respiration, to facilitate the flow of air in and out of the lungs; (b) Strengthening and enlarging the heart muscle, to improve its pumping efficiency and reduce the resting heart rate, known as aerobic conditioning; (c) Improving circulation efficiency and reducing blood pressure; (d) Increasing the total number of red blood cells in the body, facilitating transport of oxygen; (e) Improved mental health, including reducing stress and lowering the incidence of depression, as well as increased cognitive capacity; and (f) Reducing the risk for diabetes.

As a result, aerobic exercise can reduce the risk of death due to cardiovascular problems. In addition, high-impact aerobic activities (such as jogging or using a skipping rope) can stimulate bone growth, as well as reduce the risk of osteoporosis for both men and women.

In addition to the health benefits of aerobic exercise, there are numerous performance benefits: (a)   Increased storage of energy molecules such as fats and carbohydrates within the muscles, allowing for increased endurance; (b) Neovascularization of the muscle sarcomeres to increase blood flow through the muscles; (c) Increasing speed at which aerobic metabolism is activated within muscles, allowing a greater portion of energy for intense exercise to be generated aerobically; (d) Improving the ability of muscles to use fats during exercise, preserving intramuscular glycogen; and (e) Enhancing the speed at which muscles recover from high intensity exercise.

Some downfalls of aerobic exercise include: (a) Overuse injuries because of repetitive, high-impact exercise such as distance running; (b) Is not an effective approach to building lean muscle; and (c) Only effective for fat loss when used consistently.

Both the health benefits and the performance benefits, or “training effect”, require a minimum duration and frequency of exercise. Most authorities suggest at least twenty minutes performed at least three times per week.

Aerobic capacity describes the functional capacity of the cardiorespiratory system, (the heart, lungs and blood vessels). Aerobic capacity refers to the maximum amount of oxygen consumed by the body during intense exercises, in a given time frame. It is a function both of cardiorespiratory performance and the maximum ability to remove and utilize oxygen from circulating blood. To measure maximal aerobic capacity, an exercise physiologist or physician will perform a VO 2 max test, in which a subject will undergo progressively more strenuous exercise on a treadmill, from an easy walk through to exhaustion. The individual is typically connected to a respirometer to measure oxygen consumption, and the speed is increased incrementally over a fixed duration of time. The higher the measured cardiorespiratory endurance level, the more oxygen has been transported to and used by exercising muscles, and the higher the level of intensity at which the individual can exercise. More simply put, the higher the aerobic capacity, the higher the level of aerobic fitness. The Cooper and multi-stage fitness tests can also be used to assess functional aerobic capacity for particular jobs or activities.

The degree to which aerobic capacity can be improved by exercise varies very widely in the human population: while the average response to training is an approximately 17% increase in VO2max, in any population there are “high responders” who may as much as double their capacity, and “low responders” who will see little or no benefit from training. Studies indicate that approximately 10% of otherwise healthy individuals cannot improve their aerobic capacity with exercise at all. The degree of an individual’s responsiveness is highly heritable, suggesting that this trait is genetically determined.

Higher intensity exercise, such as High-intensity interval training (HIIT), increases the resting metabolic rate (RMR) in the 24 hours following high intensity exercise, ultimately burning more calories than lower intensity exercise; low intensity exercise burns more calories during the exercise, due to the increased duration, but fewer afterwards.

Kathy Kiefer