What is anaerobic exercise?
This type of exercise is used predominately in non- endurance type sports by athletes to promote muscle development, strength and speed. Anaerobic metabolism is a natural part of our whole body energy burning process. Fast muscle powerful movements induce this type of energy release in our muscles. This is sometimes referred to as fast twitch muscle actions whereas aerobic muscle action is slower movements over an extended period of time. Anaerobic exercise programs develop muscles that can react quickly and can sustain short periods of high intensity power .Body builders use this type of training so they can lift huge weights for a short amount of time. Athletes who run short sprint type races lasting a few minutes or more may also utilize this type of muscle training in their routines. Anaerobic training usually requires up to a ninety percent increase in heart rate for short periods of time. Sports like weight lifting ,sprinting, boxing and short swimming races can all create this increased heart rate condition.
This type of muscle training causes the body to trigger the formation of lactic acid in the muscles. Our bodies use two types of anaerobic systems to create short term energy bursts. The first system uses high energy phosphates which our bodies store a limited amount of in our muscle tissues that can be immediately used for quick muscle reactions. These stored phosphates are ATP(adenosine triphosphate) and CP (creatine phosphate). The second system is called Anaerobic Glycolysis. In This system our muscles use glucose (and also glycogen) as a fuel in the absence of oxygen to produce high intensity bursts of energy. Fast- hard physical movements lasting anywhere up to 30 seconds in duration rely on this rapid energy producing method. The rapid chemical reaction in our muscles creates lactic acid as the by-product; it is also called lactate when it is at biological PH levels.
Lactate, has traditionally been thought to be detrimental to muscle function. However recent studies have found that this is only likely when lactate levels are extremely high. Elevated lactate levels in and around the muscle cells combined with other factors like low blood sugar during higher than normal exercise can sometimes lead to fatigue. Muscle failure fatigue is a complicated process.
Research which has been carried out during recent studies has proven that the endocrine functions of contracting muscles during both aerobic and anaerobic exercise stimulate our muscles to produce the secretion of myokines. These myokines also help our muscles to repair damaged tissue and the stimulate the growth of new muscle tissue they also perform a variety of other anti-inflammatory functions, which can help to reduce the risk of developing other types of inflammatory diseases. Myokine secretion is also directly dependent on the amount of muscle contracted, it is also linked directly to the amount of time and strength of the muscle contraction. As such, both types of exercise produce endocrine benefits.
Increased muscle and blood lactate levels are a natural phenomenon of any physical exertion. The effectiveness of anaerobic activity can be improved with regular training.
Aerobic exercise on the other hand is quite different as it includes less intense routines which are sustained for longer time periods. Activities like long slow runs, walking, rowing, and cycling need a lot more oxygen to generate the energy required for these prolonged physical activities. (This is called aerobic energy expenditure). Some sports often require repeated short bursts of energy (like rowing) but these short bursts may need to be repeated over a long period of time, the anaerobic system helps these muscles to recover for the next burst. Therefore it is very important during training for many sports that both of these energy producing systems are catered for.
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