Aerobics is basically a form of aerobic exercise with the purpose of improving one’s overall fitness that includes muscular strength, flexibility and cardio-vascular health. The development of this particular method of exercise, termed aerobic, was attributed to Dr. Kenneth Cooper and Col. Pauline Potts.
Puzzled by people with excellent muscular strength to perform poorly in such simple physical tasks as walking, running, swimming or bicycling, Dr. Cooper started measuring people’s abilities to use oxygen doing these physical activities.
Later, he published a book which provided the exercise methods that became the basis for today’s modern aerobics programs.
In a literal sense, “aerobic” means “with oxygen”. It is the use of oxygen in the manufacturing of energy as performed by the muscles.
Aerobic exercise is any type of physical exercise performed at moderate levels of intensity for a period of time. In this exercise, oxygen is used to “burn” fats and sugar to produce adenosine triphosphate which is the basic carrier of energy in the cellular level.
In order for fats to burn completely during a physical exercise, it needs oxygen. The moderation required in an aerobic exercise enables the muscle cells to be continuously supplied with enough oxygen.
Examples of aerobic activity would include running long distance at moderate speed. (Sprinting is not an aerobic exercise.) Playing single tennis is considered an aerobic activity because the action is near-continuous. Golf and doubles tennis, however, are not considered aerobic activities because of their more frequent breaks.
Aerobics is the general term used for exercises that combine several elements – aerobic exercise, stretching, and strength training – with the main purpose of increasing one’s personal fitness (flexibility, cardiovascular fitness, and muscular strength).
Popularized by celebrities and celebrity exercise gurus, aerobic exercises are usually performed with music and with a group. Usually, there is an instructor who leads the movements and the cuing of changes in the exercise movements.
Aerobics today has evolved into something that is performed with various routines that include a number of dance-like movements. Also, aerobics classes are now divided into different levels of intensity and complexity.
Gyms and exercise centers offer a wide variety of aerobics classes for everyone. These classes are taught by a certified instructor. Sometimes, they have specialty areas and related levels of instructions.
Anaerobic (“without oxygen”) exercise is the opposite of aerobic (“with oxygen”) exercise. Both words, aerobic and anaerobic, refer to energy courses that are used during a physical exercise.
An anaerobic exercise usually pertains to the initial phase of exercise, or any short burst of intense exertion, where the glycogen or sugar is consumed without oxygen.
These exercises are characterized by increased pace or with greater effort. Anaerobic exercises burn more calories requiring a greater demand for oxygen which are not available in adequate quantities for cells to burn fat.
In strenuous anaerobic exercises like sprinting or lifting heavy weights, we develop an “oxygen debt” to the body. The muscles will then switch to burning mainly carbohydrates (up to 95%), a fuel that burns quickly and does not require oxygen.
The anaerobic exercise causes the increase of the body’s metabolic rate. This, in turn, burns fat even if the whole exercise used the body’s carbohydrates.
For today’s busybodies, aerobics can certainly help strengthen your body muscles and that of your heart, tones the body, and helps improve overall blood circulation.