Aerobic exercise or aerobic running is the activity that involves the increase in the consumption of oxygen in the organization. The term “aerobic” refers to air, or oxygen, and represents the use of oxygen in the metabolic processes of the organism, or in the process of energy production. Aerobic exercise is not a term limited to running, but it is the most common exercise of these type.
Aerobic exercise is basically a training of medium level of intensity which lasts for a long time. Before aerobic training, it is usually practiced to heat up with stretching. After the training itself, which can last for 20 or more minutes, the muscles are re-stretched during the cooling-down phase.
Aerobic training takes place in the zone of light and moderate (submaximal) intensity that can last for more hours. Aerobic training should be rhythmic, continuous and include large groups of muscles. It is very useful both for healthy people and for those who suffer from various health problems.
To achieve the best effects of aerobic exercise, it is best to practice it in the aerobic zone from 2 to 3 times a week. Ideally, even people with poor condition will make some progress with 2 training sessions per week. For most people, it is recommended to do it 3 to 5 times a week. Increasing the frequency to more than 5 times a week will prevent complete recovery, which can reduce the body’s immune system.
It is important to gradually increase the duration, intensity, and frequency of training from week to week. This should be taken into account especially if you are unprepared, overweight, older or after a certain injury or illness.
Examples of aerobic training are light running, cycling, swimming, hiking, aerobics, rowing, step aerobics, etc. The minimum duration of aerobic training is 12 minutes. This is the time it takes for the organism to activate the enzyme responsible for converting the fat into energy. So, only after ten minutes of aerobic training, the share of fat in energy production is increased due to the reduction in carbohydrate consumption. During muscle aerobic work, glycogen which is stored in the muscles and liver itself is first consumed. Glycogen degrades to glucose, which by combustion in the presence of oxygen gives energy.
Aerobic exercise is ideal for lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. In addition to those health effects of aerobic running and aerobic exercise, other positive features also include increased endurance, increased speed of running, increased use of fat as a “fuel” and glycogen storage for stronger training and, finally, acceleration of muscle healing after strenuous training.
Aerobic exercise also:
- Strengthens the heart, improving its effectiveness, while lowering the pulse at rest
- Strengthens the muscles of the chest; muscles that participate in the process of breathing
- Strengthens the muscles in the whole body
- Increases bone density, growth and development
- increases the number of red blood cells, thus improving the transport of oxygen to the cells
- Improves blood circulation and lower blood pressure
- improves mental health, reducing depressive episodes, and stress