There are two ways of obtaining energy in the human body: aerobic and anaerobic respiration , processes that are distinguished by the presence and consumption of oxygen, in the first case, and its absence, in the second.
With aerobic exercises , we force the body to use energy through the circuit of the oxidation of carbohydrates and fats , that is, through the consumption of oxygen to undertake them or simply sustain them over time.
In contrast, anaerobic exercises do not require oxygen, as they go to alternative processes of obtaining energy, such as the fermentation of lactic acid or the use of muscle ATP ( adenosine triphosphate ).
These considerations are vital when carrying out sports or exercising, so as not to require the body more than what is convenient in each of its phases of obtaining energy and to direct the effort in the most suitable manner possible.
Differences between both modalities
The great difference between both modes of exercise is, as we have already said, the presence or absence of oxygen as a mechanism for obtaining immediate energy .
- The aerobic activities , therefore, are directly related to respiratory and cardiac system, so that may continue for a longer time interval. This is because their level of demand is placed on the ability of our body to incorporate oxygen from the air and make it circulate through the body through the blood. The greater the capacity of oxygenation, the longer the sustained effort will be.
- The anaerobic exercises instead explosion whose energy comes from the muscles themselves and their energy reserves, are usually brief and very intense. In fact, if prolonged over time there is a risk of accumulating lactic acid in the musculature, a by-product of the emergency use of glucose. And that accumulation leads to prolonged muscle fatigue and cramping.
So: the aerobic exercises are prolonged and of light to medium intensity, whereas the anaerobic ones are intense and brief.
Examples of aerobic exercises
Walks The simplest exercise that exists, of great aerobic performance and that is realized through long sessions in which the respiratory and cardiovascular apparatus works incessantly, burning fats and carbohydrates. It is ideal for maintaining the lungs and increasing cardiac resistance.
Jogs . The quickest version of the walk is an exercise with a moderate impact on the legs and knees, but which maintains the respiratory and cardiovascular rhythm in the face of a greater and more sustained energy demand. It is usually combined with periods of rest (walking) and short periods of career (anaerobic).
Dances A form of entertaining and group exercise, which uses numerous muscle routines to exercise resistance, coordination and breathing capacity, since it can be extended during various musical themes that provide the necessary rhythmic accompaniment. It’s a form of socially useful exercise, too.
Tennis. The so-called “white sport” is an example of aerobic routines, as it requires constant movement on the court, alerts the course of the ball, which also increases its speed as it is hit and returned over the net.
Swimming. One of the most demanding aerobic exercises, it requires large puffs of air to keep the body running submerged in the water. It promotes lung capacity, cardiac resistance and at times the anaerobic strength of the extremities.
Aerobic jumps The classic gym aerobic routine is the best possible example of this type of high oxygen consumption activities, in which the movement is sustained during several successive routines and is almost exclusively dependent on the cardiovascular resistance of the organism.
Cycling. The exercise of the bicycle is extremely demanding with the lower limbs, demanding a very large cardiorespiratory capacity to the extent that the effort is sustained, very much in the manner of marathons, during entire circuits that must be covered at an average speed. The endings, in which the highest force load is printed to reach high speeds and arrive first, instead, are merely anaerobic.
Rowing. As in the case of cycling, but with the upper extremities and the trunk, it is a sustained exercise over time that requires fatigue management and a good and constant intake of oxygen, in order to keep the boat moving with the force that is printed on the oars.
Rope jumps. This exercise is common to many players of the sport, whatever the discipline, it requires a continuous jumps to avoid the rope, being able to go faster or slower depending on the capacity of endurance of the individual.
Football. It is considered at the same time an aerobic and anaerobic sport, as it combines intense and brief races with a constant movement back and forth along the enormous field, anticipating the action of the ball. With the exception of the goalkeeper, none of the soccer players remain stationary, so it requires good respiratory and cardiac capacity.
Examples of anaerobic exercises
Weightlifting. During the lifting of weights the muscles operate at maximum capacity, fulfilling the designated task during a short interval of time, because one is not going to the breathing to renew the energies. This enhances muscle strength and endurance, generating hypertrophy.
ABS. This very common exercise is anaerobic since the series of push-ups have the task of maximizing muscle power and its resistance to situations of fatigue, through increasingly long series of repetitions of intensity.
Brief and intense races ( sprints ) . These are short but very hard races, such as those of flat 100mts, in which the power and speed of the lower extremities and the torso are developed, over and above the general resistance of the organism.
Medical ball throwing. Explosive strength exercise involving a large set of muscles arranged to take impulse behind the head and throw the ball as far as possible over the shoulder. This movement is fast and intense, so it does not really require breathing.
Box jumps ( jumps box ). This exercise is carried out jumping with both legs on a box of different heights, forcing the legs to accumulate energy and muscle power. It is very common in crossfit routines.
Isometric exercise. It is a form of intense exercise that does not involve movement, but to preserve the muscle position for a short period of time to produce a continuous effort, promoting muscle endurance in the absence of oxygen.
Bars and parallels. Using your own body as a weight, these exercises require the muscles of the arms to gather enough energy to lift us a repeated and finite number of times, thus promoting their power and hypertrophy, without going during the effort to breath.
Pushups (lizards). Similar to the bars, but face down, this classic exercise uses gravity as a resistance to overcome, raising the weight itself in short, quick sessions of effort that increase as the muscles gain power.
Squats Third of the classic series with the lizards and the abdominals, the squats drop the weight of the straight torso and the arms extended (or on the neck) on the thighs, allowing them to make the effort to get up and down again , interval during which they will not be receiving oxygen from the breath.
Apnea or freediving. A well-known extreme sport that suspends breathing during an underwater dive, for which great lung capacity is required to contain the breath, but also of anaerobic effort, since being under water the muscles must operate without oxygen input.