Aerobic Exercise: Benefits, Examples and How to Tell If You’re REALLY Exercising Aerobically

fat bike elettrica” is a term first coined by Dr. Kenneth Cooper, an exercise physiologist for the San Antonio Air Force Hospital. He developed the formula of subtracting your age from 220 and exercising with the heart rate at 60-80% of that number. Though he originally formulated “aerobics” to help astronauts, he soon realized that this type of exercise was useful for everyone. The benefits Dr. Cooper observed included weight loss and better heart health.

Since then there have been improvements to Dr. Cooper’s original formula, and studies have demonstrated many benefits of regular aerobic exercise, including:

  • Weight loss & maintaining weight (aerobic exercise burns fat!)
  • More long-term, consistent energy & stamina
  • Improved mood
  • Pain relief (by natural endorphin production)
  • Stronger heart & better circulation (keeps arteries clear and helps prevent heart disease)
  • Better blood sugar control & adrenal health
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Stronger bones (weight bearing aerobic exercise helps prevent osteoporosis)
  • Stronger immune system
  • Longer life expectancy

If you’re suffering from poor energy, if your endurance is not what it once was, if you are prone to aches and pains, if you have too much body fat or too much stress, or if you crave sugar or carbs, chances are you’re not getting enough aerobic exercise!

The exercise intensity and duration determine whether you exercise aerobically or anaerobically. Aerobic exercise requires at a very specific level of intensity, and you must maintain that level of intensity for at least thirty minutes at a time. If your heart rate is too low or too high (or variable), your exercise will become anaerobic instead.

In anaerobic exercise, the body burns sugar (glucose) for energy. As the name “anaerobic” suggests, oxygen is not required for this type of energy production. Burning sugar is useful for providing¬†short term¬†speed and power. Muscles cannot burn sugar for long, though, and so they fatigue quickly. Most people have no shortage of anaerobic exercise — even when you’re sitting, your body is doing some tasks anaerobically. Plus virtually all sports are anaerobic in nature due to their alternating bursts of high intensity activity and rest.

During true aerobic exercise, the body burns fat for energy. Converting fat into energy requires oxygen, hence the name “aerobic.” Aerobic exercise is useful for providing muscle endurance (energy for hours or days at a time without fatigue). This is particularly important for muscles that support posture, joints, and arches of the feet. If there is not enough aerobic exercise for these types of muscles, the chances of joint problems, injuries, and low stamina go up.

Internationally recognized researcher and author Dr. Phil Maffetone has greatly changed our understanding of aerobic exercise and endurance training. Dr. Maffetone studied many athletes pre- and post-workout for many indicators, including heart rate, gait, and muscle imbalance. He found that the athletes who used Dr. Cooper’s original formula often wound up over-training and suffered from injuries, distortions in body mechanics and posture, pain, and joint problems. After much work, Dr. Maffetone developed a new and improved formula for calculating each individual’s target heart rate for true aerobic exercise.

 

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