To stay motivated variation is the key to success by combining aerobic and anaerobic training into your fitness routine. Last month I wrote about ‘The Lazy Girl Workout’ — this is the perfect free routine to compliment your time in the gym where you can include the combination of aerobic and anaerobic training.
The Benefits of Aerobic Training
‘Aerobic exercise’ or ‘cardiovascular fitness’ or ‘cardio’ is a central to any weight-management system. Essentially, aerobic training is any form of continuous exercise that uses the large muscles in your body and relies on oxygen to supply to the body’s energy.
When exercising aerobically, the heart and lungs work harder, which has the effect of improving their function and therefore decreasing the risk of heart disease. The body’s need for oxygen increases with the intensity of exercise — regular exercise improves your body’s ability to move higher levels of oxygenated blood through the heart and lungs.
The key benefit of aerobic training — walking, jogging, swimming, cycling — comes when your body exploits its own energy sources (stored carbohydrates and fats) more efficiently in the presence of oxygen-fuelled energy. Put simply, when you work your body aerobically it starts to burn up stored fat in order to supply the muscles with an instant source of energy. Working aerobically also increases your long-term metabolic rate so that you burn calories more efficiently and at a higher rate even when resting, thus helping you to keep your weight under control.
Besides the countless physical benefits that come with aerobic training, there are also psychological effects that contribute to your overall state of well-being. Aerobic training actively encourages the body to release endorphins, the body’s ‘feel good hormones’ so exercise can actually make you feel happy, and feeling good is surprisingly compulsive!
Also, as you start to see the results of your hard work your confidence levels will increase, your mind will become clear and you will notice improvement in your concentration.
In addition, vigorous exercise provides you with the perfect way of working off any stress or frustration in a positive way and for those who have trouble sleeping in the hot, humid summer months in Vietnam, exercise can help regulate your sleep patterns so that you wake feeling rested and refreshed.
The Benefits of Anaerobic Training
Anaerobic training — such as sprinting or weight-training — is the opposite of exercising aerobically, as you produce energy without using extra oxygen. It is very easy to switch from aerobic to anaerobic training. For example, by shifting from jogging to sprinting.
Increasing the intensity of aerobic training moves you to a point where your cardiorespiratory system can’t supply enough oxygen to sustain your training aerobically, so the body quickly changes to an anaerobic system.
The form of intense, focused exercise found in strength training teaches your body to withstand the onset of fatigue and push past the pain barrier, allowing it to develop the ability to train harder and longer. In anaerobic training your body’s energy source is glycogen (carbohydrate that has been broken down as fuel for the body’s cells, such as muscle glycogen). But the source of glycogen rapidly starts to deplete, so the body becomes more reliant on using stored fat as its main source of energy production. Since training anaerobically is more intense than aerobic exercise, far more calories are burned.
You will be able to maintain high–intensity, anaerobic exercise for only short bursts of time before you need to stop and catch your breath. However, by combining both aerobic and anaerobic training into your fitness routine, you can achieve lean muscle mass and increased metabolism, making your physique a highly efficient machine that burns more calories at rest.
Amazin is a Prana Samyana meditation Yin Yoga teacher and performance coach having trained Olympic athletes to special forces. She is also a former natural competitive bodybuilder and the first Vietnamese internationally published health and fitness author and DNA fitness trainer. For more info, click on amazinlethi.com and amazinlethifoundation.org.