Anaerobic Exercises

“It is exercise alone that supports the spirits, and keeps the mind in vigor”, said Cicero, ages ago. Cicero’s words clearly show that exercising is not at all a modern age invention, and that it was acknowledged long before the birth of Christ. But unlike in the olden times, when work itself was exercise, exercise today has become work! The steep rise in the number and kinds of diseases and maladies today quite clearly points, among other things, to the easygoing lifestyle man has got so used to. Many, however, consciously try to overcome that through exercise. Surprisingly, people known to be glued to their chairs and exercising only their brains, are increasingly coming forward to make it up to their bodies as well. Exercise has become more like a fad among the youth too, thanks to glamorous film stars! This has meant gyms mushrooming across the world, with answers and exercises for everything from body-building to metabolism issues.  You can find mainly two types of exercises being practiced there in general: aerobic and anaerobic. The name itself tells you that while one requires oxygen, the other doesn’t. Although both differ vastly, you will have to complement each other for the best results. This article will help you go through the paces of a few such anaerobic exercises.

Anaerobic Exercise And Its Different Types
Anaerobic exercise is nothing but an exercise that does not require oxygen. It is usually short, high-intensity activity and in most cases, the body’s demand for oxygen exceeds that which is available. Instead of oxygen, therefore, it depends upon energy sources accumulated in the muscles. This makes the muscle fiber draw upon other energy storing substances in the body such as Glycogen (stored carbohydrates), ATP (Adenosine Tri-Phosphate), and CP (Creatine Phosphate).
Usually anaerobic exercise works on muscles, in particular, toning and shaping them. It also provides power and stamina. Anaerobic exercises push a person to move at increased speeds or greater effort while doing them. This helps the body burn more calories. The cells inside the human body require oxygen to break down fat for energy. While doing anaerobic exercise, oxygen supply is diminished, and instead of breaking fat, carbohydrates are burnt for energy.

The by-product of anaerobic exercise – lactic acid – though good for muscle action and function, can at times lead to muscle fatigue, if the lactic acid build up is very great. It is therefore necessary to have enough recovery periods between exercises. This can be done through small stretches in between, in which time muscles stock up energy lost during the exercise.
Anaerobic exercises need repetition and are required to be done for 10 to 20 minutes, two to three times a week. It is also advised for people doing anaerobic exercises to focus more on slow rhythmic breathing during the exercises and avoid holding their breath as it may cause injuries.

Types Of Anaerobic Exercises

Isotonic Exercise
In this type of exercise, muscles that are in full motion are constrained by tension through the element of resistance added to the exercise. It works best for specific muscle groups rather than in general. Weightlifting with dumbbells or barbells or using springs or bands comes under this type of exercise. Weight lifting can help reduce extra flab, increase metabolism, and burn calories all day long. It also helps strengthen the body.

Isometric Exercise
In this type of exercise, muscles have to be used to exert a force against an immovable object such as a wall, or it might require holding the muscle in a particular position for some time. Here, though muscles do contract, a change in muscle length does not occur. The joint also remains constant throughout the exercise.

Calisthenics Exercise
These exercises are also known as strengthening exercises. They usually consist of a variety of simple movements performed without weights or any other equipment. These exercises on the other hand make use of one’s own body for creating resistance. Sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups and squats come under this category. These exercises help strengthen your muscles.

Sprinting
It helps reduce fat and weight, and improves the overall metabolism rate. It is a great way to sculpt and tone muscles the way you want, and is good especially for the hamstrings.  Then there are others such as cycling and marathon running which give best results when done at higher paces.

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