For athletes and body builders, their toned body is nothing less than wealth. To keep their body in shape and to strengthen up the body muscles, anaerobic exercises are a must.
These exercises aim at enhancing performance in athletes who indulge in intensive physical activities to alleviate anaerobic metabolism in the body.
Aerobic means with oxygen and anaerobic means without oxygen. An anaerobic exercise is a rigorous activity in which the body demands for more oxygen than available. The most common exercises are fast running and weightlifting.
How Does Anaerobic Exercise Work?
When you work out vigorously, your body demands more oxygen. In anaerobic exercises, there is minimal oxygen supply to the body. During anaerobic workouts, the muscle glycogen (one of the main sources of energy), is broken down to glucose through a process called glycolysis.
Each glucose molecule that is produced further cleaves into 2 pyruvic acid molecules. The energy released during this chemical reaction forms the ATP (adenosine triphosphate) molecules. The pyruvic acid molecules further enter mitochondria of a cell to generate more ATP.
However during the anaerobic glycolysis process, when there is not much oxygen to facilitate further glycolysis in the cell, the pyruvic acid is transformed into lactic acid. This lactic acid diffuses into the blood and can be utilized as energy or can be reconverted to glucose by liver and can be stored in other tissues.
But over accumulation of lactic acid can cause burning sensation in muscles resulting in fatigue. This is the reason, why anaerobic exercises are short exercises that are done in a very short span of time and quickly.
Anaerobic exercises aid in helping body to create buffers that delay the muscle fatigue from occurring post the workouts. By including these exercises as a part of daily physical regime, the buffering capacity of the body can be regulated between 12%-50%.
Examples of Anaerobic Exercise
Muscles, in isometric exercises, have to exert force against hard or immovable objects. These exercises require muscles to be held in a particular position for a long time.
Sprinting is one of the most effective exercises for athletes. It aids in enhancing the overall metabolism rates of the body. Besides, sprinting exercises tone down the muscles and also sculpt the body structure well. Other anaerobic exercises under this category are cycling and marathon running.
When it comes to aerobic vs anaerobic exercises, the subtle difference lies in the way metabolic activity happens in both cases.
In aerobic exercises, oxygen is the main agent responsible for breaking down glucose in the body whereas in anaerobic exercises, phosphocreatine that is found in the muscles of the body is used to enhance the metabolic activities.
Anaerobic workouts are essential for increasing weight and density of bones. Muscles tone well and their capacity to store energy (sugar/glycogen) also increases after anaerobic workouts. You can achieve your dream figure for sure as these exercises help in regulating blood sugar levels of the body and in weight loss.
For athletes, these workouts are a blessing as they also help them in identifying their anaerobic threshold. If the given exercises are included as a part of daily exercise routine, a person will remain fit as a fiddle all through his life!