Fitness Tips

Getting Fitter-Adaptations of Aerobic Exercise

By August 4, 2009 November 29th, 2011 No Comments

Aerobic training can be defined as training that improves the efficiency of the aerobic energy pathways, and which can improve cardiorespiratory endurance (Wilmore and Costill, 1999). Aerobic fitness is defined as the ability to take in, transport and utilise O2 to produce energy. It can be refered to as maximal O2 uptake (VO2 MAX) aerobic power, maximal O2 consumption or cardio-respiratory endurance.

Aerobic training, as we can see by looking at the energy systems blog, is thought of as sub-maximal work, so it is performed at an intensity which, relatively speaking, is not the highest or hardest workload that can be achieved. Although you may feel very tired after a long aerobic session, it is not the same as the tiredness felt after a maximal workout in terms of power output. In long duration sub maximal exercise the body uses a combination of fat and carbohydrate to make ATP, as we saw again in the energy systems blog. Personal Training 101 and biology show that the body will adapt and change to stresses placed upon it, so when you do aerobic training the following things (improvements!!) happen…

Adaptation in the heart:

  1. increased size of the heart muscle (ventricular hypertrophy).
  2. increased strength of contraction
  3. increased stroke volume (the amount of blood pumped in each beat
  4. increased cardiac output (the amount of blood pumped in 1 minute)
  5. reduced resting heart rate (the heart has to work less hard at rest to keeop you going)
  6. increased blood vessel size
  7. reduced risk of heart disease

 Good things happen to the blood and the blood vessels that it travels in:

  1. reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure
  2. favourable change in blood lipids
  3. increased haemoglobin
  4. increase in blood volume

The lungs also benefit:

  1. increased functional capacity during exercise
  2. increased diffusion of respiratory gasses
  3. increased vital capacity (the amount you can blow out in one go after a maximal inhalation).

The metabolic rate (remember, the most important weapon in weight loss) also benefits:

  1. decreased insulin resistance and improved glucose tolerance, super for the treatment and prevention of diabetes.
  2. reduced body fat
  3. increased maximal O2 uptake, so you will be able to chase the dog/bus/train/husband for longer and go faster

Your muscles ALSO improve:

  1. Increased capillarisation in the muscles (more blood supplied, so better performance
  2. increased enzyme function within the muscle
  3. increased number and size of mitochondria (the little cellular power plants that make energy)
  4. improved muscle tone

And finally even your brain benefits:

  1. improved co-ordination
  2. increased social interaction
  3. production of endorphins leading to improved well-being and confidence
  4. decreased depression and anxiety

So get out there and do some aerobic exercise, the benefits are huge, as we have seen. If you can’t get motivated on your own then call us, we can get you a fab personal trainer in Windsor, Maidenhead, Egham and London.

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