What is the difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise?
When involved in a high-intensity workout, such as sprinting, one’s oxygen intake is insufficient to provide energy for the powerful burst. Hence, the body must resort to an inferior method of energy production that can function anaerobically, or without oxygen. While temporarily effective, anaerobic energy production produces waste that eventually builds up and causes muscle fatigue. This fatigue prevents muscles from functioning with elevated intensity, slowing down the body until it reaches a speed at which it can continue production aerobically. Cross country runners, for example, are aerobic athletes, while soccer players, surprisingly, must train as anaerobic sprinters. However, it is important for all competitive athletes, regardless of the sport, to do both aerobic and anaerobic training. For a cross country runner, anaerobic training can teach muscles to function at faster speeds, which translates into faster long distance runs. For a soccer player, while the game is mostly anaerobic, players must ensure that their muscles learn to function for a full ninety minutes.
Elliptical or Treadmill?
If your intention is to stay fit, the elliptical is a great option. The elliptical provides aerobic exercise without demanding the pounding impact between your feet, knees, and hips necessary on a treadmill. Keep in mind that if you are recovering from an injury or your knees hurt from pounding on the treadmill, the elliptical is a great option as it is the physically less demanding. However, if your goal is to run a race or play a sport that has a large running component, your primary workout should be on a treadmill. Staying fit, while a necessary factor for any sport, is not sufficient for competitive technical play. Just as a baseball player’s muscles grow accustomed to smoothly throwing a ball and a tennis player’s muscles adapt to swinging a racket, so too our muscles familiarize themselves with a workout. If you train for a race on an elliptical, while you will be fit, your muscles will not gain the muscle memory of running that is obtained on a treadmill.
Should I run every day?
Running is an extremely effective method of burning calories and staying fit. However, running every day can make muscles susceptible to overuse injuries as the exercise puts pressure on the same muscles every day. Thus, the healthiest way to keep fit is cross-training. Instead of running every day, alternate runs with other forms of exercise, such as biking, Stair Master training, and weight training. By mixing in other workouts, you will become an overall fitter and physically healthier individual.
Why is it important to lift weights?
Running involves not only the legs but also the arms. If you do not believe me, try running with your arms pasted to your sides. Sprinters in particular can benefit from muscular arms, as the faster a runner pumps her arms, the faster her legs will move. For stronger, leaner muscles use lighter weights but perform more repetitions. Lifting in this way will not cause bulkiness and converts arm fat into muscle. Note that increasing muscle also enhances fat-burning potential and allows workouts to intensify without muscle fatigue. Furthermore, strong muscles are a huge factor in injury prevention.
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