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What is aerobic endurance?

We explain what aerobic endurance is, the variety of exercises that can be performed and what anaerobic endurance is.

  1. What is aerobic endurance?

Aerobic endurance is one of the two forms of resistance of the human body , that is, its ability to continuously perform an activity or work for as long as possible.

In the case of aerobic endurance, this capacity refers specifically to the respiration and internal oxygen balance of the human body , as well as the different endurance rates of which it is capable.

Our body consumes oxygen from the air to begin its processes of breaking up the glucose molecule, which is how we obtain chemical energy to keep us alive and perform our various daily tasks.

When the body undergoes an effort, this energy is consumed (stored in the form of ATP molecules ) to keep the muscles operating (elongating and narrowing) and the rest of the body oxygenated.

If our ability to distribute oxygenated blood fails (cardio), or the same happens with our ability to oxygenate it first ( breathing ), then there will be less energy available to the body and fatigue will occur, forcing us to stop the effort.

Thus, to the extent that our aerobic resistance is greater, we can delay the arrival of fatigue and endure longer periods of effort without running out of oxygen.

To increase or sustain our aerobic resistance, exercises that involve the cardiorespiratory system , also known as aerobic exercises   (from Latin:  aero , “air”; and  bio , “life”) must be performed regularly and consistently . These exercises are characterized by presenting a low intensity, but a long period of time.

  1. Aerobic endurance exercises

Aerobic resistance
Swimming improves lung capacity.

Some exercises that promote aerobic endurance are:

  • Aerobics . It consists of a session of rhythmic movements, often accompanied by music, that keep the body in constant motion and the heart beating at a high but regular rate.
  • Walk . The simplest of all aerobic exercises does not involve walking at a slow pace , but walking steadily and at a good pace for at least half an hour. It is perfectly combinable, however, with recreation and walks or excursions, even within the city .
  • Trotting . The more intense and more impactful version of the walk, prints a greater rhythm of cardiac effort and is therefore much more demanding. In addition, if it does not run well, it can cause damage to the knees and lower joints.
  • Swimming . When submerged, the human body must hold the breath for seconds and then renew the air in the lungs during the moments when the head is outside, thus programming the body to use oxygen to the maximum and improve its lung capacity.
  • Bicycle . Another aerobic classic, which can be done on a real bicycle, pedaling towards a destination that we like, or in a stationary one, like the ones we can find in gyms.
  • Skip the rope . What looks like a children’s game is a great aerobic exercise. Keeping the body in constant suspension, pushing with the feet successively against the ground , requires the heart and lungs a sustained effort that also uses both the lower and upper muscles.
  1. Anaerobic resistance

The resistance that does not involve the consumption of oxygen and breathing, but physical efforts of great intensity in short periods of time, during which oxygen is consumed quickly and does not give time to maintain the energy consumption that the effort demands.

There are two types of anaerobic resistance:

  • Anaerobic endurance  alactic . It involves very short and very intense efforts (from 0 to 16 seconds), in which the presence of oxygen is almost nil. However, the use of ATP does not byproduct waste substances.
  • Lactic anaerobic resistance . By involving little intense efforts but of medium duration (15 seconds to 2 minutes), the absence of oxygen must be compensated with some process of obtaining energy, which in this case is through lactic fermentation (hence its name). The drawback of said emergency energy process is that it byproducts lactic acid, which, when accumulated in the joints or muscles, causes the very rapid arrival of fatigue.

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