Take a Deep Breath and Try Some Anaerobic Exercise

Anaerobic exercise means undertaking short bursts of intense exertion performed at close to, or above 100% effort, like fast running or lifting heavy weights. Because the energy required for this kind of activity is at or above the maximal ability to supply oxygen to fuel the muscles (i.e. above the VO2 max), anaerobic exercise must use stored energy in the muscles. However, this store is limited and maximal exertion cannot be sustained for more than 2-3 minutes.

While anaerobic exercise will burn more energy in a period of time, when compared to aerobic exercise, the body will be unable to sustain this level of exercise for more than a few minutes without a period of recovery.

Many individuals enjoy mixing short blasts of anaerobic training in their aerobic routines, often with the use of interval training. This type of routine allows the body to adapt and strengthen, meaning that it can work harder during a workout. Anaerobic exercise also assists in increasing lean muscle mass and promoting other bodily changes that are essential to slow aging.

Like any form of exercise, an effective warm up is critical, and if you have any medical conditions, always check with your doctor before performing intense anaerobic exercises.

Examples of anaerobic exercise include:

  • Heavy weight lifting
  • Sprinting
  • Sit-ups
  • Push-ups
  • Rowing
  • Squats
  • Tug-of-war

Incorporating Anaerobic Exercise into Your Routine

Sprinting Program

  1. Warm up by jogging for 3 to 5 mins
  2. Power sprint for 30 secs
  3. Jog for 1 min
  4. Build up until you can repeat this cycle five times.

You may prefer this type of program on a softer surface to reduce joint impact.

Skipping Program

  1. After warming up
  2. Jump for 20 seconds at high intensity
  3. Recover for 60 seconds
  4. Continue to build up until you can jump for 3 mins high intensity, rest for 60 secs and repeat six times.

You may prefer this type of program on a softer surface to reduce joint impact.

Boxing or Martial Arts Program

  1. After warming up
  2. Get your gloves on and punch and/or kick the bag for 30 s
  3. Rest for 30 s
  4. Build up until you can repeat these flurry drills 10 times

Other Ideas

If you spend time in the gym, ask your trainer to support you in anaerobic routines involving push-ups, pull ups or bench presses.

Last reviewed 26/Feb/2014

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Whilst wielding a couple of dumbbells in a gym class in 2003, Kate experienced an epiphany around the lack of accepted best practice guidelines when it came to staying well and avoiding disease. Kate realized that she had no chance of slowing her own aging process unless she became better educated about her options.

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