Why Your Aerobic Capacity Is Important (and How to Boost It)

Understanding Aerobic Capacity

What is aerobic capacity? It refers to the three components of exercise: resistance training, flexibility, and cardiorespiratory training. Resistance training activities can increase both functional abilities in several tasks and muscle strength. Muscle strength gains might contribute to an increase in resting metabolism (the number of calories expended while the body is at rest).

Aerobic flexibility and mobility exercises can assist reduce muscle tension and improving joint range of motion, both of which are required for improving overall movement efficiency. Finally, cardiorespiratory training enhances both the ability to work muscles to transport oxygen and nutrients and the ability to work muscles to remove metabolic waste, allowing muscles to perform a specific activity for a longer amount of time. Every person who starts a new fitness regimen has a different goal in mind, and accomplishing those goals will necessitate a different level of focus on each of these parts of the practice.

Planned Workouts

A well-planned workout includes all three. Strength training can improve metabolism and physical function. If a consumer wants to boost mobility, emphasize flexibility. If your client is competing or wants to lose weight, promote cardiorespiratory activities.

Training the circulatory and respiratory systems helps the body burn carbs and fats with and without oxygen. Cardiovascular exercise is best for increasing aerobic capacity and fat loss. Aerobic capacity is the ability to use oxygen for physical activity.

Low to moderate-intensity exercise uses oxygen, carbohydrates (glycogen), and lipids. This fuels muscular contractions (called free fatty acids). Increased oxygen intake boosts a person’s physical strength. Aerobic capacity helps the body utilize oxygen more efficiently. Because 1 liter of oxygen demands 5 calories of energy. This helps burn calories, which assists in weight loss.

Aerobic fitness can assist your customers to accomplish their fitness goals. Improving aerobic capacity increases blood, oxygen, and nutrition delivery to active muscles and aids recovery between resistance-training bouts. Increasing muscle blood flow helps flexibility. Improving aerobic fitness is key to weight loss and endurance training.

Boosting Your Aerobic Capacity

There are two ways for determining an athlete’s oxygen consumption during exercise:

  • Under the most severe physical stress (during a doctor-supervised stress test) to ascertain maximal aerobic capacity or VO2max.
  • The amount of oxygen consumed in one minute of physical exertion in absolute terms. It is critical to note that aerobic capacity is a relative evaluation, even though each examination is unique to your current level of fitness. This means that a larger person with a higher muscular mass will consume more oxygen while exerting the same amount of effort as a smaller one.

Increasing your aerobic capacity can help increase the flow of oxygenated blood to your muscle tissue, which can help increase mitochondrial density in your muscle tissue. The fundamental fuel that causes muscle contractions is adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Mitochondria are muscle cell organelles that utilize oxygen as part of the production process to help produce ATP. Increasing the number of mitochondria in a muscle not only improves the muscle’s ability to use oxygen but also improves the cell’s overall health and performance.

High-Intensity Training

Training at high intensity for brief bursts, often known as high-intensity interval training (HIIT), is an efficient strategy to burn calories and enhance aerobic capacity. At greater intensities, the body will draw ATP from anaerobic sources; but, during lower-intensity recovery intervals, the body will rely on aerobic metabolism to help restore the energy spent during the higher-intensity labor periods. While high-intensity interval training is useful, doing it too frequently may result in overtraining. If your clients want the best results, they should not do more than three high-intensity interval training sessions per week.

Low-intensity steady state (LISS) training is defined as exercising at a low intensity and keeping a constant work rate for an extended period. Long slow distance (LSD) training is another name for this form of training. LISS derives its power from aerobic energy pathways and can provide fuel for muscle activity that lasts for extended periods, such as during endurance races. Low-intensity steady state exercise (LISS) is a more soothing alternative to high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for building aerobic capacity, although it does not burn as many calories (for a specific comparison between HIIT and LISS, click here). The good news is that LIIS can be completed almost every day, which is especially beneficial for persons who can walk or ride their bikes to work instead of taking public transportation.

Cross-Training

Bo Jackson, who was a star in two different sports at the same time, popularized the term “cross training” in the late 1980s. It entails engaging in a variety of activities or forms of exercise on different days to achieve a certain fitness objective. Starting with a low-intensity steady state (LISS) run on day one, followed by a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) cycling class the next day, and finishing with a circuit training workout on day three is a perfect example of how to periodize an exercise to increase overall aerobic capacity.

One such method is to combine different sorts of workouts into the same training session. For example, have the client complete 10 minutes of steady-state training on a rowing ergometer, 10 minutes of HIIT intervals (30 seconds at high intensity/30 seconds at low intensity) on a stationary bike, 10 minutes of steady-state training on an incline treadmill, and 10 minutes of circuit resistance training. An exercise that is divided into short bursts of action on multiple pieces of equipment can serve to challenge the muscles to operate differently on each piece of equipment. As a result, this can help improve aerobic capacity while decreasing the risk of overuse injuries caused by engaging in the same exercise for an extended period.

Hi-Lo Aerobics

Taking dancing lessons, commonly known as “hi-lo” aerobics, is a great method to increase your aerobic capacity while also having a lot of fun. There’s a reason why programs like Zumba are so popular: they help improve aerobic capacity in a way that seems more like a joyful party than a hard workout. This is one of the reasons why Zumba has grown in popularity.

As previously stated, muscle is a metabolically active tissue, which means it can use oxygen as a fuel source during both action and rest. This holds whether the muscle is contracting or not. Adding five pounds of muscle can boost resting metabolism by around 25 calories per day, which is about similar to walking a quarter mile (400 meters) without exertion. This is because one pound of muscle needs around five calories in 24 hours. One of the reasons why strength training is so crucial for supporting cardiac goals is that the addition of muscles permits the body to become a more efficient oxygen-consuming machine.

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