Treadmill Science: A Look at Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise

Treadmill Science: A Look at Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise

Respiration is usually understood to refer to the act of pulmonary respiration. Breathing in oxygen and breathing out the waste products of carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O). Every cell in our body also undergoes a process known as respiration (cellular respiration). Cellular respiration begins with a process that splits the glucose within the cells making it readily available as a source of energy. This process can occur without oxygen (anaerobic respiration) or in the presence of oxygen (aerobic respiration). Anaerobic respiration generates more excess waste (lactate) than does aerobic exercise. Lactate allows the release of energy from cells without the presence of oxygen which originally came in handy when man relied on the fight or flight mechanism needed to escape his enemies or chase down dinner. The problem is it can only be sustained for about three minutes, after that, high levels of lactate build within the muscle cells. Excess lactate slows the cellular respiratory process and is experienced as a burning sensation in the muscles if exercise continues. Our scientific reviews have also found the Proform treadmill, the Sole treadmill and the Horizon treadmill brand (and for a little different workout try a Bowflex) to be the best overall.  If you choose a treadmill within one of these three brands, chances are you will be very happy with your treadmill.


Cellular Respiration

Cellular respiration is the process of releasing energy from carbohydrates. The energy released is then stored as a nucleotide (ATP). The beginning part of the process (glycolysis) can occur without oxygen (anaerobic) or in the presence of oxygen (aerobic). This involves splitting sugar or carbohydrates. The first stage of cellular respiration ideally takes place with oxygen and yields the greatest amounts of ATP needed for energy use. When cellular respiration takes place without oxygen (anaerobic), there is less usable energy released to be stored. Fewer ATP molecules are produced along with great amounts of waste (fermentation). During the second stage of cellular respiration known as the Krebs cycle (The Citric Acid Cycle) several electrons that have the ability of storing high energy are produced. The Krebs cycle occurs only in the presence of oxygen (aerobic respiration). The final stage of cellular respiration is one of electron transport during which a series of reactions carry or transports oxygen and energy through the membrane wall of the mitochondria. In order for the final step of cellular respiration to take place, oxygen must be available for cell use.

Difference Between Aerobic and Anaerobic Cellular Respiration

Effects of Exercise on the Body

Aerobic vs. Anaerobic: What is The Difference?


Aerobic Exercise

An aerobic exercise is one that can be maintained at a moderate pace or intensity to use oxygen at the same rate that oxygen can be replenished in working muscle groups. Aerobic (with oxygen) exercise supports aerobic respiration at the cellular level producing and releasing the most energy during a workout. Aerobic exercise relies on the oxygen in cells to build endurance to exercise for longer periods. To qualify as an aerobic exercise, it must continue long enough to burn the fuel normally stored in the cells for intense episodes of ‘flight syndrome’ responds.

Aerobic exercise burns more calories than anaerobic exercises allowing you to burn fat, slim down, and get in shape. Aerobic exercise must involve the large muscle masses such as your legs, gluts, and arms to be effective. In addition to being an effective way to lose weight. Aerobic exercise provides great cardiovascular endurance as the heart works more efficiently to provide the oxygen needed to release energy for healthy cell function to every part of the body. Experts recommend a regular schedule of aerobic exercise for most individuals a minimum of 30-60 minutes, five to six days a week. In addition to weight loss, additional health benefits of aerobic exercise include lowering your risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

Some examples of aerobic exercise include brisk walking which is within the capabilities of most people to perform safely, water aerobics or swimming is easy on the joints for seniors or others with joint or hip problems, biking, using a stationary bike, treadmill, or elliptical trainer all also provide great aerobic exercise. Not everyone can start out and maintain the recommended 30-60 minutes all at once, consult your doctor, start slowly and work up to the recommended times. Recent studies show you can get aerobic benefits in as little as 10 minutes per day.

A Slide Show Explaining Aerobic vs Anaerobic from West Virginia University

How Aerobic Exercise Works

Aerobic Exercise


Anaerobic Exercise

Anaerobic exercises combine high intensity or effort with an increased rate for short periods (under three minutes). Anaerobic (without oxygen) forces cell respiration to be done without air. This contributes to the excess lactic acid building up within the cells during cell respiration that can lead to early muscle fatigue and burning. Anaerobic exercises are for that reason done in short sessions or sets, with recovery time between to allow the lactic acid to be burned as energy by the cells. Weight lifting is a good example of an anaerobic exercise that is done with high intensity (heavy weights) and an increased rate for a short period of time (sets). Though brisk walking or riding a bike are forms of aerobic exercises, sprinting is included under the anaerobic exercise category because it demands high intensity work that can only be briefly sustained. Other anaerobic exercises include pushups, squats, and pull-ups. While aerobic exercise provides the oxygen needed to efficiently burn fat, anaerobic exercise is thought to increase the metabolic rate, which is the rate you continue to burn calories after an exercise is ended. Anaerobic also promotes lean muscle mass during the recovery time between workout sessions and helps develop and firm the muscles. In contrast to aerobic exercise that is recommended to be done most days, most experts recommend adding short, intense periods of anaerobic exercise to your workout schedule two or three times a week with a recovery day in between to allow your body to use aerobic cell respiration to burn the lactic acid from the cells. A balanced workout routine will include scheduled times of both aerobic and anaerobic exercise to reap the most benefits.

Types of Respiration – Aerobic and Anaerobic

Definition of Anaerobic exercise

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