Is it aerobic or anaerobic exercises that are good for you?
According to health professionals, both aerobic and anaerobic exercises are important for good fitness. While anaerobic exercises tone and build muscle, aerobic activity primarily burns fat.
Jogging, swimming, walking and bicycling are all excellent aerobic exercises.
Aerobic exercises that use large muscle movement performed continuously and rhythmically can improve heart function, as well as strengthen muscles. Anaerobic exercises, also known as strength or resistance training, strengthen specific muscles by pushing them against more weight than they are accustomed to.
This increases muscular strength so that it's easier to perform weight-bearing tasks like carrying heavy packages. Weight training, push-ups and sit-ups are examples of anaerobic exercises.
In addition, regular physical exercise helps offset the declining metabolic rate normally associated with aging. This decline is 2 percent per decade after age 30, or about 100 fewer calories burned each day by age 50. If a person doesn't eat less or exercise more, this could cause a yearly weight gain of 10 pounds.
People who exercise regularly have greater bone density than those who do not. Increased bone density helps to protect against fractures associated with osteoporosis.
Research shows that it's almost never too late to begin exercising. A sensible, painless, moderate exercise program, begun with a physician's approval, is an important part of a more fit lifestyle.
-- Susan Krumm is an extension agent in home economics and consumer science with K-State Research & Extension-Douglas County, 2110 Harper. She can be reached at 843-7058.