Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Aerobic exercise is a type of exercise in which muscles draw on oxygen in the blood as well as fats and glucose, that increase cardiovascular endurance. Aerobic exercise is not to be confused with aerobics, which is a type of aerobic exercise but far from the only one.
Aerobic exercises are those like running (but not sprinting), cycling, and long distance swimming, as well as a number of more "modern" (although "trendy" is more accurate) exercises performed at gyms. Some video games like Dance Dance Revolution also require aerobic exertion (see exertainment).
Aerobic training patterns
These are some of the patterns commonly used in aerobic training. The descriptions may overlap (for instance, pyramids are a kind of interval workout).
- Low to moderate intensity held constant for a long period.
- Intervals of intense aerobic activity separated by recovery intervals. Shown to improve VO2 Max and performance faster than endurance exercise alone.
- High-intensity intervals of increasing length separated by recovery intervals of constant, usually different length; when the longest high-intensity interval is reached, the intervals become shorter again; the longer intervals are necessarily somewhat less intense than shorter ones; the routine may go through several pyramids or one big pyramid in a single workout.
- High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
- Maximum-intensity intervals of constant length separated by recovery intervals of constant length or to a target recovery heart rate; this workout usually lasts 20 minutes not counting the warmup, the last recovery interval, or the cooldown; 20 minutes of HIIT and the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) that follows are shown to be more effective at weight reduction than 60 minutes of moderate-intensity endurance training1
- Starting at low intensity and stepping periodically to higher intensity until maximum intensity is reached; may return to low intensity immediately, or bring the intensity down in steps of same or different size and duration as climb; intensity is controlled by varying resistance, cadence usually drops as resistance increases; there is no recovery period until the return to low intensity
- A mixture of aerobic exercise patterns including strength exercises (high resistance, low cadence) and speed exercises (low resistance, high cadence), at varying intensities and intervals, with or without recovery intervals. (Not the same as circuit weight training).
- Random periods of maximum effort in an otherwise moderate workout, done at the discretion of the exerciser, varying the type, intensity, and timing based entirely on feeling and immediate goal-setting (e.g., sprinting to the next road-sign, holding flat-road cadence on a short hill).
- Indian running
- Group training in which participants align single-file and the person at the end of the line sprints to the beginning, as does the next, and so on continuously.
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