Fitness is popular nowadays, as its profitability to health, beauty, physical and psychological state of a person has was proved by multiple research and practice long time ago. However, one should be really careful in choosing an aerobic training program. There are lots of factors to think about and keep in mind while selecting an appropriate aerobic training program. First of all, let us define what aerobic training is. They distinguish two types of exercise in physical exercise – aerobic and anaerobic.
Aerobic literally means “with oxygen” and refers to the use of oxygen in muscles’ energy-generating process. Aerobic exercise includes any type of exercise, typically those performed at moderate levels of intensity for extended periods of time, that maintains an increased heart rate. The aerobic exercises are so popular nowaday due to the fact, that this is by far the most effective way of burning fat: in aerobic exercise oxygen is used to “burn” fats and glucose in order to produce adenosine triphosphate, the basic energy carrier for all cells.
There are various types of aerobic exercise. The key point in aerobic exercise that it is performed over a long period of time. Thus, running a long distance at a moderate pacem for example, is an aerobic exercise, while sprinting is not (Donatelle). The objective of this paper is to examine one of the many aerobic training programs and the psysiological adaptations of the various systems of the body, occuring over a lengthy course (6 months), and also acute responses to exercise.
The period of 6 months was chosen, because this period is usually enough for initial permanent adaptation of the body to exercise and displaying first major physiological changes. Let us choose group aerobic training program as an example. The program consists in learning the combinations of various degree of complexity (basic movements of classical aerobics). The course is designed for regular training, 55 minutes, 3 times a week. Among the recognized benefits of this training course are the following:
• Strengthening the muscles involved in respiration, to facilitate the flow of air in and out of the lungs, Strengthening and enlarging the heart muscle, to improve its pumping efficiency and reduce the resting heart rate, • Toning muscles throughout the body, which can improve overall circulation and reduce blood pressure, • Increasing the total number of red blood cells in the body, to facilitate transport of oxygen throughout the body, • Increased storage of energy molecules such as fats and carbohydrates within the muscles, allowing for increased endurance, • Neovascularization of the muscle sarcomeres to increase blood flow through the muscles.
As a result, these aerobic exercises, just like many other aerobic training courses, reduce the risk of death due to cardiovascular problems. Besides, they stimulate bone groth and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Aerobic exercise is, however, an extremely valuable component of a balanced exercise programme and is good for cardiovascular health, despite the fact that it somewhat neglects muscular strength, especially upper-body muscular strength development. Over a course of any training, there are some processes, going on in an athlete’s body – the processes of adaptation.
There are several key concepts of physiological adaptation, relevant to the aerobic training program examined: the quality of muscle tissue can change after only several workouts; the type of exercise stimulus causes specific adaptations; genetic potential dictates the absolute magnitude of training adaptation; smaller and smaller gains are observed as a person reaches their genetic potential; with training, performance gains cause changes in more than one physiological system; adaptational responses are dynamic and are related to an individuals age and stage of physical development.
Magnitude of gain is related to the size of the athlete’s adaptational window; the amount of adaptation is related to the effectiveness of the exercise prescription. Variation is necessary to keep the exercise stimulus effective in eliciting positive changes. We can distinguish short-term adaptation and long-term adaptation. Short –term adaptation is a change of physical condition and physiological processes, going on in the body of an athlete immediately after a training.
Metabolic activity and increased muscle soreness are some of them. As far as metabolism is concerned, aerobics does not notably increase the resting metabolic rate as much as some forms of weight-training, and may therefore be less effective at reducing obesity. However, this form of exercise also allows for longer, more frequent activity and consumes more energy when the individual is active. In addition, the metabolic activity of an individual is heightened for several hours following a bout of aerobic activity.
Aerobic training course of this type can also be used by individuals with anorexia as a means of suppressing appetite, since aerobic exercise increases glucose and fatty acids in the blood by stimulating tissues to release their energy stores. While there is some support for exercising while hungry as a means of tapping into fat stores, most evidence is equivocal. In addition, performance can be impaired by lack of nutrients, which can impair training effects. Among other impacts on metabolism we may mention metabolic energy stores changes: stored creatine phosphate, ATP, triglycerides and glycogen increase in the course of aerobic training.
This is both short- and long-term change (Foran, 57-64). There are also other long-term effects on the body. Let us examine some of them, arranged in groups according to body parts or other physiolocal parametres, affected by the training. All of them are effects of an above-mentioned aerobic training course. Performance: This parameter includes changes in general callisthenics. Here we can mention increase of muscle endurance (low power output), aerobic power, sprint speed (very slight increase)and practically no change in muschle strength and anaerobic power. Body composition
The aerobic training course does not influence the amount of fat free mass of a person, however, it decreases percent body fat. Muscle Fiber The aerobic training course allows for capillary density increase, mitochondrial density increase and convertion of muscle fiber to type II. However, the training course does not change the muscle fiber size or fast heavy chain myosin. Aerobic training course also has some influence on bone and connective tissues of the body. Though bone dencity practically does not change with aerobic exercises, some changes in collagen content, tendon strength and ligament strength especially might occur.