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Anaerobic exercise

Anaerobic exercises is exercise intense enough to trigger anaerobic metabolism. It is used by athletes in non-endurance sports to promote strength, speed and power and by body builders to build muscle mass. Muscles trained using anaerobic exercise develop differently as compared to aerobic exercise, leading to greater performance in short duration, high intensity activities, which last from mere seconds up to a maximum anaerobic metabolic contribution at about 2 minutes. Any activity after 2-minutes or so, whether it be exceedingly easy or immensely intense, will have a large aerobic metabolic component. Anaerobic metabolism also known as anaerobic energy expenditure is a natural part of whole-body metabolic energy expenditure.In fact, fast twitch skeletal muscle (as compared to slow twitch muscle) is inherently composed of anaerobic metabolic characteristics, so that any recruitment of fast twitch muscle fibers will lead to increased anaerobic energy expenditure. Intense exercise lasting upwards of 4 minutes or more (e.g., a mile race) may still have a considerable anaerobic energy expenditure component. Anaerobic energy expenditure is difficult to accurately quantify yet several reasonable methods to estimate the anaerobic component to exercise are available.

Aerobic exercise, on the other hand, includes lower intensity activities performed for longer periods of time. Such activities like walking, running (including the training known as an interval workout), swimming, and cycling require a great deal of oxygen to generate the energy needed for prolonged exercise (i.e., aerobic energy expenditure).

There are two types of anaerobic energy systems: 1) the high energy phosphates, ATP adenosine triphosphate and CP creatine phosphate and, 2) anaerobic glycolysis. The high energy phosphates are stored in very limited quantities within muscle cells. Anaerobic glycolysis exclusively uses glucose (and glycogen) as a fuel in the absence of oxygen or more specifically, when ATP is needed at rates that exceed those provided by aerobic metabolism; the consequence of rapid glucose breakdown is the formation of lactic acid (more appropriately, lactate at biological pH levels). Physical activities that last up to about thirty seconds rely primarily on the former, ATP-PC phosphagen, system. Beyond this time both aerobic and anaerobic glycolytic metabolic systems begin to predominate. The by-product of anaerobic glycolysis, lactate, has traditionally thought to be detrimental to muscle function. However, this appears likely only when lactate levels are very high. In reality, many changes occur within and around muscle cells during intense exercise that can lead to fatigue, with elevated lactate levels being only one (fatigue, that is muscular failure, is a complex subject). Elevated muscle and blood lactate concentrations are a natural consequence of physical exertion, regardless of what form it takes: easy, moderate, hard or severe. The effectiveness of anaerobic activity can be improved through training. 

Lactate threshold (LIP or Lactate Inflection Point)

The lactate threshold (LT) is the exercise intensity at which lactic acid starts to accumulate in the blood stream. (This is not strictly true, as 'lactic acid' per se does not exist at the pH-levels encountered in the body. Its anion, the lactate molecule, accumulates in the blood—hence its usage in 'onset of blood lactate accumulation' (OBLA) is 'lactate' and not 'lactic acid.' The reason for the acidification of the blood at high exercise intensities is two-fold: the high rates of ATP hydrolysis in the muscle release hydrogen ions, as they are co-transported out of the muscle into the blood via the MCT—monocarboxylate transporter, and also bicarbonate stores in the blood begin to be used up.) This happens when it is produced faster than it can be removed (metabolized). This point is sometimes referred to as the anaerobic threshold (AT), or the onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA). When exercising below the LT intensity any lactate produced by the muscles is removed by the body without it building up. The lactate threshold is a useful measure for deciding exercise intensity for training and racing in endurance sports (e.g. long distance running, cycling, rowing, swimming, motocross, and cross country skiing), and can be increased greatly with training. The anaerobic threshold is considered to be somewhere between 90% and 95% of your maximum heart rate and interval training takes advantage of the body being able to temporarily exceed the lactate threshold, and then recover (reduce blood-lactate) while operating below the threshold and while still doing physical activity. Fartlek and interval training are similar, the main difference being the relative intensities of the exercise, best illustrated in a real-world example: Fartlek training would involve constantly running, for a period time running just above the lactate threshold, and then running at just below it, while interval training would be running quite high above the threshold, but then slowing to a walk or slow jog during the rest periods. Interval training can take the form of many different types of exercise and should closely replicate the movements found in the sport.(3)

Accurately measuring the lactate threshold involves taking blood samples (normally a pinprick to the finger, earlobe or thumb) during a ramp test where the exercise intensity is progressively increased. Measuring the threshold can also be performed non-invasively using gas-exchange (Respiratory quotient) methods, which requires a metabolic cart to measure air inspired and expired.

Although the lactate threshold is defined as the point when lactic acid starts to accumulate, some testers approximate this by using the point at which lactate reaches a concentration of 4 mM (at rest it is around 1 mM).

Effects of anaerobic exercise and aerobic exercise on biomarkers of oxidative stress

Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine Volume 12, Number 5 / September, 2007
Minyi SHI, Xin Wang, Takao Yamanaka, Futoshi Ogita, Koji Nakatani and Toru Takeuchi

Objectives  In addition to having health-promoting effects, exercise is considered to induce oxidative stress. To clarify whether increased oxygen consumption during exercise induces oxidative stress, we investigated the effects of aerobic exercise and anaerobic exercise on a series of oxidative damage markers. Methods  One group of subjects performed aerobic exercise and another group performed anaerobic exercise with similar workloads, but with different levels of oxygen consumption. Blood and urine samples were collected before, immediately after, and 3, 9, and 24 h after exercise. Serum uric acid (UA) and creatine phosphokinase were evaluated. As markers of oxidative damage to lipids, proteins and DNA, we evaluated serum 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal, urinary F2-isoprostanes, serum protein carbonyls, and leukocyte 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine.

Oxygen consumption was significantly greater during aerobic exercise. Although UA level increased immediately after aerobic exercise and decreased thereafter, UA level did not change after anaerobic exercise. The two types of exercise had significantly different effects on the change in UA level. After anaerobic exercise, the levels of 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine and 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal significantly increased at 24 h and 3 h, respectively. The levels of creatine phosphokinase and F2-isoprostanes decreased after exercise. The two types of exercise caused no apparent significant differences in the levels of these biomarkers.
The findings suggest that similar workloads of anaerobic exercise and aerobic exercise induce reactive oxygen species (ROS) differently: aerobic exercise seems to initially generate more ROS, whereas anaerobic exercise may induce prolonged ROS generation. Although more oxygen was consumed during aerobic exercise, the generated ROS did not induce significant oxidative damage. Oxygen consumption per se may not be the major cause of exercise-induced oxidative damage.

Mortality and longevity of elite athletes.

Teramoto M, Bungum TJ.J Sci Med Sport. 2009 Jun 30.
Department of Sports Education Leadership, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA.

The health benefits of leisure-time physical activity are well known, however the effects of engaging in competitive sports on health are uncertain. This literature review examines mortality and longevity of elite athletes and attempts to understand the association between long-term vigorous exercise training and survival rates. Fourteen articles of epidemiological studies were identified and classified by type of sport. Life expectancy, standardised mortality ratio, standardised proportionate mortality ratio, mortality rate, and mortality odds ratio for all causes of death were used to analyse mortality and longevity of elite athletes. It appears that elite endurance (aerobic) athletes and mixed-sports (aerobic and anaerobic) athletes survive longer than the general population, as indicated by lower mortality and higher longevity. Lower cardiovascular disease mortality is likely the primary reason for their better survival rates. On the other hand, there are inconsistent results among studies of power (anaerobic) athletes. When elite athletes engaging in various sports are analysed together, their mortality is lower than that of the general population. In conclusion, long-term vigorous exercise training is associated with increased survival rates of specific groups of athletes.

 acid, mortality aerobic exercise, anaerobic exercise, oxidative stress, uric

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