Deepak Chopra, MDHealth Blog - Wellness

Weekly Health Tip: Get Aerobic & Anaerobic Exercise

Published on 2011-01-03 by Deepak Chopra, MD

Every January, millions of Americans resolve to exercise with renewed dedication and vigor. Whether you are starting a new fitness program, or fine-tuning your current workouts, thoughtful planning will help you get more benefits from exercise. You need to make sure that you are getting aerobic exercise, which uses large amounts of oxygen as you work—jogging, brisk walking, swimming and bicycling are aerobic exercise. You also need anaerobic exercise, muscle-building work which is performed in shorter, intense bursts of activity and draws on your body's glucose and fats for energy—weight-lifting and sprinting are good ones. Adding stretching activity to your workouts, such as yoga or Pilates, increases your range of motion and can work additional muscle groups that might otherwise be neglected. It is important to choose sports and activities that you really like, so you will have enough variety and engagement to stay interested and enthusiastic about exercising.

Once you have chosen the best combination of activities for you, get a fitness assessment and medical OK from your doctor before beginning. A very common mistake for those beginning a new program: trying to do too much too soon. More than 10,000 Americans are treated in emergency rooms each day for injuries resulting from sports, recreation or exercise. Even more develop overuse injuries, including ligament strains and stress fractures. Sustaining an injury that takes you out of commission for days or weeks is not only painful, it can be a real setback for your fitness progress. Pace yourself, and you'll be on the road to fitness for the long haul.

Learn more about the importance of a balanced exercise plan: Get Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise

The material on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Consult a licensed medical professional for the diagnosis and treatment of all medical conditions and before starting a new diet or exercise program. If you have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.