Cellular respiration is a metabolic process that occurs inside the cells of an organism. It involves the production of energy through the conversion of biochemical energy into an exploitable form called adenosine triphosphate or ATP. Note that biochemical energy comes from food sources, particularly macronutrients such as carbohydrates, fatty acids, and amino acids. Nonetheless, cellular respiration is also defined as a process of converting these nutrients into ATP.
There are two types of cellular respiration: aerobic respiration and anaerobic respiration. Within the realm of physical fitness, these two types of cellular respiration also serve as the basis for categorizing physical activities into two types: aerobic activity and anaerobic activity. This article discusses and differentiates the two types of cellular respiration within the context of physical fitness and physical activity or fitness training.
Types of cellular respiration: The difference between aerobic respiration and anaerobic respiration
1. Aerobic Respiration and Aerobic Activity
Aerobic respiration is one of the two types of cellular respiration defined as a metabolic process involving the conversion of chemical substances from food into energy through the use of oxygen. It is also worth mentioning that the word “aerobic” also refers to activities that depend on aerobic respiration to produce majority of the energy requirements.
Examples of aerobic activities include running for 20 minutes, swimming a mile, and dancing, among others. These activities usually last longer than 90 seconds. Most of the energy needed to do these activities is produced through aerobic respiration.
Sports that require training based on aerobic activities include long-distance running or marathon, cycling, and competitive swimming, among others.
Aerobic activities benefit an individual by improving his or her cardiovascular endurance, thus allowing him or her to engage in tasks that require low to moderate energy for a more extended period. These activities can also help in weight management because it can decrease body fat composition. However, too much aerobic activity can decrease muscle mass.
2. Anaerobic Respiration and Anaerobic Activity
On the other hand, anaerobic respiration is another one of the two types of cellular respiration defined as a metabolic process involving the conversion of chemical substances from food without the use of oxygen. In physical fitness and physical activity, the word “anaerobic” refers to activities in which anaerobic respiration produces majority of the energy requirement.
Some examples of anaerobic activities include a 100-meter sprint, weightlifting, squatting., and bodyweight training. These activities are usually no longer than 120 seconds. Most of the energy needed to do these activities is produced through anaerobic respiration.
Examples of sports that require training based on anaerobic activities include basketball, football, soccer, volleyball, boxing, gymnastics, wrestling, weightlifting, running under one mile, and swimming events under 400 mile, among others.
Anaerobic activities improve the cardiovascular function of an individual and help in reducing body fat composition. Moreover, these activities can equip an individual with the ability to exert effort over a brief period by improving muscle mass and thus, physical strength, muscle endurance, and speed. Note that a properly structure anaerobic activity also has some elements of aerobic activities.