Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercises and Your Diet

By: Michael Appleman, M.S.

Studies have shown that combining proper exercise with a healthy diet is the key to a healthy lifestyle. If you are a Burn Survivor, friend or parent, remember it is important for you to adopt a healthy lifestyle so that you can be rebuild your lives and/or be a positive role model for your family.



There are different types of exercise. The two we are going to discuss is aerobic and anaerobic exercises. During aerobic exercise your heart will beat faster and your breathing rate will increase. When you increase the amount of oxygen you breath in, it combines with the fat stored in your body and in fact "burns" the fat away. Usual aerobic exercise, which is twenty minutes three or more times a week, will help raise your metabolism and you will burn more calories as fuel all of the time. This will happen even when you rest. A few examples of aerobic exerices are jogging, walking, bicycling, basketball, swimming, football or baseball.

Anaerobic exercise is the other type we are going to discuss. Anaerobic exercise involves short bursts of exercise followed by periods of rest. Your body will develop stronger muscles as a result of anaerobic exercise. This exercisse does not burn fat. Its muscle building benefits are good with the benefits of aerobic exercise.

You should stop exercising immediately if you feel any of these symptoms.

      - Pain
      - Nausea
      - Feeling dizzy or faint
      - Severe fatigue

Remember that you must make sure you exercise safely. Be sure to contact your doctor (or your childs doctor) to verify it is medically safe to begin an exercise program and what type. In order to prevent injuries, make sure you stretching movements before and after you exercise. By doing the stretching movements you will become more flexible, and the stretching will help you to prevent any muscle strains. It is also important that you and/or your child wear the proper safety equipment when exercising.


When you partake in an exercise program, it is extremely important for you to eat well-balanced meals to support your increased level of activity. Follow a diet that includes the suggested daily servings of items from the basic food groups, which are:

      - Bread, cereal, rice & pasta
      - Vegetables & fruits
      - Milk, yogurt & cheese
      - Meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs & nuts
      - Oils & sweets

Meeting the daily dietary requirements will provide you with the solid base you need to maintain good health. Eat regular meals, do not skip or miss your meals. Be sure to eat lots of fruit and vegetables to provide you with the important vitamins and minerals your body needs.

It is also very important to make sure that you drink enough water and fluids during the day. Especially when you are exercising. Make sure that you drink something BEFORE you get thirsty.

Finally, to avoid health problems, exercise regularly and eat healthy foods. Be a good role model for your children by showing them the importance of a well-balanced exercise program and good eating habits.