Incorporating Essentrics into your fitness regimen not only promotes cardiovascular health but also acts as a protective measure against cardiovascular disease.
By Dr. Emilia Zarco, MD & M.Ed.
Is Essentrics a Cardio Exercise?
YES! Essentrics is a cardio exercise. Any activity that elevates your heart rate and intensifies your breathing for a sustained period of time is cardio exercise. This increased heart rate ensures that more blood is pumped through your arteries, delivering vital oxygen and nutrients to your muscles. Veins facilitate the return of waste products, such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid, produced by your muscles during exercise, back to the heart. Meanwhile, the heightened respiratory activity is essential to meet the increased demand for oxygen during exercise and to expel carbon dioxide efficiently, preventing its accumulation in the body. Together, these coordinated cardiovascular and respiratory responses support the body’s dynamic needs during physical activity.
Is Essentrics Considered an Aerobic Exercise?
YES! Aerobic exercise requires oxygen, which means the cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory systems need to function efficiently to support the energy demands required while also managing the byproducts (like carbon dioxide) produced during aerobic exercise. The flowing and rotational trademark movements target slow-twitch muscle fibers (Type I), known for their high aerobic capacity, making a full-body Essentrics workout an endurance exercise when done for 30 to 60 minutes or more.
Understanding Aerobic vs. Anaerobic Exercises
Aerobic means “with” oxygen and anaerobic means “without” oxygen. Anaerobic exercises are intense physical activities of very short duration (typically 30-60 seconds) that use energy sources within the contracting muscle and do not require inhaled oxygen.
Fast twitch muscles (Type II) are commonly used in these exercises, as seen during sprinting, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), plyometrics and power-lifting. Fast twitch muscles contract quickly, producing greater amounts of force, power, and strength, but fatigue faster.
Aerobic exercise elevates the heart rate and breathing, making all aerobic activities inherently cardio exercises. Regular exercise improves our aerobic capacity, boosting energy levels and stamina. In contrast, a lack of physical activity leads to deconditioning, reducing aerobic capacity, energy and stamina.
The Importance of Regular Aerobic Exercise
With age, aerobic capacity typically declines by approximately 10% per decade after the age of 30. This reduced capacity explains why inactive adults often experience fatigue and breathlessness even with modest daily activities. Sedentary lifestyles worsen this deterioration, adversely affecting heart health.
The good news is that engaging in even low to moderate cardio training can counteract the effects of aging, helping to maintain and improve aerobic capacity over time. Invest in your heart’s well-being and contribute to an active, fulfilling lifestyle with Essentrics!
Emilia Patricia T. Zarco has a Doctor of Medicine degree from West Visayas State University, Philippines with training in Anesthesiology and a Master of Education from the University of the Philippines. She is an Associate Professor of Health Studies and chaired the Department of Health & Sport Sciences at Adelphi University in New York, USA where she conducted research studies on the health benefits and impact of Essentrics. To date, she has published 3 papers: Perceived Benefits of a Guided Exercise Program Among Older Adults, The Impact of a 10-Week Essentrics Program on Strength, Flexibility and Body Composition and Using Essentrics to Improve the Health of Older Adults.