SPORTS SCIENCE LESSON 3: The basics of Aerobic Metabolism

An English lesson about the basics of Aerobic Metabolism.  The lesson explores the science and biology and at the same time teaches the vocabulary and grammar of English related to the subject.

Essas aulas de inglês são para alunos intermediários e avançados de inglês como segunda língua. Eles incluem “Ler”, “Ouvir” e “Escrever”. Basta seguir a lição respondendo às perguntas à medida que as encontra.

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Todas as vagas em negrito devem ser traduzidas para seu próprio idioma para ajudar na compreensão do novo vocabulário.

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SPORTS SCIENCE LESSON 3: The basics of Aerobic Metabolism


Aerobic Metabolism is a chemical process in the body in which oxygen is used to make energy from carbohydrates (sugars).  Also called aerobic respiration, cell respiration, and oxidative metabolism. Your body uses different metabolic processes during exercise to provide the energy needed for your muscles. Each type requires unique actions in order to work.

Anaerobic metabolism and aerobic metabolism have one thing in common, they both produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is used to fuel activity.

New Vocabulary: a chemical process, carbohydrates, aerobic respiration, cell respiration
oxidative metabolism, metabolic processes,  unique actions, Anaerobic metabolism and aerobic metabolism 
 ATP (adenosine triphosphate), fuel


Section One:

THE BASICS: Metabolism refers to the processes your body uses to break down nutrients, form compounds that cells can use for energy ,and use those compounds to fuel body functions. Your body secretes enzymes to break down food into sugars, proteins, and fats.

Then, each cell of your body can take these in and use them in aerobic or anaerobic metabolic processes to form adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the fuel used in the cell.

Your body’s overall metabolism includes muscle contraction, breathing, blood circulation, maintaining body temperature, digesting food, eliminating wastes, and brain and nervous system function.

New Vocabulary:  refers to, break down nutrients, compounds,  to fuel body functions
secretes, enzymes,  break down, form adenosine triphosphate (ATP)


Section Two:

During exercise, you increase metabolism in your muscles and your respiratory and circulatory systems. You need a faster breathing rate and heart rate to deliver oxygen and nutrients to your muscles. Your body also must work harder to prevent overheating, such as through sweating.

The calories from food are burned to produce energy in each cell. The rate at which you burn calories is called your metabolic rate.

New Vocabulary: increase, respiratory, circulatory systems, breathing rate and heart rate
 to prevent overheating, sweating


Section Three:

TYPES OF METABOLISM:  There are two types of metabolism that the body uses to turn fuel (the food you eat) into energy

Aerobic Metabolism

During aerobic metabolism, your body creates energy through the combustion of carbohydrates, amino acids, and fats in the presence of oxygen. Combustion means burning, which is why this is called burning sugars, fats, and proteins for energy.

Aerobic metabolism provides energy for exercise and other body functions (like breathing). Examples of activities that use aerobic metabolism include walking, running, or cycling with sustained effort.

New Vocabulary: combustion, amino acids,  in the presence of oxygen, burning, 
body functions (like breathing), activities, with sustained effort.


Video Listening Section 1 :


          1. What does the word ‘aerobic’ mean?
          2. Inside the cell,  glucose and the oxygen move into which organelle?  It begins with the letter ‘M’
          3. The unit of energy that is produced in that organelle after oxygen and glucose are introduced is called what?
          4. What is the bi-product of producing an energy unit in the cell called and what is it converted into?

Section Four:

Anaerobic Metabolism

Anaerobic metabolism creates energy by burning carbohydrates in the absence of oxygen. This occurs when your lungs cannot put enough oxygen into the bloodstream to keep up with the demands of your muscles for energy. It is generally used only for short bursts of activity, such as when you sprint when running or cycling, or lift heavy weights.

When there isn’t enough oxygen in the bloodstream, glucose and glycogen cannot be fully broken down into carbon dioxide and water. Instead, lactic acid is produced, building up in the muscles and degrading muscle function.

New Vocabulary: Anaerobic metabolism,  in the absence of oxygen, occurs, lungs
the bloodstream, the demands,  short bursts of activity, sprint, lift heavy weights.
glucose and glycogen,  lactic acid, building up, degrading,  function.


Section Five:

Anaerobic vs. Aerobic Metabolism

Anaerobic metabolism is not as efficient as aerobic metabolism. A glucose molecule can only produce three ATP molecules under anaerobic metabolism, while it produces 39 with aerobic metabolism. ATP is what fuels the muscles.

Anaerobic metabolism can only use glucose and glycogen, while aerobic metabolism can also break down fats and protein. Intense bouts of exercise in the anaerobic zone with a heart rate over 85% of maximum heart rate will use anaerobic metabolism to fuel the muscles.

While your body will naturally use the energy pathways that will best get the job done, you have a choice in how strenuously you exercise. Training programs for different sports and activities are designed to make the best use of aerobic and anaerobic metabolism.

New Vocabulary: efficient, glucose molecule,  fuels the muscles, break down, 
 Intense bouts of exercise, naturally use the energy pathways, zone, get the job done
strenuously, designed, Audio, make the best use of


Writing Section:

Write a summary in your own words explaining the difference between aerobic and anaerobic metabolism. Use two examples of present perfect progressive in your text and two comparatives.

Grammar Section:

Below you will find documents to help you with the grammar in your writing text.  The link takes you to your FREE document and book download  pages (OXFORD INSTITUTE BOOK CLUB) CLICK HERE

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