Let’s get down to the basics. We hear exercise and fitness terms daily, but do we know what they really mean?
Whether your workout of choice is jogging, cycling, walking or dancing, there’s a good chance that you are performing aerobic exercise. This type of exercise is the most common form of cardio, and it’s what most people consider when they want to
lose weight, get fit or improve their heart health. What you might not realize is that this isn’t the only option for better health. In fact, some people can get better results in less time by opting to partake in anaerobic exercise. Find out more about both types of exercises, as well as the pros and cons of each, below.
What is Aerobic Exercise?
Aerobic exercise, at the most basic level, is any activity that is low intensity and requires oxygen. This is what most of us do when we work out, and it includes everything from taking a walk to running a marathon. Aerobic activity uses fat as well as a small amount of glycogen for fuel, which means that you don’t have to eat specific foods for energy if you just want to enjoy a short workout at the aerobic level. You might breathe heavily while out on a jog, but at this level you should not experience an extreme shortness of breath or muscle fatigue during the workout.
What is Anaerobic Exercise?
Just as the name implies, anaerobic exercise is a form of working out that doesn’t require oxygen. Obviously, your body still requires oxygen to breathe, but your muscles don’t require a steady amount of oxygenated blood in order to function. Anaerobic exercise is physically much harder than aerobic exercise, and it includes sprinting at full speed or lifting heavy weights. Anaerobic exercise relies on glycogen for fuel, which you supply by eating carbohydrates before a tough workout.
What are the Benefits of Aerobic Exercise?
The benefits of aerobic exercise are numerous. If you want to burn fat, lose weight, give yourself an endorphin boost to improve your mood or strengthen your heart, this is a great way to achieve all of those goals. It is also easy to do, and anyone can get moving and begin aerobic exercise without a lot of fitness training or equipment. As long as you can walk, you can begin exercising aerobically.
What are the Benefits of Anaerobic Exercise?
While there are plenty of benefits to aerobic exercise, anaerobic exercise can also be beneficial, especially to those who are no longer seeing results with their traditional workouts. Minute for minute, anaerobic exercise typically burns far more calories than aerobic exercise, although it can’t be sustained for as long due to how tough it is. Plus, anaerobic exercise builds muscle mass over time. Adding lean muscle mass to your body can increase your resting metabolism, which means that you will burn more calories while at rest every day. Adding muscle through anaerobic exercise is also the aesthetic goal that many individuals have for their bodies.
Are There Any Drawbacks to Aerobic Exercise?
Although it should always be a part of your overall health and fitness routine, there are certain downsides to aerobic exercise. Those who are trying to lose a substantial amount of weight might notice that they hit a plateau even with regular exercise. This is often due to the body becoming more efficient at aerobic exercise, which could reduce your calorie burn overall. By adding in some anaerobic exercise, you can boost your metabolism and your potential weight loss by adding in muscle mass.
Are There Any Drawbacks to Anaerobic Exercise?
While anaerobic exercise certainly has its perks, there are some drawbacks to keep in mind. Anaerobic exercise is best for those who have a solid fitness level, as it can cause injuries. Plus, anaerobic exercise needs recovery, which means that you shouldn’t attempt this type of workout every day. Since this type of exercise can put a lot of stress on the body, you should talk with your doctor before beginning an anaerobic workout routine.
If you’re ready to take your workout to the next level, learn more about anaerobic fitness. It’s definitely tough, but it can build muscle and help you burn more calories ever.
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