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Future Health

Difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise

December 7, 2020 

There are many different types of exercises one can do, but knowing what ones are right for your exercise goals is key. Are you wanting to just stay in shape? The Aerobic exercise is what you’re looking for. Build muscle or lose weight? Then Anaerobic exercise is the right for you?

Aerobic exercise is a level of activity that you can maintain for an extended period. This would include walking, riding a bike or running (cardio). Anaerobic exercise is short intense activity that has you working to the max, and it cannot be sustained for long. Such as sprinting or weightlifting.

The difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise comes down to oxygen levels. Aerobic, or “with oxygen” exercise, your muscles have enough oxygen to produce the energy needed to perform. Anaerobic “without oxygen” exercise means oxygen demand is greater than oxygen supply and you cannot keep up with the energy your body is demanding.

Aerobic exercise can offer many health benefits ranging from reducing your risk of heart attacks, Type 2 diabetes, activating the immune systems, making you less likely to get colds or the flu and boosting your mood to name a few. As always when doing new exercises, it’s important to start slowly and work up gradually to reduce your risk of an injury. For example, start by walking 5 minutes at a time and add 5 minutes each time until you’re up to a 30-minute brisk walk.

Anaerobic exercise can be beneficial if you’re looking to build muscle or lose weight. It can also be beneficial if you’ve been exercising for a long time and are looking to push through an exercise plateau and meet a new goal. Anaerobic exercise can be hard on your body. Work with a certified fitness professional who can help you create an anaerobic program based on your medical history and goals.

The American Heart Association recommends healthy adults get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise at least 5 days a week, or at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity 3 days a week. You can also add in strength training two times a week to round out your routine.

Before beginning any exercise routine, check with your doctor. You can also work with a certified fitness professional at your gym or community center who can recommend the best routine for you.