Aerobic vs. Anaerobic
Aerobic exercise seems to be a core component of many fitness programs, especially beginner’s workout routines. However, should they incorporate anaerobic exercise as well? A fundamental question centers around aerobic vs. anaerobic exercise and the benefits that each offer. It’s really a difference of low intensity vs. high intensity. Generally people think of aerobic training as low intensity cardio performed in the “fat burning zone.” There is less familiarity with anaerobic exercise. Anaerobic exercise encompasses high intensity training such as a strength training routine or HIT routine. This chart breaks down different exercise zones by heart rate (aerobic is in the middle, anaerobic is darker in color).
Aerobic vs. Anaerobic Exercise
Aerobic literally means “with oxygen.” Oxygen is required to keep muscles in motion for a long period of time. Muscles use this oxygen to burn fat. Aerobic exercises include activities that are long duration and low to moderate intensity, including jogging, swimming, cycling, or skiing.
Just as aerobic means “with oxygen,” anaerobic means “without oxygen.” While you obviously need oxygen to perform anaerobic exercise, your muscles do not receive enough oxygen to generate energy to maintain a high intensity exercise. Instead, the muscles utilize glycogen, which ultimately comes from carbohydrates. Activities that are short and intense are considered anaerobic exercises, including sprinting and weight training.
Benefits of Aerobic Exercise
Aerobic exercise has a number of health benefits. At least 30 minutes of daily activity can help improve your heart, lungs and blood flow that ultimately leads to a longer life. Here are some other benefits: 1. Weight loss 2. Increased endurance 3. Improved immune system 4. Reduced risk of obesity, heart disease, high blood