Fitness CF News & Updates

Aerobic vs Anaerobic Exercise: What’s the Difference?

anaerobic exercise

About 41% of Americans have considered themselves overweight over the past five years. The percentage of overweight individuals is up from 36% previously. 

Being overweight can cause numerous health conditions that you’ll want to avoid. It can feel frustrating like there’s no way to lose weight, but it doesn’t have to be. Read this guide on the difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise to start your weight loss journey today! 

What Is Anaerobic Exercise?

Anaerobic exercise is high-intensity, quick, and short. It’s when the body doesn’t use oxygen as an energy source.

These exercises activate fast-twitch muscle fibers. Examples can include sprinting and heavy weightlifting. 

During exercise, your body works to pump more oxygen to muscles. Anaerobic activity doesn’t produce enough oxygen to supply your body with the energy it needs. Instead, your body uses glucose that’s inside your muscles. 

Glucose is converted into adenosine triphosphate (ATP) for energy. This provides you with energy for high-intensity activity during short bursts. 

While your body produces ATP, it creates pyruvic acid. Pyruvic acid is broken down into lactic acid and lactate.

It can power high-intensity workouts for a couple of minutes. Through these workouts, your body will decrease lactic acid without feeling fatigued too quickly. 

The Benefits

It could help strengthen joints and muscles. Anaerobic exercise is great for muscle mass optimization.

You could slow down the loss of muscle mass with age. Muscle strength also helps support joint health. 

Examples of anaerobic exercises: 

  • Sprinting
  • High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
  • Weightlifting

It could help you: 

  • Burn fat
  • Strengthen bones
  • Increase stamina
  • Build muscle

Potential Risks of Anaerobic Exercise

It can be hard on your body. If you’re a fitness beginner, you might want to hold off on this exercise. 

Speak with your doctor before you begin. Work with a certified fitness professional to discuss your goals and medical history. 

Fitness professionals can show you proper form with these exercise techniques. Proper form will help you prevent an injury. 

What Is Aerobic Exercise? 

These are exercises that last for a sustained period of time. These include walking with your dog for an extended period, 10K runs, running on the elliptical, etc. 

Your heart rate is normally between 70-80% of your maximum heart rate. During aerobic exercise, your body burns glycogen stores in your muscles. 

This could last between 30-60 minutes, depending on your diet. When you use up your glycogen stores, your body uses ATP. 

That’s the oxygen available to turn stored fat into fuel. Since it takes a while, it can’t be used during shorter workouts. 

The Benefits

It might promote fat loss. This is due to your body tapping into stored fat for fuel. It’s considered a quicker fat loss than anaerobic exercise. 

Aerobic exercise could decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease. Active people have higher insulin sensitivity, lower blood pressure, and a better plasma lipoprotein profile overall. 

Examples of aerobic exercises include: 

  • Taking the stairs
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Cycling
  • Rowing

It could help you:

  • Live longer
  • Strengthen your heart
  • Lose weight
  • Control blood pressure
  • Boost mood 
  • And more 

Potential Risks of Aerobic Exercises

Speak with your doctor if you have a chronic condition or have been inactive for a while. For beginners, start slow to avoid an injury. For example, increase the amount of time you walk each time. 

How Often Should You Do Each?

The American Heart Association recommends you get at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. Only about one in five adults and teens get this amount. 

Instead, you can get 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week. It’s best to spread exercise throughout the week. Include muscle-building exercises at least two days per week. 

Don’t perform anaerobic exercises more than two to three days each week. You’ll want a day of recovery between each. 

Exercise for Beginners

Aerobic exercises are a great option whether you have a medical condition or are a beginner. It’s easier to pick up aerobic exercises than anaerobic ones as well. 

It’s easier to stay safe performing aerobic exercises. It’s less taxing on the body and mind. People tend to stick with aerobic exercises more often.

Consider your goals. If you’d like to bike, run, or swim a certain distance or time, a fitness professional can help. They’ll help you come up with an exercise guide specific to you. 

You’ll want to combine anaerobic and aerobic exercises to reach your weight loss goals. After you’re done working out, you might find your body burning the most calories.

Anaerobic activity creates a strong calorie burn than aerobic activity. All exercises can help you reach your weight loss goals. Both have benefits, but you must speak to your doctor if you have medical conditions. 

Comparing the Two

Anaerobic exercise helps metabolic health. It could reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity, stroke, and more. 

It helps maintain muscle mass, coordination, and strength. Aerobic exercise helps your cardiovascular health. It reduces the risk of heart-related conditions and keeps your blood vessels and heart healthy. 

Comparing Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise

After exploring this guide on aerobic and anaerobic exercises, you should see why they’re both vital for your workouts. Are you ready to get started toward your fitness goals? 

Whether you’re looking to lose weight or tone up, we can help! Join today.

We’re conveniently located in Mount Dora, Orlando, Clermont North, Saint Cloud, and Clermont South. From personal training to group fitnesses classes, we’re your one-stop location for your fitness goals. 



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