Anaerobic Vs Aerobic - Understanding the Difference

Robin Reichert By Robin Reichert, 12th May 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Diet & Nutrition

The terms anaerobic and aerobic do not mean the same thing; there are major differences that can be identified between anaerobic and aerobic exercise. Knowing the difference between these two terms can help you improve your fitness level and overall health.

Anaerobic Vs Aerobic - Understanding the Difference

The terms anaerobic and aerobic do not mean the same thing; there are major differences that can be identified between anaerobic and aerobic exercise. Anaerobic exercises are basically strenuous exercises that are implemented for the purpose of muscle strengthening. The latter forms of exercises are meant to be conducted in short, but intense intervals. Aerobic exercises are used to get oxygen to all of the muscles in the body and to increase one's cardiovascular rate.

Anaerobic is a word that literally means "without or lacking oxygen," while the word aerobic literally means "the inclusion of or with oxygen." While aerobic exercises push oxygen through the body during exercise, anaerobic exercises do not rely on oxygen to produce energy. When it comes to aerobic exercises, the body will depend upon the use of a lot of oxygen: this, in turn helps to burn calories, to increase the heart rate, to increase the body's circulatory processes, and to improve one's metabolic rate. In contrast, anaerobic exercises are conducted in fast, brief sessions so that heavy amounts of oxygen are not used during the exercises performed.

While performing any type of aerobic exercise regimen, the individual purposefully sustains the aerobic activity so that a larger need for oxygen is generated by the body. While one is walking, running, jogging, or cycling, he or she will utilize oxygen in order to burn fat and the glucose in one's body is used to produce ATP, otherwise known as adenosine triphosphate. The latter is needed by cells in every part of the human body for the purposes of transporting energy. Meanwhile, anaerobic exercises demand the use of Glycogen, which is derived from blood sugar levels in the body in order to produce energy.

Aerobic exercises are used to improve blood flow, to reduce blood pressure, to improve respiratory functioning, and to tone body muscles, to improve cardiovascular strength, as well as to improve upon the body's red blood cell count. Anaerobic exercise is used for the purposes of bone strengthening, the prevention of muscular atrophy, to increase muscular power, and strength, to increase stamina and endurance, and to produce adequate muscle mass.

While aerobic exercises include things like walking, running, jogging, the use of a treadmill, and cycling as well as stair climbing, anaerobic exercises might include things like sprinting, lifting weights, and playing tennis. It is beneficial if one opts to unify the implementation of aerobic and anaerobic exercises in one's regular workouts. Of course, deciding to do so should be approved by one's physician first. It is also not recommended that one begin exercising with intense anaerobic exercises before getting the body used to aerobic forms of exercise.

Anaerobic exercises are not recommended for those individuals with muscle/joint injuries, for pregnant women, or for anyone that does not exercise on a fairly consistent and regular basis. In addition to an anaerobic and aerobic workout regimen, the right amount of sleep, the right amount of fluids, an adequate diet, and vitamin supplements are highly recommended.


Aerobic, Aerobic Exercise, Anaerobic, Anaerobic Fitness

Meet the author

author avatar Robin Reichert
I'm an AFPA certified nutrition consultant, AFPA certified personal trainer, NASM certified youth exercise specialist, as well as an online fitness coach and a professional freelance writer.

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