I always hear about aerobic and anaerobic exercise. I thought they were the same. But they are different.
Aerobic exercises, for example, are an endurance type of workout that increases one’s heart and breathing rate over a long duration. Common examples include swimming, brisk walking, cycling, and running.
Anaerobic exercise, on the other hand, is a kind of exercise that involves intense physical activities. Although they work differently, both are beneficial for our health, according to experts. Popular choices are weightlifting, high-intensity interval training, and sprinting.
Let’s dive into aerobic and anaerobic exercises deeply! Enjoy!
What Are their Differences and Similarities?
The main differences between aerobic and anaerobic exercise are the intensity, the length of time that we can maintain during a specific workout, and how our body uses energy.
While the former tends to be gentle and rhythmic, the latter is intense. Aerobic type of workout is proven to boost endurance. Anaerobic exercise helps us increase our muscle strength and mass.
Experts said that aerobic and anaerobic exercises have some similarities. A 2017 study found that both are beneficial for our heart health.
When done regularly, they can promote body circulation, strengthen the heart, increase our metabolism, and even help us shed a pound.
That’s not all! Either type of exercise is found to reduce our risk of type 2 diabetes, depression, anxiety, certain cancer, dementia, serious cardiovascular complication, and other health conditions, based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.
Why Aerobic Exercise
Apart from increasing our heart and breathing rate, a particular aerobic exercise can guarantee the following health benefits:
–Slow Down Losses in Bone Density. As we age, we lose our bone density, leading to a condition called osteoporosis. Studies have shown that more than one-third of men and half of women, 60 years old and above, have osteoporosis. Regular aerobic exercise helps reduce the rate of bone loss. It also preserves bone tissue, protecting us against fractures.
–Reduce Extreme Fatigue and Increase Stamina. It is normal to feel exhausted when performing aerobic exercise for the first time. But as days pass by, you will get used to the workout, increasing your stamina.
–Increase the Levels of Good Cholesterol. Research has suggested that daily aerobic exercise increases good cholesterol in our body. Scientists found that aerobic exercise can enhance HDL cholesterol’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Are There Risks?
Generally, swimming, running, cycling, and walking are beneficial for most people. But if you have high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, blood clots, or other preexisting cardiovascular conditions, it is best to consult your physician. Your doctor knows best!
Why Anaerobic Exercise?
Cardiovascular health benefits? Safe weight loss? Good muscle mass? Enough level of bone density? Name it! Anaerobic exercises are a favorite type of workout for a reason! Other benefits are highlighted below:
–Increase Strength. A study participated by baseball players found individuals who made wind sprints thrice a week increased their strength by 15%.
–Boost Metabolism. Experts said that the more lean muscles we have, the more calories we will burn every workout. While multiple factors slow our metabolism, anaerobic exercise can help us maintain our fit and sexy physique.
–Improve Energy. Anaerobic exercises are exhausting. But scientists said that doing high-intensity interval training, sprinting, and weightlifting could boost our energy. It doubles the body’s ability to store glycogen, making us more energetic and ready for another extreme physical activity.
–Fight Depression. Studies have also shown that strength training and other types of anaerobic exercises can boost our mood and fight depression. Neuroscientists found that people who are depressed have a smaller hippocampus in the brain. They have also noticed that regular anaerobic exercise could support nerve cell growth in the hippocampus, helping relieve depression and improve nerve cell connections.
Are There Risks?
Unlike aerobic exercise, this workout is more challenging as it requires a great level of exertion.
Before you engage in any anaerobic exercise, make sure you are physically fit. I also encourage everyone to work with a personal trainer, especially for beginners, to avoid severe injuries and enjoy better results, too. If you have underlying health conditions, you should consult your physician.
Which is Better?
Both workouts are beneficial in different ways. Therefore, identify your specific fitness requirements to choose the best exercise!