A complete workout program consists of both anaerobic and aerobic exercise. Here are the differences between the two and their benefits.
The term “aerobic exercise” is well-known to most people. It refers to any exercise that increases heart rate and pumps blood.
Many people also know the great benefits of other types of exercise such as weight lifting and bodyweight exercises. These are anaerobic exercises.
Experts in both the medical and fitness worlds recommend both types of exercise.
This post will explain the differences between anaerobic and aerobic exercise, so you can understand why they are both important for a complete exercise program.
Aerobic exercise uses oxygen as its fuel. It can be done in many ways, including:
- Running on the treadmill or outdoors in the park, around the neighborhood, on a race track, etc;
- Biking outdoors or on a stationary bike;
- Dancing or joining a class of dance exercises such as Zumba, Barre, Jazzercise, Bokwa, Piloxing, pole dancing, etc;
- Playing team sports such as soccer, basketball, handball, football, lacrosse, etc.
If you’re not an outdoor sports enthusiast, you can run on a treadmill at home. You can even find a bargain treadmill for sale that will do a great job in your home.
These types of exercise increase one’s breathing rate and cause the heart to pump more quickly. The heart pumps oxygen-rich blood throughout the body to muscles and other tissues.
The oxygen-rich blood is used to fuel these muscles and tissues, which allows them to move at a higher rate.
Aerobic exercise is great to strengthen the heart and lungs. It increases metabolism, which results in the burning of additional calories and fat.
Evidence also shows that people’s metabolism speeds up for a period of time after doing aerobic exercises.
Aerobic exercise can also increase endorphin levels, which are chemicals that can improve mood. Many people feel a “runner’s high” after running.
Anaerobic actually refers to “without oxygen”. This type of exercise involves intense bursts where oxygen demand exceeds the current supply.
Anaerobic exercise is when oxygen supplies run out and the body uses the glycogen in muscle tissue to fuel its needs.
Glycogen is converted to glucose sugar by glycolysis. Muscles and other tissues then use glucose to generate energy.
Anaerobic exercise is characterized by intense energy bursts. Anaerobic exercise can include:
- Weight lifting;
- Strength training;
- Full bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups, etc;
- High-intensity interval training (HIIT).
Anaerobic exercise can be a great way to increase muscle strength and power.
Healthy muscles can burn more calories at rest than weaker muscles, which helps people lose weight faster.
Strong muscles are able to withstand aerobic exercise, and can also be used for everyday tasks like carrying groceries, lifting grandchildren, or doing yard work.
How Physical Therapy Can Help
Both of these types of exercise can be beneficial for some people, but they might not be able to exercise regularly. A sports injury can occur in some people.
Some people may have difficulty injuring themselves because of arthritis or weak muscles from a sedentary life.
Sometimes, after sustaining a long injury, a person can become deconditioned, meaning that they are no longer in the same physical condition.
No matter the reason, not all people can do anaerobic or aerobic exercise.
A series of physical therapy appointments can be a great help. Individuals who need professional assistance to heal from injuries can be assisted by a physical therapist.
A PT can reduce pain and allow the patient to move more freely. He can also help a patient feel better by introducing stretches to increase range of motion and eventually strengthening exercises to combat weakness.
A trained physical therapist can offer tips and exercises to help patients avoid injury if there are impairments.
Aerobic exercises are light to medium cardio workouts that make you sweat, strengthen your lungs and heart, increase your metabolism, and help you lose weight.
On the other hand, anaerobic exercises increase muscle strength and power. They include weight lifting, strength training, sprints, full bodyweight exercises, and HIIT.
Remember that a complete workout program should include both anaerobic and aerobic exercise. Mix both types of exercise in a workout program and stick to it for the long term!