Health & Science Behind Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise!

Pledge to Fitness: Aerobic and anaerobic exercise

Aerobic and anaerobic exercise routines are excellent forms of physical activity. Do you know the differences between each to take your fitness to the next level? Exercising regularly benefits the body and mind and decreases your risk for diseases. At Pledge To Fitness, we recommend physical activity as a balanced exercise routine, among other healthy lifestyle choices. The American Psychological Association notes that exercise of any type is beneficial for mental and physical health. All types of exercise will benefit your health. 

Are you aware of your oxygen consumption when working out?  Your muscles have enough oxygen to produce the energy needed to perform during aerobic “with oxygen” exercise and increase your cardiovascular endurance.  Anaerobic “without oxygen” exercise leads to a buildup of lactic acid, causing you to stop exercising since your body can’t supply enough oxygen to the muscles during exercise.  Anaerobic exercise will mainly increase our muscle strength.

What are the two training types good for?

Are you looking for a stronger and more efficient heart and lungs and increasing your endurance?  Then, our Pledge To Fitness trainers will focus more on your aerobic training.  We know that anaerobic exercise is more intense than aerobic exercise, typically between 80 – 90% of your maximum heart rate, and is fantastic to improve your fitness levels once you achieve a baseline aerobic level of fitness.  Anaerobic exercise increases muscle mass and strength.

Here are the main differences between aerobic and anaerobic exercise:

  • how the body uses stored energy
  • the intensity of the exercise
  • the length of time that a person can maintain the exercise

The World Health Organization recommends doing both aerobic and anaerobic exercise weekly. Their general recommendations for healthy adults aged 18-64 include:

  1. At least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.
  2. Aerobic activities should be performed in bouts of at least 10 minutes duration.
  3. Additional health benefits, such as even further improvement of bone health and muscular and cardiorespiratory fitness, and reduced risk of depression.
  4. Muscle-strengthening should include all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, chest, shoulders, and arms, etc.) on two or more days a week.

Are you older than 65?  We recommended that those with poor mobility should perform physical activity to enhance balance and prevent falls on three or more days per week.

What Is Aerobic Exercise?

Generally, we refer to aerobic exercise interchangeably as cardio or endurance work. You should always do a certain amount (20-30 minutes) of background aerobic work daily to maintain optimal cardiovascular health, so we always push that idea to our clients. This can be done on a cardio machine or outdoors. It can be playing with your kids as long as your heart rate increases for a significant amount of time. Additionally, your small blood vessels get wider and can carry more oxygen to your large muscle groups, like arms and legs.

Health Benefits of Aerobic Exercise

There are numerous benefits for your health, including increases in your heart and breathing rate and boosted blood circulation. Your body releases endorphins, brain chemicals that help you feel relaxed. Therefore, in addition to improving a person’s cardiovascular health, other health benefits of aerobic exercise routines include:

  • assisting in weight management by helping you lose weight and keep it off
  • reducing your risk of a heart attack, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, or a stroke
  • may help lower, and control blood pressure 
  • may increase your stamina and reduce fatigue during exercise
  • stimulating the immune systems and making you less likely to get colds or the flu
  • Improving or boosting your mood and reducing your risk for depression
  • Improve your sleep patterns and also help lower stress levels

Types of Aerobic Exercises

Running, jogging, hiking, or walking, especially at a brisk pace Swimming Rowing
Step aerobics or Stair climbing Cycling or biking Jumping rope
Using cardio machines like a treadmill or elliptical Dancing Skiing 

Risks of Aerobic Exercises

Have you been living with a pre-existing health condition or recovering from a stroke or heart attack?  At Pledge To Fitness, we recommend getting your doctor’s approval, especially if they have specific recommendations to ease into a regular exercise regime.  They don’t want to see a patient put unnecessary stress by jumping into long-duration, high-intensity aerobic exercise.

When starting any routine, you should consider your age, physical fitness, disabilities, and personal goals that impact the amount, intensity, and type of exercise. Still, in any case, any type or amount of physical activity is much better than nothing. 

Aerobic Weight Loss

If you want to lose weight while exercising, aerobic exercise routines remove fat from your cells to produce muscle energy. Remember to burn more calories than you eat.  

What Is Anaerobic Exercise?

Do you like strength training and high-intensity, short-duration workouts?  Are you looking to enhance your muscle power, strength, and size?  You enjoy using your fast-twitch muscle fibers to carry out short bursts of high-powered exercises.  Anaerobic exercises will build muscle mass and power through stretching, contraction, and muscle damage during the exercise. You push your body to work at your highest level of effort. Anaerobic exercises have these characteristics:

  • carried out for 2-3 minutes at a time, and then your body will require a break so you “catch your breath”
  • don’t need an increase in the absorption and transport of oxygen
  • body uses glucose and creates a buildup of lactic acid in the muscles
  • demand more energy from the body in a shorter time frame

In anaerobic exercise routines, your body will undergo recomposition, meaning dropping fat and adding muscle. To track your progress, measure fat loss instead of weight loss, as muscle is denser and takes up less space for a given weight.

Benefits of Anaerobic Exercises

Here are the key benefits of anaerobic exercise:

Lose body fat  Gain or maintain muscle mass, especially as you age Increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis
Increases stamina for daily activities like hiking, dancing, or playing with kids Improves blood glucose control, which helps your body use insulin and blood sugar more efficiently.   Better VO2 max: VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen your body uses for energy during intense exercise
Shorter workouts while still boosting your health to save time in your busy schedule More muscle power Regular resistance training can improve muscle strength

Risks of Anaerobic Exercise

This is not recommended for beginners or those coming back from a long term illness.  At Pledge to Fitness, we recommend getting your doctor’s approval before adding anaerobic workouts to your routine. We can help you create an anaerobic program based on your medical history and goals, especially if you are in recovery from an injury. Our fitness professionals can also demonstrate the correct exercise techniques for preventing injuries. 

Types of Anaerobic Exercises

When performing muscle-strengthening exercises, remember to work out all the muscle groups rather than focusing only on the upper or lower body.  Examples of anaerobic exercises include

High-intensity interval training (HIIT)  Weight lifting Calisthenics, such as jumps and squats
Sprinting Bodyweight exercises (e.g. push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges) Resistance band exercises
Plyometrics Circuit Training Quick Explosive Runs

Benefits of Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise

The benefits of aerobic and anaerobic exercise encompass physical, mental, and emotional health. Including each into an exercise program and being physically active helps:

Support a healthy metabolism Assist in weight loss and maintenance goals Build strength and muscle mass
Reduce overall body fat Heighten heart and lung capacity and function Bolster the immune system to ward off illness and infection
Increase bone mineral density, in turn protecting from bone loss and fractures Improve glucose tolerance and blood sugar regulation Lend greater feelings of self-confidence and self-esteem

Pledge To Fitness Perspective

At Pledge To Fitness, we work in different monthly Phases: Stability, Endurance, Hypertrophy, and Strength. This is in order, but we may perform certain phases more frequently as time goes on depending on our client’s goals (more hypertrophy and strength focus when building mass, more endurance, and stability when losing mass).

A client can spend a whole session working in an aerobic state when they are inside their Endurance Phase. Stability is a combination of aerobic and anaerobic. Hypertrophy and strength are mainly anaerobic, with aerobics only playing a small role in the warm-up. Even when working in mainly anaerobic phases, cardio outside of sessions remains for general health reasons and to promote a lean physique even while increasing overall mass.  How we “program” clients’ long-term workout plans, also known as putting their “programming” together, we tailor everything to their specific goals. 

We believe that it is better to exercise than skip that workout and combine both aerobic and anaerobic exercise to achieve your fitness goals.  Both types provide health benefits and help keep you physically fit.  Let us build a program designed to challenge you and have fun while on the way to your goals. We are here to talk to you, push you through your workouts, and keep you moving!

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