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The word “aerobic” simply means with oxygen and the word “anaerobic” means without. So what does that mean for your exercises. It just means that when you’re doing aerobic exercise, there is enough oxygen intake to sustain the activity you’re doing without using any other energy source. This is the opposite of anaerobic exercise, where oxygen isn’t a sufficient source for energy, which causes the muscles rely on other sources for energy, causing your body begin to break down sugars.

Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise

Another simple way to show the difference between aerobic and anaerobic is to think of aerobic exercise as light, sustainable activity like jump roping or jogging, whereas anaerobic exercise would be more along the lines of sprinting, using high bursts of energy for a short amount of time.

When hearing conversations about anaerobic exercise, you may come across dialogue about high intensity interval training. What high-intensity interval training is an exercise strategy that focuses on alternating short, but intense periods of anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods.

Why do you need both?

Aerobic Exercise…

  • burns fat
  • increases endurance
  • strengthens cardiac health
  • reduces the risk of diabetes

Some types of aerobic exercise

  • walking/jogging
  • swimming
  • biking
  • boxing
  • cycling
  • dancing

Anaerobic Exercise

  • builds lean muscle mass
  • burns calories more efficiently
  • helps weight management
  • builds endurance

Some types of anaerobic exercise

  • sprinting
  • weight lifting
  • hill climbing
  • box jumps
  • medicine ball throws
  • swimming sprints

As you can see, there are many benefits to including both aerobic and anaerobic exercise into your workout routine. While this is true, different body types and skill levels may need more of one and less of the other to see the most effective results. Talk to a personal trainer, or head to our contact page to get some more personalized advice on learning more about what exercise routines are right for you.

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