What Is The Difference Between Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercises?
Before talking about Aerobic vs Anaerobic Exercises we need to know how our body works for energy.
Your body uses the food you eat as a source of energy that it continuously needs for different activities. During the process, some amount of the energy is used on the spot while the remaining amount is stored either in the form of glycogen or fats. Later on, when the body is not actively producing energy, it uses these reserves to carry on its daily activities.
There is a difference between the ways the body uses to release energy from these components and their uses in various situations. For example, when you are actively engaged in running or cutting the meat, your body has different mechanisms for both activities.
There are two processes for releasing energy from stored glycogen or fats; aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic means the body uses oxygen to produce energy while in anaerobic processes there is no need for oxygen to release energy. The use of each process for the production of energy depends upon the length and potency of the physical activity.
The difference is because of the variations in the muscle fibers that the body uses in various activities. Both aerobic and anaerobic processes act complimentarily while producing energy. However, the aerobic process takes more time compared to the anaerobic system because it requires oxygen to reach the muscle tissues.
The same differences go for aerobic and anaerobic exercises. Aerobic exercises have less intensity and longer duration, the lungs and heart have to work hard for supplying oxygen to muscles.
On the other hand, anaerobic exercises are intense and short. The body needs an immediate supply of energy which comes from the readily available components present in your body and there is no use for oxygen. In short, aerobic exercises produce more energy using oxygen while during anaerobic exercises less energy is produced in a short time.
Want to know more about these two types of exercise? Keep on reading, this article will tell you all the differences between aerobic and anaerobic exercises.
How to define the process
On the basis of the difference between processes involved in aerobic and anaerobic exercises, both can be defined differently.
Word aerobic finds its roots in two Ancient Greek words, “Aero” meaning air, and “bios” meaning life. By definition, aerobic exercise is a type of cardiovascular activity that is capable of increasing breathing and heart rate to enhance the intake of oxygen from the atmosphere for the muscles to burn fuel and produce more energy. It keeps blood circulation smooth and the heart and lungs healthy.
Word anaerobic means “in the absence of oxygen”. This type of physical activity involves the production of energy without using oxygen. During anaerobic exercise, hard and vigorous activities demand an immediate supply of energy. Therefore, there is no time to wait for the supply of extra oxygen to produce the extra energy required.
From breathing to walking, each activity done by the body needs energy for its completion. So where does this energy come from? Cellular respiration is the process of energy production within the body. There are two types of cellular respiration; aerobic and anaerobic. During aerobic respiration, cells use oxygen for energy production while in anaerobic respiration other molecules like iron, sulfur, or carbon dioxide are used for the process.
The same difference goes for aerobic vs anaerobic exercises. During aerobic exercise, your heart rate increases, and you breathe faster for more supply of oxygen. Because oxygen has to travel through blood circulation to reach muscles, therefore your blood vessels widen. Muscles then use this oxygen for the transformation of food into energy. This pathway takes a longer time and produces more energy. The amount of energy produced is 38 ATP molecules per glucose.
On the other hand, during anaerobic exercise body uses lactic or lactic acid anaerobic system to produce energy immediately. These pathways are efficient in producing energy within a few seconds. Although energy production is rapid the amount of energy produced is less i.e. only 2 molecules of ATP per glucose molecule.
Just like the difference between pathways followed for energy production, aerobic and anaerobic exercises also differ in their types. Some examples are given below.
Types of Aerobic Exercise
Examples of aerobic exercises are as follows:
– Walking or Jogging
– Step aerobics
– Stair climbing
– Gym tools like elliptical, workout mirror, free weights, treadmill, etc
– Rope Jumping
You might be familiar with some of the examples mentioned above. In case you are a newbie, take a slow start. Take 10-15 minutes of warm-up before getting started. After that do your favorite activity for 5 minutes, gradually increasing the time daily.
Types of Anaerobic Exercise
Examples of anaerobic exercise are mentioned below:
– Resistance Exercises
– High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
– Bench Presses
Anaerobic exercise is intense and short. This type of physical activity mainly involves fast-twitch muscles. Just like aerobic exercise, it also requires warm-up for at least five minutes. Use variations by going for at least seven to ten different types after specific intervals.
Aerobic exercise focuses mainly on type-1 muscle fibers. Also known as slow oxidative or slow-twitch muscle fibers, their contraction is slow and they use aerobic pathways for the production of energy. These muscle fibers have a rich supply of mitochondria and myoglobin or muscle’s hemoglobin needed for the supply of oxygen. This type of muscle is capable of functioning for a long time without getting fatigued. These muscles are not suitable for sudden movements that require an immediate supply of oxygen.
On the other hand, anaerobic exercise mainly works type-2 or fast-twitch muscle fibers. This type of muscle fiber has less amount of mitochondria and myoglobin, due to which they are lighter in color as compared to their counterpart. These muscle fibers are rich in glycogen, which is used for the quick production of energy. These muscles are involved in short-term and rapid movements and are easily fatigued.
Both types of exercise have different health benefits which are given below:
Benefits of Aerobic Exercise
From better cardiovascular health to positive mental conditions, aerobic exercise has a lot of health benefits. No matter whether you are young, middle-aged, or old, regular aerobic exercise will keep your lungs, heart, and blood circulation healthy, help you in controlling weight and reduce your anxiety. There are many other health benefits of aerobic exercise as discussed below:
According to American Heart Association, an adult needs at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of intense aerobic activity every week to improve cardiovascular health. This is because aerobic exercise works your heart muscles and strengthens them. A strong heart does not have to work hard in order to pump blood efficiently.
Furthermore, it also widens your blood vessels and clears them by increasing High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol and reducing the amount of Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol. In this way, aerobic exercise is effective in improving your cardiovascular health.
Blood Sugar Level
Aerobic exercise lowers blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of type-2 diabetes by enhancing insulin sensitivity. Increased insulin sensitivity means the body needs less insulin for controlling blood sugar levels.
According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine aerobic exercise is as effective in lowering blood pressure as medicines. Controlling blood pressure decreases the risk of a heart attack.
Aerobic exercise is good in creating a caloric deficit by burning more calories. In this way, it is excellent for controlling weight.
If you are facing difficulties in sleeping at night or having insomnia, aerobic exercise is the best option for you. In accordance with a recent study aerobic exercise can induce sleep effectively in insomniac patients.
A healthy and efficient immune system is what you need to combat diseases. Research shows that aerobic exercise helps increase the number of specific types of antibodies known as immunoglobulins hence improving your immune system.
According to researchers, aerobic exercise can improve your cognitive ability by reducing brain tissue loss.
Aerobic exercise is excellent in lessening chronic pain by enhancing muscle endurance and reducing weight.
Apart from the benefits mentioned above, aerobic exercise is also effective in reducing asthma attacks, improving mood, increasing stamina, alleviating physical functioning, preventing dementia, and enhancing lifespan.
Benefits of Anaerobic Exercise
From increasing bone strength to enhancing metabolism, anaerobic exercise is can benefit you in many ways. Being an intense fitness regime, it is also an excellent way of strengthening and building muscles. Here are some of the common benefits of anaerobic exercise:
Anaerobic exercise is better than any other type of workout in increasing bone strength and density and prepares you for combating osteoporosis.
Muscle Strength and Mass
It is an intense activity and works your muscles hard hence increasing muscle strength and amount of muscle tissues.
Anaerobic exercise helps boost your metabolic rate by adding lean muscle tissues to your body. The increased amount of lean muscles means more calories to burn which ultimately leads to higher metabolism.
Anaerobic exercise is also excellent in improving joint health by supporting muscles and ligaments. In this way, it also protects them from any injury.
Anaerobic exercise is more efficient in burning belly fat as compared to aerobic exercise. It does so by increasing metabolic rate and testosterone level in aged people.
It enhances energy production in your body by increasing glycogen storage.
Just like aerobic exercise, anaerobic exercise also lowers the risk of chronic diseases by improving insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism. It also improves your body mass index, cardiovascular health, and blood pressure.
Anaerobic exercise has a significant role in lessening the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Along with the benefits mentioned above, anaerobic exercise also enhances power, escalates the lactic acid threshold, improves posture, lowers high blood pressure, and increases mineral density.
There is no doubt about many beneficial aspects of both aerobic and anaerobic exercises. However, as with any other activity, there are some risk factors that come with both. Some of them are mentioned below. Note that these risk factors are also different for both aerobic and anaerobic exercises.
Before starting aerobic exercise, you should ask your doctor’s opinion if you have any heart problems, high blood pressure, cardiovascular condition, or recently recovered from a heart stroke.
On the other hand, anaerobic exercise is high-intensity physical activity. Therefore, before going ahead, make sure that your physical fitness is well enough to cope with this demanding exercise regimen. You should also talk to your doctor if you have any underlying health conditions before getting started on anaerobic exercise.
Exercise is essential for living a healthy lifestyle. People who are regular exercisers know that there are two types of training; aerobic and anaerobic. From energy expenditure to benefits, both the types are different from each other in many aspects.
Whether you are into aerobic or anaerobic exercise, your genome is the crucial factor in determining the outcome of the practice. Your genetic sequence decides if your body’s response to a specific type of workout is sudden or slow.
That is why for some people, it is easy to achieve their fitness target quickly, while others find it difficult. Hence, you need to conduct a DNA health test to accomplish your health goals by doing exercise.
The HealthCodes DNA fitness test will help you determine whether your body will respond to aerobic or anaerobic exercise based on your genetics. Similarly, it will also tell you about the exercise regimen that does not work for you.
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Your results will be generated and sent to you within three weeks. These results will come in digital and print format with client-friendly instructions. The resulting kit will include custom workout and diet plans created by your unique genetics using high-quality genetic testing technology.