Exercise plays an important role in keeping us healthy. Running on a treadmill or lifting weights is not exercising. Each exercise has a specific technique and is highly beneficial.

Two most talked about exercises are aerobic and anaerobic. In this article, we will understand the difference between the two. Whether you are a professional or a beginner, detailed understanding between these basic exercises will help you choose as per your desired fitness goal.

Aerobic exercises are also known as cardiovascular or cardio exercise. Aerobic represents “with oxygen”. Under aerobics, our body primarily utilises oxygen. To perform such exercises, the energy produced in our body via oxygen is enough to meet the increased demands while working out. It increases the heart rate and rapid breathing for a sustained period of time.  Examples are jogging, running, cycling and swimming. Since there is a continuous supply of oxygen for energy production, we can workout for a long time.

Aerobics is beneficial for losing weight, they improve our metabolic rate, maintains our cholesterol levels, blood pressure levels in check, and improves our blood circulation, strengthens our heart, the functioning of the lungs and immune health. Aerobic training is excellent for building endurance and stamina. It reduces the risk of developing diabetes and elevates our mood. Aerobics promote fat and carbohydrates burning.

Anaerobic exercise involves short duration exercise but demands extreme efforts. Examples include weightlifting, powerlifting and sprinting. Anaerobic indicates “without oxygen” and during these exercises, the demand for energy is higher than supply therefore our body utilises stored form of glucose as well, i.e, glycogen to derive energy. It can also be called as High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Anaerobic exercise utilises fast-twitch muscles more than slow-twitch, which are primarily used during aerobic training. This type of exercise is majorly performed to build muscles and lose fat. Other potential benefits include strong bones and improved stamina. Anaerobic training demands immediate-short bursts of energy and one can get tired easily. Clinical tests indicate that athletes who perform anaerobic exercises have high blood lactate levels. Such exercises should be carefully planned and performed under an expert, certified professional or trainer. This is needed to prevent injuries.

To sum up, both aerobic and anaerobic exercises are beneficial for our health. As per the American Heart Association, an adult should do at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise to stay healthy. In case of high-intensity exercises, at least 25 minutes of exercise.  Such exercises can be chosen as per the desired fitness goal and body type - Ectomorph, Mesomorph and Endomorph.

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