Aerobic vs Anaerobic Exercise - What is The Difference & Benefits

Aerobic vs Anaerobic Exercise - What is The Difference & Benefits

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Aerobic vs Anaerobic exercise. Knowing one from another is very important to long-term health and squeezing all you can out of every minute you spend sweating for a goal. I will try to provide a definition or explain the differences between both. As well as how or what you can benefit doing one or the other.

Simply put Aerobics are a continuous, steady effort and Anaerobics are mostly a quick burst of activity and then done. Or, you could look at it this way. A football player running a short time for the winning touchdown is using Anaerobics. However, anyone power-walking for an extended period is using Aerobics.

Either method is intense in its own way. We may start out intending a good aerobics session but the longer we go on, the more we need the energy Anaerobics produces. Some keep to an exercise schedule for the joy of it and others to achieve a goal. If you’re the type that truly enjoys a good workout, then Aerobics is probably best for you.

By moving forward with a routine at your own pace, you can keep it up far longer than you could with Anaerobics and that burns a lot of calories.

It all comes down to the fact that “Aerobic and Anaerobic” translates to either the presence or absence of oxygen. It is explained below. When you stop to think that air is fuel your body turns into energy the whole idea is easier to understand. During Aerobics there is sufficient air for muscle cells to function repeatedly with less fatigue. Anaerobics cells must rely on other ways to encourage muscle contraction

Getting a bit too sciency? Perhaps this video of the aerobics championship in the 1980s will cheer you up.


So What Are the Differences Between the Two?

The difference lies in metabolics. Depending on which discipline you are using, the metabolic process is different for each. Aerobics takes more endurance than Anaerobics because it goes on for much longer while Anaerobics are done in quick bursts of intense energy. For example, ice skating, cardio at the gym would be done with Aerobics. While weight lifting, plyometrics or jump training, sprinting would be Anaerobic.

Both produce energy via glycolysis which is the process of converting glucose into pyruvate. Aerobics needs oxygen to make use of the glucose, and Anaerobics needs phosphocreatine which is present in muscle tissue and doesn’t need oxygen to break down glucose.

However, this is not as efficient as Aerobics and that’s why Anaerobics can only be maintained in short bursts of power.

How Do I Benefit from Either Aerobics or Anaerobics?

We already know exercise improves health. Whether your goal is improved health or a career in sports, you need to know the benefits of both to ensure you make the right choice. The following should help to answer any questions you may have about what you can expect to gain from either. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you find out, I know I was.

8 reasons to take Aerobics seriously:

  • Improved Mental Health – Drugs or Mental Health Counselors aren’t always the answer. They have their place in the world but good old-fashioned sweat as in regular exercise has been proven to work wonders with anxiety, depression, and a host of other mental health issues.
  • Blood Pressure Problems – It’s simple, aerobics strengthens the heart muscle and a strong heart doesn’t need to work as hard to pump blood, therefore blood pressure is lowered.
  • Weight Control – When you stick to a regular workout no diet “miracle” on earth can compete with this kind of exercise. Combined with sensible nutrition, Aerobics will help shed the pounds and most other medical conditions that come with carrying more weight than is healthy for you.
  • Increased Metabolism – Burn calories faster before they have a chance to turn into excess weight.
  • Build Up Your Immune System – Sticking to a regular exercise schedule lowers your risk of viral illnesses such as the flu and can even help fight infection. Aerobics slow down the release of hormones known to cause stress. Evidence shows that stress makes it more difficult for your body to fight off infection and other illness.
  • Breast Cancer Risk Is Lowered – Helps lower the number of estrogen-sensitive cells in breast tissue thereby reducing cancer risk.
  • Improved Memory – Scientific studies has shown it improves our memory.
  • Bone Health – The more you put pressure on bones by exercise the more mass they are encouraged to produce. Bones become stronger and this is especially important for those of us who aren’t as young as we once were.

4 reasons in favor of Anaerobics:

  • Promote Muscle Growth – Anaerobics are very intense and this kind of exercise almost forces your muscles to add on bulk.
  • Maintain Muscle Mass and Strength – As we age, this one is really going to count. Did you know that after age 27 you lose muscle at approximately 1% a year? That may not sound like much but picture ten years’ worth of decline!
  • Burn Fat and Strengthen Bones – As with Aerobics, the same applies here. The more you work an area of your body, the stronger it becomes and that includes bones.
  • Excellent Endurance Training – This plus carries over into all areas of your life. Getting through a long day work, hitting a few clubs on the weekend, hunting, etc. Anaerobics ensure your energy levels are up to anything you can think of.



Aerobics or Anaerobics the decision is up to you depending on your fitness goals. You may already be doing one or the other. Or even both without giving much thought about what type it is and how it works. Having knowledge of how each works would certainly help in achieving your goals.

Find a gym in your area or make space in your home to workout.  You would certainly appreciate the benefits both in your young years and the older you become skipping some of the more unpleasant symptoms of ageing that exercise can prevent.

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