Regular physical activity in the form of exercise is important for one’s well being. People of all ages can benefit from regular exercise not only for increased energy and better stamina but also for a longer, healthier life. Exercising is also an effective way to lose weight, improve mood, and promote sleep.
There are basically two types of exercise, namely aerobic and anaerobic exercise. There has always been a debate between these two types of exercise as to which type yields better results in overall fitness and some prefer to do both just to be on the safe side.
Difference Between Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise
Aerobic means “with air” and involves exercises that use oxygen as fuel for the muscles. Aerobic exercises are usually light to moderate in intensity and can be done for extended periods. Fats in the body are burned up during aerobic exercise and oxygen through breathing provides the energy needed during exercise. Examples of aerobic exercise include jogging, cycling, and distance running. Yoga is also believed to be a form of aerobic exercise although this is still under debate.
Anaerobic means “without air” and involves exercises that use glucose as the main source of fuel for the muscles. Anaerobic exercises are high in intensity and can only be done for short periods. Fatty acids in the body are unable to break down fast enough to fuel anaerobic exercises which is why glycogen stores in the body are used up instead. Examples of anaerobic exercise include weightlifting, rowing, and sprinting.
Aerobic Exercise vs. Anaerobic Exercise – Know the Better Option
Aerobic exercise results in improved blood circulation, stronger lungs, and healthier heart. High-intensity aerobic exercises such as jogging can also promote bone growth and prevent osteoporosis. The long term benefits one can get from aerobic exercises make it a better choice when it comes to achieving better health in the long run.
Anaerobic exercise, on the other hand, focuses more on building muscle. Muscular strength may be more important in certain sports and activities but are not of much help in the long term. Anaerobic exercise doesn’t develop stamina which can make it difficult to handle physical activity once an individual get older.
Pro’s of Aerobic Exercise
Aerobic exercises mainly improve one’s circulatory and cardiovascular systems. It improves heart and lung function by increasing the volume of blood pumped in the body and the amount of oxygen supplied to tissues and cells. It can also be good for individuals at risk of developing heart disease as aerobic exercise can help lower resting blood pressure, increase HDL or good cholesterol levels, and decrease triglyceride levels in the blood. Aerobic exercise is also ideal for individuals who wish to achieve weight loss or reduce their body fat. Diabetics can also benefit from doing regular aerobic exercises as it helps reduce resistance to insulin and improves glucose tolerance.
Considerations for Exercise
The American Heart Association recommends exercising for at least 30 minutes per day, 5 days a week. Walking is an aerobic exercise that benefits the heart and can help you burn extra calories. For older people and those with existing health conditions, it may be necessary to consult with a doctor first before starting an exercise regimen.
Proper warm up and cool down before and after exercise is important to avoid straining the muscles. Always start with low intensity exercises first and gradually move on to medium and high intensity ones. Exercising is a fun activity that benefits the body physically, emotionally, mentally, and sexually for overall well being. You don’t have to go to the gym just to exercise and it can be done with other people to make it more enjoyable.