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Aerobic vs Anaerobic exercises

Aerobic vs Anaerobic exercises

Exercises are broadly classified into aerobic and anaerobic exercises. Common people often get confused as to which category of exercises are suitable for them. Though both these categories are beneficial for health, the difference lies in the manner in, which the body utilizes energy from these exercises. Which type of exercise is better for overall fitness or weight loss is still debatable. Both kinds of exercises are important but it is vital to know the differences as some are not suited for all types of people.

Aerobic exercises

Aerobic exercises broadly refer to all kinds of rhythmic exercises that can utilize large muscle groups. The activities commonly classified as aerobic exercises include endurance activities that need physical fitness and minimal skills. It may include a range of activities like water acrobatics, cycling, and walking. Moreover, there are aerobic exercises that include spinning, jogging, running, dancing, and even exercises classified as ‘elliptical’. Some form of sports exercises includes recreative sports like hiking, soccer, basketball, and racquet sports. Skipping, stair climbing, and step aerobics are also categorized as aerobic exercises.

In aerobic exercises, the term ‘aerobic’ means ‘with oxygen’. During aerobic exercises, people often pump oxygenated blood into working muscles to burn body fuel. Body fuel may include both carbohydrates and fats. The common term used for aerobic exercises is cardio.

Benefits of aerobic exercises

Aerobic exercise can be beneficial for health because it improves cardiovascular health and is advocated by the American Heart Association. These types of exercises increase blood flow and help in fighting cholesterol levels. Aerobic exercises help in lowering blood pressure and controlling high blood pressure. Blood sugar regulation can be done with the help of aerobic exercises. Moreover, insulin levels can be controlled under desirable conditions. Aerobic exercises are not only beneficial for the heart but are also good for breathing. It also reduces asthma symptoms. The exercises are always beneficial for minimizing chronic pain, especially in joints. Aerobic exercises can help minimize pain and improves both muscular function and patience. Sleep deprivation can be successfully overcome with aerobic exercises. Cardiovascular exercises can help in regular exercises and are effective for combatting insomnia. Weight regulation and weight loss can be done with the help of aerobic exercises. Empowering the immune system can be done with the help of aerobic exercises. These type of exercises increases immunity by increasing certain antibodies which are called immunoglobins. Brain power considerably increases due to aerobic exercises. After conducting thorough research, it has been found that brain power increases along with cognitive performance. Aerobic exercise boosts mood and is good for mental health. Mental health ailments like depression can be reduced considerably with the help of aerobic exercise. The risk of falling is also reduced because of aerobic exercises. Aerobic exercises are easier compared to anaerobic and people of all age groups can do them safely. Even kids can and should do any one of the main aerobic exercises. Aerobic exercises are cheaper and more accessible, unlike anaerobic exercises.

Anaerobic exercises

It broadly refers to all kinds of exercises in which energy is concentrated for building muscles. These exercises are mostly used for body and muscle building. Anaerobic exercises include sprinting, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and weightlifting. These exercises help in fueling energy by contracting muscles.

In ‘anaerobic exercise’ the term ‘anaerobic’ means without oxygen. This type of exercise needs oxygenated blood which is necessary for disintegrating carbohydrates into glucose. The body does not rely on oxygen and people doing anaerobic exercises do it for a short time. In sharp contrast to aerobic exercises, anaerobic exercises emphasize muscle building. Muscle fibers can improve considerably with the help of hypertrophy. Hypertrophy is the direct outcome of anaerobic exercises. Muscle building can only happen due to contraction, stretch, and damage of fibers. Moreover, these exercises can also increase both bone mass and density. Mood can be enhanced and self-esteem can improve with the help of anaerobic exercises.

Benefits of anaerobic exercises

Anaerobic exercises are beneficial in burning fat, increasing muscular development, strengthening bones, and helps in retaining muscular mass. By increasing both bone strength and density, anaerobic exercises help in curbing the chances of osteoporosis. Proper weight can be maintained with the help of anaerobic exercises. The reason is that with these exercises, one empowers the body to control lactic acid properly. These forms of exercises play a vital role in increasing the strength of the body because it strengthens bones. In a study conducted in 2008, it was found that baseball players doing sprints at least thrice a week observed their muscular power increase by around 15 percent. Lactic acid threshold and fatigue are directly interrelated. The anaerobic exercises help in reducing fatigue by increasing the lactic acid threshold. This naturally enables a person to do more intense workouts for longer periods. Regular anaerobic exercises make individuals healthier thereby minimizing their chances of becoming ill. The probability of suffering from chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiac diseases reduces substantially if a person chooses anaerobic exercises. Muscular strength contrary to popular beliefs lies in the joints and not in the muscles. These exercises help in ensuring that the muscles are better protected and are harder and less vulnerable to injuries. The most intense anaerobic exercise is perhaps High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). In this form of exercise, all forms of muscle fibers are engaged such that it is optimally beneficial for the whole body. HIIT usually lasts for around 30 minutes but it can be lesser depending on the age of the individual.

Which is better?

It is hard to say which is better because fitness goals vary among individuals. Aerobic exercises are better suited for reducing weight and improving cardiovascular health. Anaerobic exercises are better suited for muscle building and reducing body fat. As far as suitability for all age groups is concerned, aerobic exercises are more suitable for all age groups because they are less intense. Anaerobic exercises are not usually recommended for weak and infirm individuals.