Aerobic Vs. Anaerobic Exercise

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

When I was in gym class in high school, I would have liked to learn the difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercising. Both were presented as “good for you” with little differentiation between running and weight training. I would have liked some more detail.

Aerobic exercises tend to be the kind of things that workout videos concentrate on. Jumping around, walking, running, riding your bike, working out on an elliptical trainer and dancing. They are exercises that can be performed continuously for a long duration, usually at moderate intensity. Aerobic exercise builds endurance and is said to be helpful for strengthening the heart. When most people are saying they’re going to start exercising, they usually mean some form of aerobic exercise.

For a more detailed article about aerobic exercise, see this Wikipedia entry:

Anaerobic exercise is something that usually can’t be maintained for more than a minute or two. The act of lifting weights is considered anaerobic exercise. For more detailed information, here are a couple of Wikipedia articles:

When we talk about losing weight, aerobic activity is usually suggested far more than anaerobic activity, but both are important. Weight training can increase your muscle mass, making you burn more calories naturally. Aerobic exercise burns more calories than the same amount of time weight training. I’ve seen people lose weight with both activities and it really depends on what you enjoy and are willing to do on a regular basis.


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