Aerobic vs Anaerobic Exercise – What’s The Difference & Is One Better Than The Other?

There seems to be a debate on whether aerobic exercise or anaerobic exercise is better. Truth is – it just depends on you, your goals and your fitness level. Chances are some will swear by one type of exercise while someone else will swear by another. My take on aerobic vs anaerobic – why not both.

Aerobic vs Anaerobic Exercise

Wouldn’t this be a great gym to workout in. Apparently the price for a membership isn’t too cheap, note the empty room.

To better understand the benefits that both aerobic and anaerobic exercises offer, we need to actually know what the terms mean and how they apply to exercising.

Aerobic Exercise Defined

Aerobic can be summed up as meaning “with oxygen,” so aerobic exercises uses oxygen to produce energy.

Aerobic Exercise

aerobic [ai-roh-bik] 1. Relating to, involving or requiring free oxygen.
2. Relating to or denoting exercise that improves or is intended to improve the efficiency of the body’s cardiovascular system in absorbing and transporting oxygen.

When it comes to aerobic exercise, you generally think of spending anywhere from 20-90 minutes performing an exercise, whether it’s on a stationary bike, an elliptical machine, a treadmill or even walking & jogging.

Benefits of Aerobic Exercise

There are many advantages to incorporating an aerobic vs anaerobic exercise into virtually any workout routine. In addition to weight loss and the overall cardiovascular & circulatory benefits, aerobic exercises improve your immune system, reduce certain risks such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and even some types of cancer.

Anaerobic Defined

Anaerobic can be summed up as meaning “without oxygen,” so anaerobic exercises requires the body to produce energy which essentially comes from glycogen (carbohydrates).

Anaerobic Exercise

anaerobic [an-ai -roh-bik] 1. Relating to, involving or requiring an absence of free oxygen.
2. Relating to or denoting exercise that does not improve or is not intended to improve the efficiency of the body’s cardiovascular system in absorbing and transporting oxygen.

Anaerobic exercise generally involve weight lifting, resistance training and even high intensity interval training. While preforming an anaerobic exercise, you are exerting yourself for no more than 2 minutes.

Benefits of Anaerobic Exercise

The advantages to doing anaerobic vs aerobic exercises are great as well. Resistance training not only builds muscle and bone density, it reduces body fat and even improves your cardiovascular health. It is important to include some type of anaerobic exercises into any workout routine.

Aerobic vs Anaerobic Exercise – The Verdict

In the end, I really wouldn’t say that one is better than the other. To get the maximum benefits of each type of exercise you should be doing both. Generally, my workoutsinclude both anaerobic and aerobic exercises. Some choose not to do cardio and resistance training on the same day, but I find that to be what works best for me.