If you have been struggling to lose weight and get in shape, you may have been doing quite a bit of research into the different types of workouts that you could incorporate into your beginner exercise routine in order to get better and faster results. And you might have come across terms like aerobic and anaerobic exercise for fat burning. But what do these terms mean, and how can incorporating these different types of exercise help you achieve your weight loss goals? To help you out, we have gathered some information below on the difference between aerobic exercise and anaerobic exercise. Keep these tips in mind as you work on developing an exercise routine that will really deliver the results you want.
What is Aerobic Exercise?
Aerobic exercise, which is also commonly referred to as cardio, is a type of exercise that works on getting the body moving and the heart pumping faster. By doing so, more oxygen can be pumped via the blood throughout the body, supporting tissues and organs along the way.
When you perform an aerobic exercise, you will notice that your heart rate increases along with your breathing rate. The goal is to maintain that elevated heart rate and breathing rate for a safe period of time in order to boost your body’s ability to burn calories and fat for fuel, leading to increased weight loss.
Popular aerobic exercises include those that you can do on a machine at the gym, such as running on a treadmill or using a stationary bike. However, you could also get a great cardio session in by going for a run outside, by swimming, or by hiking. Kickboxing, skiing, and other physical activities are also great ways to get your heart pumping and your breathing rate up for a sustained amount of time. If you want, there are even a variety of aerobics classes that you can take, such as those that are focused on incorporating dance moves.
Why bother focusing on aerobic exercises? Well, they could help reduce or prevent the odds of developing certain diseases, they could improve your overall fitness level, and they could boost your emotional health as well.
What is Anaerobic Exercise?
Anaerobic workouts get you to work at your maximum level of exertion. These are high intensity workouts, such as weight lifting and sprinting.
With anaerobic exercise, oxygen doesn’t play the same role as it does in aerobic exercise. Instead, whenever you exercise anaerobically, your body uses glycogen as fuel. And once all of your glycogen has been used, you basically hit a wall and can’t go further. It is for this reason that endurance athletes will help their bodies keep going for longer by eating a lot of carbs before their workout, as those carbs could be converted into sugar that will provide additional energy.
Also, while you are performing an anaerobic workout, your body will build up what is known as lactic acid. That causes you to feel fatigue and discomfort when you push your body for too long, so anaerobic workouts are focused on moving your body in short bursts. High intensity interval training is a great example, as the goal is to push your body and then back off before pushing your body again.
There are several benefits that come with anaerobic workouts, particularly when it comes to building lean muscle mass. Also, calories tend to be burned in a more efficient manner with this type of exercise, making it a great choice for those who wish to lose weight or maintain their healthy weight. You will also notice that anaerobic workouts get your body into a state of burning more calories even while you are at rest, in addition to building up your strength and endurance.
Aerobic vs. Anaerobic Exercise
There are a few differences between aerobic and anaerobic exercise, and some of them are listed below:
- While aerobic exercises are designed to stimulate the breathing rate and heart rate and keep them elevated, anaerobic exercises are designed to get you to feel as though you are out of breath quickly. So rather than jogging for a few miles like you would during an aerobic workout, you would focus on sprinting for an anaerobic routine. In other words, a sprinter would be performing an anaerobic workout, while a marathoner would be doing an aerobic exercise.
- Aerobic exercise involves a low to moderate amount of exertion that could be sustained over a longer period of time. Anaerobic exercise involves high amounts of exertion during short bursts of activity with short periods of rest in between.
- The presence or absence of oxygen is also a differentiator between aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Most of the cells in your body actually prefer getting energy from oxygen that fuels metabolism. When you exercise aerobically, there is plenty of oxygen available for fuel, so the muscles can work without getting too tired. But during anaerobic workouts, your muscle cells have to rely upon other reactions, so they don’t just use oxygen for fuel. That creates waste molecules in cells, and that could cause fatigue more quickly.
Fun fact: An aerobic workout could actually become an anaerobic routine if it is performed at too high of an intensity.
Which Burns Fat Faster?
There is a bit of debate over which type of exercise—aerobic or anaerobic—is the best fat burner. The truth is that both of these forms of exercise are able to burn fat because they help boost your metabolism and keep it elevated for hours after you are done working out. While aerobic exercises boost cardiac health and stamina, anaerobic workouts help you gain lean muscles while burning fat, so the balance of both really is best.
Some experts, however, believe that you could lose weight more quickly when you focus on anaerobic exercise. As long as you take steps to be mindful during your workouts in order to prevent injuries, and as long as you do not perform anaerobic workouts on consecutive days so that your body can properly recover, you should find that you are able to build more muscle and burn plenty of calories.
Although there are a few big differences between aerobic and anaerobic exercise, they are both extremely beneficial to your health and fitness. Achieving the right balance between these two workout routines could help you lose fat, build muscle, and improve your endurance.