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Aerobic vs. Anaerobic Exercise

Good morning! This week a client asked me to explain the difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise. I figured others may want a quick(ish) explanation as well. Here goes!

Aerobic and anaerobic exercise are both beneficial to your body!!!

Aerobic exercise is any physical activity that increases your breathing and heart rate. It involves using large muscle groups to move your body for a sustained period of time. The word aerobic means “with oxygen”.  During aerobic activity, your muscles use oxygen to fuel them. Examples are steady-state movement like walking, hiking, jogging and running, resistance training, cycling, swimming, rowing and dancing.

Anaerobic exercise refers to physical activity that you can only maintain for a short period. It involves quick burst of high-intensity movement. When you exercise, your muscles need more oxygen to sustain the movement. But when you do anaerobic exercise, your muscles work so hard that your heart and lungs can’t keep up. The word anaerobic means “without oxygen”. Your body doesn’t use oxygen for energy during anaerobic exercise. Instead, your body utilizes energy stored in your muscles. Examples are High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), lifting heavy weight, sprinting, plyometrics, burpees, and jumping. 

There are many benefits to both aerobic and anaerobic exercise - reduced risk of chronic illness, improved blood circulation, less stress, weight management, better sleep, and improved mood. But there are unique benefits to anaerobic exercise such as better VO2 max (the amount of oxygen your body uses for energy during intense exercise), increases to muscle power, mass and strength, improvement to blood glucose control, and boosting your health in a shorter amount of time.

Which is right for you? If you’re new to exercise, you may want to start with a beginner-friendly aerobic workout. But if you exercise regularly, shorter, more intense workouts are exactly what you should incorporate into your weekly movement. Anaerobic exercise can be difficult at first, particularly if you’re exerting yourself in a way you haven’t done before. Your body will adapt and become easier, as you continue doing anaerobic exercises though. It’s recommended that adults do anaerobic activities at least two days a week to improve cardiovascular health. A combo of aerobic and anaerobic wins!!

A great way to determine aerobic from anaerobic exercise is to use the talk test. Check out sweet graphic!!

SoulShine Schedule for this week - please sign up!! :):)

Monday: HIIT @ The Little Theater and on Zoom - 8:15-9:15 am

Tuesday: Power Yoga @ The Little Theater and on Zoom - 8:15-9:15 am

Wednesday: Cardio Dance @ The Little Theater and on Zoom - 5:15-6 pm

Thursday: PiYo @ The Athletic Club and on Zoom - 12-1 pm

Friday: HIIT @ The Little Theater and on Zoom - 8:15-9:15 am

Looking forward to moving with you this week,

Jode xo



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