Aerobic or Anaerobic Exercise? Which Do You Need More? 

Aerobic or Anaerobic Exercise? Which Do You Need More? 

Regular exercises are vital to one’s health. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, physical activities like exercises can boost your mental health, help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of diseases, and improve your everyday life. 

An ideal exercise routine should include all kinds of exercise. It includes Aerobic Exercise and Anaerobic Exercise options. 

But factors like age, personal goals, and fitness conditions can affect the exercise that suits you well. 

Find out which of these exercise types will work best for your body and what makes them different from each other by reading the rest of the article. 

Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercises: What Are These? 

Need help with these types of exercises? Here are some common definitions of aerobic and anaerobic workouts. 


Aerobic Exercises 

The endurance-type workouts belong to the aerobic exercise category. It requires you to move your muscles in a coordinated and rhythmic form continuously.

These types of physical activity require the body’s use of oxygen to produce energy. 

Also called cardio training, aerobic exercise includes training that boosts your heart’s condition. It also increases your heart and breathing rates to provide more oxygen to the muscles. 

Some examples include walking, running, swimming, or cycling. 

Benefits of Aerobic Exercise

There are plenty of health benefits of cardio to your body, including the following: 

  • Helps enhance cardiovascular conditioning
  • Decreases blood pressure 
  • Lowers heart disease risks
  • Boost good cholesterol (HDL) level
  • Reduces resting heart rate

Studies also discovered that aerobic activities could benefit people with asthma since they can reduce the recurrence and severity of the attacks.

Other research also claimed that aerobic exercises could help strengthen the immune system

Risks of Aerobic Activities

While most people could benefit from aerobic exercises, it would be best to consult a doctor before starting any aerobic routine if you have the following condition: 

  • Have a preexisting cardiovascular problem like high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, or blood clots
  • Recuperating from a stroke or other cardiac event
  • At the risk of having any cardiovascular condition

If you have any of these risks, your doctor may suggest a specific exercise routine or recommend sensible restrictions to help you gradually ease into regular aerobic activities. 

Aerobic or Anaerobic Exercise? Which Do You Need More? 

Anaerobic Exercises 

All physical activities you can perform for a short period belong to the anaerobic exercise category. 

When performing these exercises, the muscles in your body work extra hard during high-intensity movements. 

It will result in getting additional excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). It requires the body to replenish its oxygen supplies after the intense workout, thus burning more calories. 

Some popular examples of anaerobic exercises include heavy weightlifting, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), sprinting, squat jumps, plyometrics, and box jumps. 

Benefits of Anaerobic Exercise

While most of the benefits provided by aerobic exercises also apply to anaerobic activities, there are other unique perks you can get from intense workouts, such as: 

  • Getting more muscle power - A study learned that anaerobic training could help boost muscle power for athletes in training. 
  • Lesser workouts - Another research suggested that a 10-minute HIIT session three times a week can help enhance your endurance and aerobic capability.
  • Improved VO2 Max - The maximum level of oxygen the body uses for energy during intense workouts is called the VO2 Max. It is crucial to determine your cardiorespiratory fitness and endurance. You may enhance your VO2 Max by doing high-intensity training better than with steady, moderate exercises.  

Risks of Anaerobic Activities 

Performing high-intensity anaerobic workouts can take a toll on your body. 

If you are still starting your exercise journey, you may have to get your doctor's approval before adding an anaerobic routine to your exercise plan. 

Learning the proper techniques for high-intensity workouts is also crucial to prevent injuries.

Aerobic vs. Anaerobic: Which Should You Choose? 

The type of exercise you should focus on depends on your current health condition and your body goals. 

If you want to lose weight, anaerobic workouts would be your best option, which can burn more energy stored in the muscles. 

On the other hand, aerobic exercises like walking are ideal if you want fewer injuries or aim to have a more sustainable and lasting activity. It will also help boost your cardiovascular health. 

But if you want an overall improvement in your body, you can combine both activities in your fitness regimen. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it Okay to Combine Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercises in Your Routine? 

Research claims that doing both aerobic and anaerobic workouts may help enhance your aerobic performance more than doing aerobic exercises alone. Thus, it will help you get all the benefits of these physical activities. 

How Much Aerobic vs. Anaerobic Exercise Should You Get Every Week? 

Fitness experts believe a 2-to-1 ratio of aerobic and anaerobic exercises is the ideal balance for physical activities. It means you can do aerobic workouts for two days and then do anaerobic exercise for one day. 

Should You Avoid Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercises if You Have Health Issues? 

Your current physical condition is a crucial consideration when planning a workout routine. Most of the time, low- to moderate-intensity workouts are safe for people with specific health problems. 

Always consult your doctor to check which options are best for your health. They can guide you to the ideal workout plan that will not strain your body and affect your health negatively. 

Choosing Between Aerobic and Anaerobic Workouts Depends On Your Needs

While both types of exercise contribute to a well-rounded physical fitness routine, your goals will determine which one you should prioritize when planning your workout training. 

If you want to lose weight fast, doing an anaerobic workout like HIIT could be your best option. But if your goal is to improve your cardio condition, start with aerobic exercises to strengthen your heart health. 

However, combining both activities in your training program would be best for a holistic approach to achieving the best health possible. 


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