Why You Need to Do Anaerobic Exercises in Conjunction with Aerobics

Everybody knows that you need to get plenty of exercise on a regular basis. However, the type of exercise you are doing is every bit as important as the amount of time you spend exercising. Doing equal amounts of aerobic exercises and anaerobic exercises is the best way to get the complete workout that you need.


The Difference between Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise

Exercise comes in two categories: aerobic and anaerobic. There are three primary differences between them: the way your muscles contract, the number of reps you do in a set, and the way your muscles generate energy.


Aerobic exercises involve low to moderate amount of resistance, so your muscles contract quickly and easily. Because of this, you can do a lot of reps per set. During aerobic exercise, your muscles get their energy from breaking down glycogen, which is an energy-dense sugar that your body uses to store energy, by using oxygen. At a moderate level of exercise intensity, your muscles can rely on this process for long periods of time. Aerobic exercises include such activities as jogging, cycling, and swimming.


Anaerobic exercise uses high levels of resistance, so your muscles really need to work in order to contract. Because of this, you can only do a few reps per set. During anaerobic exercise, the demand placed on your muscles requires more oxygen than your body has available, so the aerobic method of energy production becomes impossible. To counteract this, your body starts breaking down glycogen using other means than oxygen in a process called glycolysis. This process creates a lot of lactic acid in your muscles, which is what makes them feel like they burn after a short period of exercise. Anaerobic exercises are done in short bursts, and include weight lifting, High Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT), and sprinting.


The Benefits of Aerobic Exercise

You build up your endurance with aerobic exercises, allowing you to do everything you do for longer before you get tired. Aerobic exercise also improves your cardiovascular fitness, which lowers your heart rate and blood pressure, even when you’re not exercising. It also helps you lose weight and boosts your immune system.


You build up your strength with anaerobic exercises. Anaerobic exercises also help you lose weight, but they do it even better than aerobic exercises do. They help increase your bone density, making you more resistant to fractures and to osteoporosis. The strength gains you get from aerobic exercises can also protect your joints.


Medical Concerns

If you have any health problems, or if you don’t know how to put together a safe, effective workout incorporating both aerobic and anaerobic exercise, you should check with your doctor. Your doctor can help you develop an exercise routine that ensures you safely get enough of both types of exercise.


Final Thoughts

Even the strongest bodybuilder will not be able to get a lot of use out of their strength without the endurance that aerobics develop, and no matter how long you swim or jog, you’ll never improve your strength or burn fat with much effectiveness. If you want to be truly healthy then you need both aerobic and anaerobic exercises.

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