Benefits of Aerobic & Anaerobic Exercise

Written on 01/19/2020
Jamie Gilliam

Most of your exercise in this program comes from anaerobic activity combined with NEAT....non-exercise activity theromogenisis. Your goal is to burn calories in a little bit of time each day and increase your resting metabolic rate, and burn additional calories throughout your day with NEAT.  

So whats the deal? 

Exercise requires energy. When we exercise aerobically our bodies use glycogen and fat as fuel. This low to moderate level of exertion can be sustained over long periods. As you breathe more heavily with exertion carbon dioxide is expelled from your body. Lactic acid is not produced as it is with anaerobic exercise.

Benefits of Aerobic Exercise

It is difficult to overstate the benefits of aerobic exercise. It not only improves overall health and quality of life, but may also extend your life. Aerobic exercise burns fat, improves mood, strengthens the heart and lungs and reduces your risk of diabetes. However, many of us do not have an hour to spend on aerobic activity, so you can easily implement it by going on walks with a friend, walking your dog, going dancing, etc. 

Types of Aerobic Exercise

Common types of aerobic exercise include running at a comfortable pace (you should be able to talk without breathing too hard), swimming, and biking.

Anaerobic Exercise

Oxygen is not present with anaerobic exercise. When we exercise anaerobically glycogen is used as fuel. Once all the glycogen has been depleted (usually in about two hours) you can expect to hit the proverbial wall. Endurance athletes avoid this performance buster with carbo loading before exercise (which when converted to sugar gives more energy) and supplements during exercise to sustain energy.

During anaerobic exercise your body builds up lactic acid, which causes discomfort and fatigue at sustained levels. For this reason anaerobic exercise or high intensity exercise happens in short bursts. It may be helpful to consider the difference between a sprinter (anaerobic) and a marathoner (aerobic). Sprinting is an all-out effort that is sustained for a comparatively short period while marathoning is a sustained effort.

Benefits of Anaerobic Exercise

Anaerobic exercise helps build lean muscle mass. Calories are burned more efficiently in bodies that have more muscle. Anaerobic exercise is especially helpful for weight management in that it helps to burn more calories even in a body at rest. Anaerobic exercise can also help build endurance and fitness levels.

Types of Anaerobic Exercise

Anaerobic exercise is very high intensity or at your maximum level of exertion. Examples include sprinting and weight lifting. Another example is what many of your workouts in this program are: Interval circuits, AMRAPS, etc. Anaerobic exericse combined with aerobic exercise has been proven to be the most beneifical way to lose weight and keep it off.