Sunday, June 5, 2011

Aerobic vs. Anaerobic Workouts: What Is The Difference?

We all strive for balance in our lives.  Working out isn't any different.  I always have to have a road map to success with my fitness goals.  What are your goals?  Are you trying to reduce stress?  Maintain your existing weight?  Increase strength?  Train for a specific fitness event? 

Remember if you ever need help designing a fitness plan....CALL ME!

What to do, what to do.......

High Intensity Cardio?
Or Lifting Weights?

Or Both?  You better not say neither!

Here is some information I found on line that best describes the difference between aerobic and anaerobic workouts.  Enjoy!

If you've ever sprinted a half-mile, you know that your body reacts differently than when you slowly lift hand weights. That's because your body uses a different system to supply the energy you need when you burn energy quickly than it uses when you burn energy slowly. Scientists have identified two types of respiration: aerobic--literally, "with air"--and anaerobic, or "without air," which determine the benefits and drawbacks of your exercise strategy. A balanced workout program incorporating aerobic and anaerobic exercise will strengthen your cardiovascular-respiratory system and improve muscle strength and flexibility. 

Aerobic exercises: are those that require steady, nonstop exercise at a comfortable pace, usually using the muscles of the lower body.  Walking, running, rowing and dancing are all aerobic exercises. Anaerobic exercises include start-stop activities that force your muscles to work in an oxygen-deprived state, like tennis, skiing and sprinting, as well as low-intensity exercises that don't require you to draw on your body's oxygen reserves, like weight training and yoga.

Benefits of Aerobic Exercise:  Working out in the aerobic stage has many benefits: it improves overall cardiovascular and respiratory health, and trains your heart and muscles to use energy more efficiently. Over time, you'll find even the most intensive aerobic exercise easier to perform.

Anaerobic Exercise:  Anaerobic exercise challenges your body in a different way. Your muscles are working in an oxygen-deprived state, causing your body to expend energy faster than the body can replace it. Your short-term energy stores are quickly burned up, and lactic acid will begin building up in your system. Soon you'll feel "winded" or out of breath and won't be able to go on.

Benefits of Anaerobic Exercise:  Anaerobic exercise won't improve your cardiovascular strength or health, but it will help you strengthen your muscles and increase your body's flexibility. The good news? Anaerobic strength recovers quickly, so you could be sprinting again within five minutes of an all-out dash for the finish line.

Balancing Your Workout:  A balanced workout plan will incorporate elements of both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. This could include walking at a moderate pace on a treadmill, which is aerobic, followed by fast interval training, which is anaerobic. Or wind down from stair-climbing, which is aerobic, with some light weight training, which is anaerobic. Your doctor or fitness trainer can help you devise the optimal workout plan for you.

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