Difference Between Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise

Exercise plays a vital role in keeping the body fit, active, and healthy. It is a crucial aspect of a healthy lifestyle.


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There are a lot of regimes for exercising, out of which some are focused on a particular goal like weight loss, while some are performed on a regular basis to stay active. It is mainly of two types – Aerobic Exercise and Anaerobic Exercise.

Aerobic Exercise vs Anaerobic Exercise

The difference between Aerobic Excercise and Anaerobic Excercise is that Aerobic Exercises require the presence of a lot of oxygen to fuel up the muscles, whereas Anaerobic Exercises do not require the presence of much oxygen to fuel up the muscles. 

Aerobic Exercise vs Anaerobic

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The aerobic type of exercise is the one that requires the presence of oxygen. This oxygen is used to fuel the muscles for the intense activity that is going to be carried out.

A few examples of aerobic exercises are kickboxing, spinning, swimming, walking, rowing, rope jumping,  running, and cross-country skiing.

The anaerobic type of exercise is the one that does not require the presence of oxygen. This means that the muscles do not need the presence of oxygen in order to fuel themselves up for exercise.

Some common examples of anaerobic exercises are jump squats, heavy weight lifting, sprinting, and high-intensity interval training.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAerobic ExerciseAnaerobic Exercise
OxygenIt requires the presence of oxygen.It does not require the presence of oxygen.
Muscle typeAerobic exercise works on type-1 muscle fibres.Anaerobic exercise works on type-2 muscle fibres.
StrengthensIt is helpful for heart pump strength.It is beneficial for muscle strengthening.
EnduranceIt focuses on low-intensity endurance.It focuses on high-intensity endurance.
BenefitsIt increases capillary density, lowers resting heart rate, increases lung muscle endurance, and lowers fat.It increases muscle strength, lowers fat, increases connective tissue strength and muscle size, and lowers blood pressure.

What is Aerobic Exercise?

Aerobic Exercises are the type of exercise, as its name suggests, the exercises which require the involvement of a lot of oxygen.

We can also regard this type of exercise as a cardiovascular exercise since your body’s heart rate and breathing increases for a period of time. Some examples of aerobic exercises are dancing, running, swimming, kickboxing, walking, skiing, hiking, etc.

During aerobic exercise, the breath of a person becomes deeper and faster than when at rest. As we breathe deeper and most frequently, the amount of oxygen gets maximised within the blood.

And the blood flow increases from lungs to muscles giving them more energy to exercise and then back. Aerobic exercises are a great source to build endurance and are the best pics for people new to exercising.

Some common benefits of aerobic exercises include better mood, controlling blood pressure, losing weight, increasing stamina, strengthening the heart, activating the immune system, and reducing fatigue while exercising.

Although it also comes with some risks. If someone is new to aerobic exercise, they must start with mild exercising daily and then start taking up extreme workouts or else they might get an injury.

What is Anaerobic Exercise?

An object type of exercise, as its name suggests, are the one that does not require the presence of oxygen to help the muscles work intensely for the activity.

In simple words, a quick bus of energy is involved while performing exercises for a short time but with maximum effort.

Some common examples of anaerobic exercises are heavy weight lifting, interval training, jumping rope, sprints, hill climbing, and isometrics.

Unlike aerobic exercise, an immediate boost of energy is required by the body in anaerobic exercise. The body mainly relies on the energy sources that are already stored in the body and not oxygen.

And due to this and drop exercises are a great source to break down glucose in the body. Aerobic exercises can be very beneficial if you have been exercising for a very long time and want to see quick weight changes that mean quick weight loss.

There are many benefits attached to anaerobic exercises; for example, it helps burn fat, strengthen the bones, and increase stamina, which will ultimately assist in getting immune towards mild infections and minor injuries.

It also helps in building muscles. There can also be many risks attached to anaerobic exercising since it is hard on the body and is not recommended for beginners.

One must always consult a physician or doctor to get the correct guidance about whether to add anaerobic exercise in your workout regime or not.

Main Differences Between Aerobic Exercise and Anaerobic Exercise

  1. Aerobic exercises require the presence of oxygen, while anaerobic exercises do not require the presence of oxygen.
  2. Aerobic exercises work on type 1 muscle fibres, whereas anaerobic exercises work on type 2 muscle fibres.
  3. Aerobic exercise increases lung capacity, while anaerobic exercise increases muscle strength.
  4. Aerobic exercise mainly focuses on low-intensity endurance like walking, jumping rope, etc. On the other hand, anaerobic exercise focus on high-intensity endurance like heavy weight lifting, burpees, etc.
  5. Examples of aerobic exercises include brisk walking, running, swimming, hill climbing, etc. Examples of anaerobic exercises include heavy weight lifting, high-intensity interval training, sprinting, etc.
Difference Between Aerobic and Anaerobic
  1. https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/35/4/231.short
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/art.22893
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