All You Need to Know About Aerobic Exercise
Not all training is the same! Understanding the difference between aerobic exercise and anaerobic is crucial for anyone who wishes to get maximum results from their training. If you’re getting started with your fitness education and still feel unclear on this distinction, the present article will clear it all up for you.
What exactly is aerobic exercise?
Simply put, aerobic activity is that which derives energy mostly from circulating oxygen to achieve sustained nourishment on a cellular level – as opposed to anaerobic exercise, wherein the body draws from its energetic reserves to meet the need for sudden bursts of strength.
Common examples of cardio include extended-duration, low-to-moderate intensity workouts such as jogging, swimming, riding a bicycle or simple brisk walking. By contrast, examples of anaerobic exercise would be weight lifting or sprinting.
Think of it this way: any exercise that calls mostly for sustained energy release is mostly aerobic (think tennis or soccer), while exercises that require bursts of strength (such golf or bowling) will be mostly anaerobic. The word “mostly” is key in the previous sentence, as the human body actually derives energy from whatever means necessary according the exertion rate experienced during a workout… in short, few exercises are purely aerobic or purely anaerobic. In any case, it’s important to be aware of the distinction.
How can you benefit from aerobic exercise?
As a general guideline, think of it this way: anaerobic exercise is good for building up raw strength through increased muscle mass, and anaerobic exercise boosts your health and delivers systemic benefits – in other words, aerobics-focused activity helps increase the boundaries of what your body can do in terms of endurance. Depending on your personal goals, you may want to focus on either aerobic or anaerobic exercise, or otherwise go for a mixed approach.
It has been consistently demonstrated that getting regular cardio exercise will benefit you in multiple ways that go beyond your athletic performance, extending into your overall sense of well-being. As the name suggests, cardio exercise will improve your cardiovascular conditioning – which actually entails a strengthening of the heart muscle which improves its efficiency and reduces blood pressure. Additionally, aerobics also improves airflow and pulmonary capacity. It will push your body to build up more red blood cells, whose task revolves around oxygen transportation across the bloodstream.
The bio-chemical chain reactions which are prompted through regular cardio will also prompt the release of endorphins that will improve your mental well-being and even your thinking capacity (that’s right, there is evidence suggesting that doing cardio exercises regularly will actually make you smarter!) Last but not least, this type of exercise boosts your body’s natural defenses, and considerably lowers your chances of developing diseases like diabetes.