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For the ultimate fitness combination, a healthy mix of aerobic and anaerobic is ideal. Fitness athletes tend to focus on muscle training, anaerobic activities like HIIT workouts plus aerobic activity such as jogging to stay healthy. Some athletes, specifically those who wish to “bulk up” often skip out on aerobic activities in fear of losing their hard earned pounds of muscle.
Aerobic exercise is notoriously synonymous with weight loss, mostly from fat but can include a little bit of muscle. Any type of physical activity will burn calories, though and keep you slim and healthy in the long run.
The Difference Between Aerobic and Anaerobic
The main difference between the two is oxygen. Yeah, oxygen. In an aerobic exercise session, your body will use oxygen to fuel itself through the workout and will burn glycogen (sugars) and fat to keep going. Did you catch that? Aerobic activity burns fat.
Examples of these types of exercises are endless. It can be a simple jog, a light run, a bike ride, even just walking to and from work. It can be taking your dog for a long walk or playing outside with your kids. The key is that your body is using oxygen during the activity.
Imagine you are jogging, aerobic means you can hold a conversation with the person next to you, anaerobic means you are going too fast and can only get a few words out with each breath.
Anaerobic doesn’t have oxygen to help with the workout. The exercise is too intense, which is why it’s usually within activities that are completed in short spurts such as sprinting. During anaerobic exercise, lactic acid builds up in the muscles causing you to “feel the burn.” Anaerobic activities help build muscle and when you have more muscle, your body can burn more calories efficiently throughout the day which can help aid fat loss.
Fat Loss Efforts
Did you see that? Both are great versions of fat loss activity. However, anaerobic is not sustainable for long periods of time and will deplete the body of glycogen (sugars) quickly meanwhile aerobic activity like brisk walking for 45 minutes will keep your body in the fat loss burning zone for a much longer period of time.
The best weight loss exercises are actually the simplest. Aerobic exercises, in conclusion, are your best bet to overall fat loss and maintenance of a healthy lifestyle. Walks around the block, taking the stairs, walking the dog, or pushing the kids in a stroller outside are great and simple first steps to aerobic activity.
If you want to take the fitness up a notch, try jogging for 15 minutes a day. Then take it up to 20 minutes, then 25, then 30. Once you’ve reach 30 minutes or more of exercise, your body will be a fat burning machine. Or try taking 1 pound hand weights with you during a 25 minute walk outside.
Adding in spurts of anaerobic activity will boost fat loss efforts in a flash. After every lap of light jogging, sprint for 300 meters, or jog in place at high speed for 30 seconds. This will boost your metabolism and keep you burning calories all day long just by adding in an extra powerhouse move to your normal light exercise.
Being equipped with the knowledge of great exercise activities and understanding the difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise can assist you to choosing the perfect fitness plan right for your body and truly maximize every weight loss effort.