What is the difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise?

You may have heard that to achieve a fit body, you need to do a balanced workout, alternating aerobic and anaerobic exercisesBut do you know what these terms mean and what benefits these types of physical activity offer your body?

Aerobic exercise

O aerobic exercise It is a continuous and prolonged exercise, performed with not very fast movements. It stimulates the function of the cardiorespiratory and vascular systems as well as metabolism because they increase oxygen consumption and heart rate.

The most common examples of aerobic exercise are walking, running, swimming, paddling, rollerblading, cycling and dancing. All of these activities use multiple muscle groups at the same time. In addition, arms and legs are vigorously moved, so they improve cardiorespiratory endurance and lead to good physical condition.

In these exercises the duration of the movements influences more than the speed of the execution to characterize if the activity is mild, moderate or exhausting.

Anaerobic Exercise

O anaerobic exercise uses an energy form that is independent of oxygen use, hence the anaerobic name. It has high intensity, short duration, involves an intense effort performed by a limited number of muscles and its main objective is to increase muscle mass.

It can be basically of two types: speed with or without load (running, cycling, swimming), or slow with load (resistance exercises such as weight training and machines) and without load (localized gymnastics).

What is the best type of exercise for me?

Aerobic and anaerobic exercises are different but complete. Basically, aerobic burns fat, while anaerobic builds muscle. In addition to helping to shed those extra pounds, aerobic exercise is responsible for increasing pique and fatigue resistance, helping to reduce stress and strengthening the immune system.

They also contribute to increased production of the serotonin neurotransmitter. This improves sleep quality and mood, as well as decreases anxiety and depression symptoms.

For the action of each type to be most effective, it is necessary to combine them. A complete exercise program should feature both types of physical activity (aerobic and anaerobic).

Thus, the body benefits from the combination of exercise by improving cardiorespiratory endurance, strengthening muscles, and improving muscle flexibility. In the case of those who want to eliminate body fat, both produce effects because they accelerate metabolism. However, the ideal is to associate the exercises with a balanced diet.


  • Fitness
  • 1,230