Most of us have been there, we want to lose weight and those few inches that we have accumulated on our waist over the years. We grab our shoes, go running, exercise furiously for a week or two, get all tired up and see no change on the weighing scale and rather than losing weight, we lose our enthusiasm. If it sounds familiar read on and know how you can make a difference by knowing the difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercises.
Aerobic means “with oxygen,” It include any activity that stimulates your heart rate and breathing to increase but not so much that you can’t sustain the activity for more than a few minutes. When we exercise aerobically our bodies use glycogen and more importantly fat as primary fuel.
The benefit of aerobic exercise is that it not only improves overall health and quality of life, but may also prolong your life. Aerobic exercise burns fat, improves mood, strengthens the heart and lungs and reduces your risk of diabetes.
Various types of aerobic exercise include running at a comfortable pace, swimming, and biking. A simple test to know aerobic breathing is that you should be able to talk without feeling too winded. Your breathing should be steady, audible but not labored.
Anaerobic on the other hand means “without oxygen.” These exercises are the type where you get out of breath in just a few moments, like when you lift weights for improving strength, when you sprint fast, or when you climb a long flight of stairs. When we exercise anaerobically glycogen is used as primary fuel but during anaerobic exercise our body builds up lactic acid, which causes discomfort and fatigue at sustained levels.
Anaerobic exercise helps build lean muscle mass. It is beneficial because calories are burned more efficiently in bodies that have more muscle. Anaerobic exercise is especially helpful for weight management in a way that it helps to burn more calories even in a body at rest. Anaerobic exercise can also help build endurance and fitness levels.
Common anaerobic exercises are done at maximum level of exertion and include sprinting and weight lifting.
Guess what most exercises can be either aerobic or anaerobic. The difference lies in the level of intensity. Aerobic exercises can become anaerobic exercises if performed at a high level of intensity.
Now all exercises require energy for which fat and carbohydrate are the fuels that our muscles burn. The difference between them is that fat is more efficient fuel, it contains 9 calories per gram whereas carbohydrate has only 4, so we get more energy and can go farther on a gram of fat than on a gram of carbohydrate. Now when your purpose is to loose weight, you want to burn more of fat. You will require more oxygen to burn fat because it’s denser than carbohydrate and when you do regular aerobic exercises your body has more available oxygen for burning fat.
You also need to remember that both types of exercise burn fat and both will boost the metabolism that will last for hours after the workout but high dependence on anaerobic exercises will result in fatigue, recurrent exercise injuries, low blood sugar, anxiety and stiffness. Solution is simple to begin by building an aerobic base for a period of two to four months and then start incorporating anaerobic training twice or thrice in a week for developing strength. Keep in mind the key to getting the best results is to have a workout that incorporates both but keep the emphasis more on aerobic exercises if you want to lose that persistent layer of fat around your waist as it require you burn more of fat rather than sugar.
Intensity decides whether our training is aerobic or anaerobic so do a careful monitoring of your intensity by keeping a watch on your heart rate. Generally if you feel your body is warm and slightly out of breath while you’re exercising, then that’s good enough. More specifically your target heart rate zones for training range anywhere from 65% to 85% of your maximum heart rate adjusted for resting heart rate. The maximum heart rate is dependent on age and can be derived as Max HR = 220 – your age.
Thus ideal heart rate = 65% to 85% x (Max HR – resting heart rate) + resting heart rate
So for a 30 years healthy person with resting heart rate of 70 and training at 75%, ideal heart rate can be calculated as under:
Max HR = 220 – 30 = 190
Ideal HR = 75% X (190 – 70) + 70
= 75% X (120) + 70
= 90 + 70 = 160 beats per minute (bpm)
A very important thing to remember when you start is to warm up properly at least for fifteen minute at 50% rate and then gradually increase the intensity, this allow the body to increase the distribution of blood to those areas that need it. After the warm up increase intensity to reach your ideal heart rate and exercise in that range for a period of thirty to forty five minutes followed by the cool off period of low intensity again for further ten minutes. Cooling down after exercise helps the heart rate to slow down gradually and prevent pooling of blood in your working muscles. If you are a beginner then start with at least three such sessions in a week increasing to five to six over a period of time.
This method of training allows you to enjoy the process of exercising as it causes least amount of pain and fatigue normally associated with anaerobic training which is high on intensity. This way you last longer on the road to exercising and inculcate the same into your lifestyle, where it is no longer a chore but a pleasurable activity which may even turn into a positive addiction.
Apart losing weight aerobic exercises provide many other health benefits like cancer prevention, in osteoporosis, depression, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases management.
For proper weight management diet also is a very important factor, remember that it is easy to watch what you put in your mouth than burning those extra calories. A healthy diet consisting of adequate amounts of fats, carbs and proteins and in moderate portion size at regular interval is very useful in managing weight. Explore and take help of Best Slimming Foods in your endeavor to lose weight.
Go on start with these exercise and get the healthy body that you deserve.
Also read: Steps to Easy Weight Loss