Aerobic Versus Anaerobic Exercise: Why You Need Both
There are two general forms of exercise: aerobic exercise and anaerobic exercise.
Aerobic exercise means exercise that includes oxygen. And anaerobic exercise is an exercise that lacks oxygen.
While each form of exercise is the polar opposite of its counterpart, both are present in almost every exercise routine you participate in.
For example, when you’re completely still, your body is in an aerobic state. It is deriving its energy from the oxygen being supplied by your body.
But once you start walking or jogging, your anaerobic state starts to kick in. As long as you maintain a lower intensity workout, your aerobic state (with oxygen) will remain prevalent. But once you increase the intensity, your anaerobic state (without oxygen) will start to take over.
That brings to light the question…
Why would you ever want to put your body into an anaerobic state? What are the benefits of doing so? And what are the benefits of aerobic exercise?
Most importantly, why does any of this matter to you?
I’ll give you all the answers below.
The Benefits of Aerobic Exercise
Many experts regard aerobic exercise as the most important component for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. And most everyone else tends to agree.
Bruce Rife states that to reach an aerobic state, you need to maintain a low-intensity level of exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes, at least three days a week (preferably more).
It can take the form of a variety of different types of workouts: from jogging to cycling to weight lifting to swimming and so on.
For you, aerobic exercise is crucial to building your endurance and stamina. It’s what helps you endure those long events and remain energized until you cross the finish line.
And it also contributes significantly to your overall quality of life. Here are some of its key benefits:
- Strengthens your heart and increases its efficiency
- Increases your stamina
- Reduces your risk of infections and disease
- Strengthens muscles
- Strengthens bones and tendons
- Improves your efficiency when moving
The Benefits of Anaerobic Exercise
For years, experts believed aerobic exercise was the most efficient for weight loss. Now they’re finding out the opposite is true.
Anaerobic exercise demands more oxygen than your body can supply. And since your oxygen can’t provide the energy, your body will take it from your muscles.
Don’t worry. That’s a good thing.
Anaerobic workouts like circuit training, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), sprinting, interval strength training, and the like have been proven to significantly boost metabolism (and sustain it), improve muscle strength, and positively impact your stamina during intense bursts of energy.
For you, that means more control over your bike, less chance of injury, more energy during intense riding sessions, and overall better performance on the track.
It also provides the following benefits:
- Increases bone strength and density
- Encourages more lean muscle mass
- Increases both speed and power
How to Incorporate Both Into Your Routine
It’s pretty obvious that you need both to optimize your performance on the track. And here’s how I recommend you do it:
Perform lower intensity workouts (aerobic) four days out of the week. With a mix of both cardiovascular and strength training workouts.
Perform higher intensity workouts (anaerobic) for two or three days out of the week. With a mix of HIIT, sprints, and circuit training.
Follow that schedule for the next couple of months, and you’ll start to see an improvement on the track… guaranteed.
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