Aerobic vs Anaerobic Exercise


What is the difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise? What are the benefits of each? Is there any crossover between the two?


The difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise is that anaerobic exercise is for a short duration or any activity that lasts less than 45 seconds. A good example of anaerobic exercise would be a set of 10 reps on the leg press machine. Aerobic exercise is longer duration and is generally thought of as sustained activity, or anything longer than one minute. A good example of aerobic exercise would be running a mile or push mowing the lawn. Both types are beneficial; anaerobic for building lean muscle and strengthening your bones, aerobic for increasing your endurance and keeping your heart healthy. There is some crossover between the two. A good example would be interval running, where you run fast for a short amount of time and then rest for an equal length of time. Another example of crossover between aerobic and anaerobic is circuit weight training, where you move from one strength exercise to the next with no rest, is a good way to incorporate aerobic and anaerobic exercise into one session.

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