Aerobic vs. Anaerobic

There appears to be a great deal of controversy over which is the preferred type of metabolic training – aerobic or anaerobic?

Metabolic training involves performing specific exercises that are designed to increase the efficiency of the certain pathways in your body that store and deliver energy for certain activities.

Three energy pathways store energy – one is aerobic and two are anaerobic.  So…what’s the difference?

There’s more to a good exercise regime than jogging or other aerobic activities!

Aerobic activity makes your heart and lungs work harder and increases the body’s need for oxygen. Activities such as running, swimming, bicycling, working out on a treadmill, and other activities that generally take place for a longer period are types of aerobic activity.
Anaerobic activity involves lower-impact exercise that doesn’t work the cardiovascular system as strenuously as aerobic. Anaerobic exercise involves activities such as lifting weights, running sprints, and other shorter-duration exercises (i.e., under two minutes of medium to high intensity activity).

Many people seem to be partial to aerobic activity because it burns fat and keeps their metabolisms pumping for some time after they actually stop exercising.  But…aerobic activity also causes loss of muscle, strength, speed and power if that’s the only exercise you do.
Anaerobic activity, on the other hand, increases muscle, strength, power, speed and aerobic function and it also decreases body fat.

So actually, there really shouldn’t be any controversy. Ideally in terms of metabolic training, the best of both worlds would be a combination of high intensity/short duration activity, medium intensity/medium duration activity and low intensity/long duration activity – the best of all worlds for those energy pathways!

“I really don’t think I need buns of steel.  I’d be happy with buns of cinnamon.”

~Ellen DeGeneres


Dr. Darryl Roundy

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