Aerobic and anaerobic exercise are both good for our health, but they offer different benefits. At Hopewood Lifestyle, we recommend aerobic exercise as its less strenuous on the body and improves cardiovascular health. We explain the differences between these two types of exercise and provide ideas to increase your aerobic exercise.
The difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise is the amount of oxygen you take in. During aerobic exercise, you have enough oxygen to sustain the activity but during anaerobic exercise you don’t. Oxygen is the main energy source for aerobic exercise while anaerobic exercise uses stored energy sources such as glucose.
The easiest way to tell which type of exercise you’re doing is your breath. If you can still breathe and talk, you’re doing aerobic exercise. If you’re out of breath, you’re doing anaerobic exercise.
Aerobic exercise is of a lower intensity and can be maintained over longer stretches of time. This includes walking, swimming and cycling. Anaerobic exercise is of a higher intensity and involves short bursts of activity. This includes sprinting, running and high intensity workouts.
We prefer aerobic exercise as it improves your endurance, boosts your heart health and strengthens your lungs without causing stress on your body like anaerobic exercise can do. Anaerobic exercise is great for building muscle and bone density, but it requires a lot of physical exertion.
It is recommended to do 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every day. We suggest starting with 10 minutes of aerobic exercise a day and then increasing this to 30 minutes. You may like to do 30 minutes of exercise at once or break it down into three 10-minute blocks.
Here are some ideas to increase your aerobic exercise:
- Go for a brisk walk in the mornings
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Organise a scenic hike with a partner, friend or family member
- Cycle around your local park
- Swim laps at your local swimming pool
- Dance along to your favourite music
- Join a Zumba or dance class