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Aerobic or Anaerobic, What's the Difference?

By Stephen R. Farris

If, for example, you work in the construction industry or in a warehouse, you may have heard someone say that those types of jobs don't really count as exercise. Really? Why wouldn't it be? You're sweating and lifting, in some instances repetitively for long periods of time. So why wouldn't those types of jobs be considered exercising? They're both aerobic and anaerobic. We may never know the reason why anyone would think a person wouldn't be getting some form of either exercise performing in jobs like those.

However, there is actually a difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise, and it may not be what you think.

Aerobic exercise is more designed to focus on getting the heart and lung rates up for lengthy periods of time. It's more of an endurance form of exercise, requiring that a person utilize both of them to generate energy. Aerobic exercises consist of some of the following:

  • Brisk walking
  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Swimming

Anaerobic exercise is more intense, but for shorter periods of time. Similar to a worker loading heavy boxes into a tractor-trailer by hand, or a construction worker carrying heavy lumber or roofing shingles to keep a project going throughout the work day. Some examples of anaerobic exercises are as follows:

  • Sprinting
  • Lifting weights
  • High intensity interval training (which is your basic circuit type training)

While aerobic exercise relies more on oxygen for energy, the opposite goes for anaerobic, which breaks down your body's stored glucose. This breakdown during anaerobic exercise leads to the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles. 

Both types of exercises, while they may be different, are good for you. They do share similarities -- besides getting you into shape -- when it comes to your overall health by reducing your chances of risk for certain cancers and diseases, including some of these listed.

  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Dementia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Whether you choose aerobic exercise or anaerobic exercise, or both, you may suffer from aches and pains in your back, neck, and joints on occasion. When this happens, visit your local chiropractor such as the licensed doctors of chiropractic found at The Joint Chiropractic. You'll receive an all-natural, noninvasive, non-addictive form of pain relief treatment, in a gentle, hands-on approach. No appointment is necessary and no need to worry about insurance as each of The Joint's more than 600 nationwide locations offer treatment plans to fit any budget without breaking the bank.  

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Atlanta, Ga.

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