Anaerobic Exercise Benefits
Anaerobic exercise, as defined by the ACSM, is “an intense physical activity of very short duration, fueled by the energy sources within the contracting muscles and independent of the use of inhaled oxygen as an energy source.” Meaning, you are completing your exercise without oxygen. Contrary to popular belief, though, this does not mean you stop breathing during your workout. Unless you are swimming underwater, you should always breathe through your exercise. It simply means you are not sending the oxygen to your muscles fast enough. It sounds a little scary, but this sort of workout is incredibly beneficial. High-intensity anaerobic exercise also allows for the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles. Let’s dive into the anaerobic exercise benefits here!
A study in the World Journal of Cardiology dove into the effects of anaerobic and aerobic exercise on cardiovascular health. They wanted to take a look at activity levels and their relation to cardiovascular disease. What they found was that both anaerobic exercise and aerobic exercise “irrefutably” helped to stave off cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. And while more studies need to be done, the ones that have been done show a promising correlation. Your health is your wealth, and anything you can do to keep that heart healthy is something to really consider when crafting your workout and self-care routine.
Weight-bearing exercises that are high or low-impact are both very important to fight against osteoporosis. So, completing an anaerobic training like weight lifting could help you to be able to hold up your body and maintain the strength of your bones longer.
When you build strength with anaerobic exercise, your endurance improves. It’s because you need the strength in your muscles to power you through your long endurance workouts. So, if you are looking to run a marathon, don’t skip out on your strength training routine. A healthy mix of anaerobic and aerobic exercise will be your best bet in running your best race!
Metabolism is when your body turns food into fuel. When you exercise, you need more energy to get through your day—in turn—your body burns more calories. During anaerobic activity, your body is burning energy with a lack of oxygen, so it reaches into your glycogen stores and burns glucose. Anaerobic activities like strength training also build muscle, which helps your body burn more calories at rest. All of this, increasing the rate of your metabolism.
When your body uses energy, endorphins are released. Endorphins help you finish the race, set, or whatever workout you are doing, and they tend to last long after a workout. It’s why a lot of people like to exercise in the morning because the benefits of the endorphins can last well into the workday.
Aerobic and anaerobic exercise are both beneficial to your mental health. In fact, just one workout has been shown to reduce anxiety for a short period. And, beyond that, when you feel good, you feel good. So, even that little boost of confidence you get after a workout can be enough to make you have a bit more pep in your step for the day—and we love seeing that! If you are interested in learning more about self-care, check out our resources here.
A few of the above benefits are true because of the muscle-building effects of anaerobic exercise, so this should come as no surprise. Since anaerobic exercise is typically done with short bursts of exercise at your full effort or weight lifting, you are building up those muscles. And, when you start to feel that extra little bump on your tricep push through that you hadn’t noticed before, it will help you to keep on keepin’ on because you will be motivated by your hard work!
Once you build up all of your muscles, it is essential to maintain them. That’s because the aging process takes a toll on us, especially where our strength is concerned. Research shows that in your 30’s, you can start to lose from 3% to 5% muscle mass every decade. That’s an early start, but anaerobic and strength exercises can help you to build, and—more importantly—maintain your muscle mass so that you can stay independent into your golden years.
If you would like to reap the benefits of anaerobic exercise, we would love to see you at any of our Chuze Fitness locations. You can get an anaerobic workout in some group exercise classes, like BODYPUMP, or a Team Training session. With both options, you will be guided by a fitness professional to help you correct your form, and format the workout to be perfect for you. You can also grab any machine, weight, or any other piece of equipment we have at the gym and get started. We can’t wait to welcome you here!