Do you lose more weight with aerobic or anaerobic exercise?
Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
When you're trying to lose weight, exercise is a key component. However, not all types of exercise have the same effects on weight loss. Both anaerobic and aerobic exercises are key components of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle -- but research indicates that aerobic exercise may result in greater weight loss.
Aerobic Vs. Anaerobic Exercise
Aerobic exercise includes any type of exercise that increases your heart rate and uses oxygen to burn carbohydrates and fat to produce energy. Aerobic exercises may be walking, bicycling or swimming. Anaerobic exercise includes activities such as weightlifting, pushups and sit-ups. This type of exercise builds muscle mass and strength through shorter periods of high-intensity activities.
Aerobic Workouts for Leanness
Aerobic workouts such as cardio, jogging or swimming, burn more fat for fuel, resulting in greater weight loss. This training decreases fat stores quickly in most people and is a good way to get a leaner body. However, when you stick to just cardio activities, you may actually be undermining your attempts at weight loss. If done exclusively for a long period of time, cardio training decreases metabolism and starts burning through muscle stores. Marathon runners who stick to mainly aerobic workouts have leaner, but softer appearances.
Don't Forget Anaerobic
Anaerobic workouts burn primarily glycogen instead of fat. However, when you incorporate weight training into your workout, your body starts producing greater amounts of hormones that favor muscle burning and fat burning even after your workout is over. This type of training results in a more muscular look to the body, but you may not get the same lean appearance as aerobic exercises.
Balance Aerobic and Anaerobic
Focusing only on aerobic or anaerobic exercise won't get you to your weight loss goals quickly. Balancing both in your workout plan promotes fat burn during and after your workouts. When weight loss is your primary goal, spend more time on aerobic exercise and less on anaerobic. However, incorporating aerobic and anaerobic into your workout results in the most weight loss.