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What’s the Best Exercise?

Photo: Person riding a bike shot from the waist of the rider. A car approaches from the right.Trying to Get In Shape? What’s the Best Exercise?

So you have decided you need to exercise more, whether it’s to drop a few pounds, improve your endurance, or some of both, but you’ve heard about aerobic and anaerobic exercises and don’t understand the difference between the two and whether one is better for you than the other.

The Difference between Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise

The word “aerobic” simply refers to whether or not your muscle cells are getting adequate oxygen to keep your metabolism functioning at its highest level. Your metabolism determines the rate at which your body converts the food and drink you consume into energy. The higher your metabolism, the more quickly your body will use fuel.

When you are engaged in activity that is considered to be aerobic, your muscle cells have enough fuel to contract over and over again without becoming tired. However, with anaerobic exercise, where there simply isn’t enough oxygen to fuel muscle contraction, those cells need to find other fuel to power muscle contraction. Typically, during anaerobic exercise, your muscles don’t get enough fuel and become fatigued.

The Types of Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercises

Exercise is considered to be aerobic if it is continuous for at least 15 minutes. Walking, riding a bicycle or running are all considered forms of aerobic exercise. There is, however, aerobic value in any activity where you run, walk, bike or swim for more than a brief burst. Tennis, volleyball, basketball, football and hockey all have a component that is aerobic. Some activities, such as weightlifting, are almost exclusively anaerobic, but most sports actually have both aerobic and anaerobic features.

Why You Need Both Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise

So, if aerobic exercise increases your metabolism, why wouldn’t you simply focus all or most of your workout on aerobic activities? If you are not interested in competing at a high level, you probably should. But experts say that, without some anaerobic exercise, you will hit a plateau where you don’t have the capacity or the tolerance to perform aerobically at a higher level.

Come to Hillcrest Medical

If you have suffered a sprain, strain or muscle pull in the Dallas area, the place for urgent care is Hillcrest Medical. Many of our patients also choose to make our doctor their primary care physician. Come and check out our facility and meet our doctor and staff. We’re here to help you now, and we’re here for all your future urgent care needs.

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