When maintaining good health, regular exercise is paramount. While many people are familiar with aerobic activities like jogging and swimming, not everyone knows the health benefits they can enjoy from anaerobic workouts.
If you’re looking to ramp up your fitness game, especially for weight loss management, anaerobic workouts might be the missing key. Let’s delve into the world of anaerobic exercise, understand its types, and discover its many health benefits.
What Is Anaerobic Exercise?
Anaerobic exercise involves short bursts of high-intensity activity where the body’s demand for oxygen exceeds the supply. To better understand this, let’s break down the origins of the term. “Anaerobic” means “without oxygen.” It indicates that, during these exercises, the body does not rely on the oxygen from the bloodstream as the primary energy source. Instead, it uses stored energy, glucose, to fuel the activity.
Best Health Benefits of Anaerobic Workouts
In contrast to aerobic exercise, an anaerobic workout pushes your body to its limits. Although these exercises are physically demanding, they result in great benefits for your health. Add anaerobic activity to your routine to reap the following:
A. Improved Muscle Strength and Mass
The intense nature of anaerobic exercises, particularly weightlifting and resistance training, causes microscopic tears in muscle fibers. When the body repairs these tears, muscles grow stronger and larger.
As you work on building muscle mass, you begin to show increased definition and toning. It enhances physical appearance and augments overall body strength, making daily activities easier.
B. Faster Metabolism
High-intensity exercise increases the resting metabolic rate (RMR), so you burn more calories even at rest. This phenomenon is crucial for long-term weight management. Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), or the ”Afterburn Effect” magnifies this result, increasing calories burned after an intense workout. Your body continues to consume oxygen and burn calories at a higher rate even after the workout.
C. Increased Bone Density
Anaerobic activities, especially weight-bearing exercises, actively counter bone loss. By stimulating the bones, a subsequent increase in bone mineral density occurs as a result. It strengthens bones and acts as a preventive barrier against potential fractures. What’s more, these exercises reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
D. Greater Stamina and Endurance
While anaerobic exercises focus on short bursts of energy, over time, they can improve your body’s ability to handle longer periods of aerobic activities like running or cycling. Regular anaerobic training also increases your body’s efficiency in clearing lactic acid, reducing muscle fatigue, and allowing you to push harder during workouts.
E. Weight Loss
The intense nature of anaerobic workouts burns a high number of calories quickly. But, the benefits extend beyond the workout session. As one builds lean muscle mass through anaerobic exercises, the body’s daily caloric requirement increases, meaning you’ll burn more calories throughout the day, aiding in fat loss.
F. Better Mental Health
Anaerobic workouts trigger the release of endorphins, neurotransmitters that relieve pain and elevate mood. In addition, high-intensity physical activity acts as a stress reliever, helping reduce cortisol (a primary stress hormone) levels. Evidence suggests regular physical activity, including anaerobic exercises, can boost cognitive functions, enhancing memory and problem-solving abilities.
G. Good Blood Sugar Control
A high-intensity workout requires more energy, which muscles obtain from glucose in the blood. As a result, blood sugar levels decrease. Consistently participating in such workouts improves insulin sensitivity over time.
Enhanced insulin sensitivity allows cells to absorb sugar from the bloodstream more effectively, reducing the risk of blood sugar spikes and optimizing glucose management. This benefit is particularly helpful for people with type 2 diabetes or those at risk.
H. Enhanced Cardiovascular Health
High-intensity workouts push the heart to pump blood more efficiently to cope with the greater demand for oxygen in muscles. Over time, this strengthens the heart muscle. Regular anaerobic training can reduce resting heart rate, indicating a healthy and strong cardiovascular system.
Anaerobic exercises also help dilate blood vessels, improve blood flow, and reduce arterial blockages. The combined effect of stronger heart muscle strength and better blood circulation results in a healthier cardiovascular system.
Types of Anaerobic Exercises
Anaerobic exercises encompass a wide range of activities that demand short bursts of intense effort from your body. Whether you aim to build muscle mass, improve agility, or gain explosive strength, you can tailor your workouts using the examples of anaerobic exercises below:
This type includes exercises where you lift heavy weights in short sets.
- Compound Movements: These are exercises that engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously. Examples include squats, deadlifts, and bench presses. Compound movements are excellent for building overall strength and muscle mass.
- Isolation Movements: These exercises target specific muscle groups. Bicep curls, leg curls, and triceps pushdowns are classic examples.
This involves doing quick dashes or runs over short distances.
- Flat Ground Sprinting: The goal is to run as fast as you can over short distances on flat surfaces. These movements are excellent for building speed and leg strength.
- Hill Sprints: Sprinting uphill adds resistance to the activity, demanding more from your muscles and cardiovascular system.
- Track Work: This type includes interval sprints, where you alternate between sprinting and resting, aiding in faster speed and better cardiovascular function.
3. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
This exercise involves alternating between high-intensity movements and short rest periods.
- Circuit Training: This is a series of exercises performed consecutively with minimal rest in between. After completing one circuit, you take a short break before repeating.
- Tabata: This involves 20 seconds of ultra-high-intensity exercise and 10 seconds of rest, repeated eight times, and totaling four minutes.
- Boot Camp Workouts: Often a mix of strength training and aerobic elements, these are high-intensity workouts usually conducted in group settings.
These are Jumping exercises that focus on building explosive strength.
- Bounding: It involves exaggerated running or hopping, focusing on the height or distance of each leap.
- Medicine Ball Throws: With a weighted ball, these exercises can engage upper and lower body muscles, which is excellent for building explosive power.
- Jumping Exercises: Aiming to improve strength, these exercises Include box jumps, broad jumps, and plyometric push-ups.
This includes exercises where you hold a particular position or pose for an extended period.
- Static Holds: Holding a specific pose without moving while doing exercises like planks, wall sits, or squats, are convenient as you can perform them almost anywhere.
- Resistance Band Training: While you can perform dynamic movements with resistance bands, they’re also great for isometric exercises where you hold the band in a stretched position.
6. Bodyweight Exercises
Quick, powerful moves using only your body weight make exercise accessible and cost-efficient.
- Calisthenics: This includes exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, and dips. While some calisthenics are aerobic, they fall under anaerobic training when performed with high intensity or in a circuit-style format.
- Advanced Movements: Activities like handstands, planche, and front levers (standard in gymnastics) require significant strength and muscle engagement.
7. Combat Sports
This type of exercise involves engaging in quick, high-powered moves typical in sports like boxing or wrestling.
- Boxing and Kickboxing Drills: Hitting a heavy bag or doing pad work in short, intense rounds can be considered anaerobic, primarily when focusing on power and speed.
- Wrestling and Grappling: An attempt at a takedown or escape from a hold that requires maximum effort in a short amount of time.
Anaerobic Training Sample
For those new to anaerobic training, here’s a sample workout:
|Warm-Up||Light jogging or brisk walking||5-10 minutes|
|– Arm circles||30 seconds|
|– Leg swings||30 seconds|
|– High knees||30 seconds|
|– Butt kicks||30 seconds|
|Circuit Training (3 sets)||Sprint Intervals (Track or Treadmill)||30 seconds, then rest or walk for 90 seconds|
|Box Jumps||15 reps, then rest for 60 seconds|
|Burpees||10 reps, then rest for 60 seconds|
|Medicine Ball Slams||15 reps, then rest for 60 seconds|
|Battle Ropes||30 seconds, then rest for 60 seconds|
|Cool Down||Slow-paced walking||5-10 minutes|
|– Hamstring stretch||30 seconds|
|– Quadriceps stretch||30 seconds|
|– Calf stretch||30 seconds|
|– Shoulder stretch||30 seconds|
|– Triceps stretch||30 seconds|
- Always ensure proper form to prevent injuries.
- Modify the movements to match your fitness level. Beginners can reduce the intensity or duration, while advanced participants increase them.
- Hydrate before, during, and after the workout.
- Listen to your body. Stop the exercise and assess if something feels off or painful (beyond typical muscle fatigue).
- Consult a doctor or fitness expert before beginning a new exercise routine.
Achieve Safe and Effective Weight Loss With PHWC
Embrace the burn, enjoy the afterglow, and unlock the vast health benefits of anaerobic workouts! The high intensity and powerful results will be a game changer in your fitness journey. Especially when integrated into weight loss management programs, these exercises expedite results, ensuring that you lose weight and build strength, stamina, and improve overall well-being.
However, it’s essential to approach anaerobic exercises with caution. Start slow and consider professional guidance to reap maximum benefits and avoid injuries.
If you’re looking for weight loss programs in Bermuda, look no further than Premier Health & Wellness Center. We specialize in personalized and medically guided weight loss management. Start your journey to a healthier you by sending us a message online or calling us at 441-292-5111.