Anaerobic vs. Aerobic

Anaerobic vs. Aerobic

The words anaerobic and aerobic are both adjectives based on the root "aero," meaning air. They can be used to describe any environment or activity based on the presence or absence of oxygen, but are most commonly used in reference to respiration and exercise.

Anaerobic refers to the absence of oxygen. In terms of exercise, anaerobic activity, such as weightlifting, builds muscle through short bursts of strength. High-intensity exercise can force the body into an anaerobic state.

Aerobic refers to the presence oxygen. In terms of exercise, aerobic activity, such as jogging or swimming, increases heart rate and respiration, therefore building endurance. During aerobic exercise, the body converts oxygen to energy.

Aerobic activity uses oxygen to burn carbohydrates and fat for energy while anaerobic activity only burns carbohydrates to produce energy. There is also a difference between aerobic and anaerobic respiration. Most cells use aerobic respiration, which involves oxygen. Other cells, such as bacteria or yeast use anaerobic respiration.

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