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Is Hiking Aerobic or Anaerobic?

This is a common question we often hear. But first, what exactly is aerobic and anaerobic exercises plus the benefits and differences among the two? Let’s dig more information here!

Aerobic vs. Anaerobic

Aerobic is an endurance-type exercise that aims to boost the breathing rate and heart rate of a person. The forms of exercise include short intense activity bursts. Here, oxygen is your essential source of energy. The muscles move in a correlated and rhythmic manner for a sustained time period. Some examples of aerobic exercises include brisk walking, swimming, cycling, and running.


Aside from increasing the breathing and heart rate, aerobic is also popular for serving countless benefits including:

  • Minimizing fatigue
  • Strengthening stamina
  • Enhancing mood and sleep
  • Dropping blood pressure
  • Boosting good cholesterol rate and simultaneously lowering bad cholesterol rate in the blood
  • Helping to manage weight
  • Slowing bone mass losses

Anaerobic, on the other hand, at exercises that involve short yet intense physical activity bursts. Weightlifting, jumping, sprinting, high-intensity interval training, and calisthenics such as jump squats and plyometrics are among the common examples. Though unlike aerobic, our bodies heavily depend on stored energy sources in order to fuel themselves. Glycogen serves as the main fuel source.

Anaerobic provides beneficial effects on the cardiovascular health of a person too. Although, it could especially be ideal for those looking to burn excess fats. Other benefits include:

  • Builds muscle
  • Strengthens bones
  • Improves VO2 max
  • Boosts stamina for day-to-day activities like playing or dancing

Similarities & Differences

First of all, both aerobic and anaerobic are beneficial for our cardiovascular health as well as offer mental health benefits. They help to increase metabolism, strengthen the heart muscle, improve circulation, and assist weight management. And as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these forms of training aid in lowering our risk of dealing with anxiety, depression, dementia, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.

Now, what makes the two differ from each other?

It is the intensity of both exercises, length of time that you’re able to maintain the entire workout, and the way in which your body utilizes stored energy. Aerobic is designed to be gentle, rhythmic, and of longer duration. It helps to increase endurance. Whereas, anaerobic generally contains short bursts of high-intensity physical activity, as have mentioned above. It helps to improve strength and muscle mass.

While both are beneficial with your weight loss and management, anaerobic works more efficiently. Aerobic burns fat all throughout the training but anaerobic burns more calories in just a short amount of time. Mainly because it is commonly about intense exercises. It makes use of carbohydrates as the main energy source. But if you want a more satisfying result, users and even experts recommend incorporating both.

Hiking is an Aerobic Exercise

Well, you guessed it right! Hiking is definitely one of the best examples of aerobic exercise, well, since it only causes a moderate level of physical exertion. And obviously, hiking requires the presence of oxygen.

Hiking means having control of your workout’s intensity setting. You can jog at an incline or add further resistance while increasing your speed. Doing so will help you develop more muscle and even extend your calorie outlay after the exercise. A five to ten percent incline can equate to a thirty to forty percent increase in calorie burn. Also, taking long strides will not only work your muscles with a long variety of movement but will help prevent muscle denseness and tension too.

This powerful cardio workout is such a great way to get our muscles moving and to key up our heart rate. Including elevation changes, such as mountains and hills, adds to the existing cardio benefits. Moreover, it is known to improve blood sugar levels and blood pressure, reinforce the core, improve balance, as well as build strength in the hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps, and muscles in the lower legs and hips.

Have a safe hiking trip!

Now that you’ve loaded yourself with adequate information about hiking as your aerobic exercise along with its benefits, go and enjoy the nature. But of course, know before you go, wear some protective gear, and bring a buddy or even a small set of friends with you!

Hello Hiker 🙂
I’m Kris and this is early stage of developing my blog about Hiking and Trekking.

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