Is Running an Aerobic Exercise?

Picture yourself working out in the gym. You are breathing hard, sweating buckets and feeling your heart pumping. Chances are, you are doing an aerobic exercise.

What are aerobic exercises? Is running considered one? In this article, we will provide answers to these questions and more so continue reading to learn everything you need. 

Is running an aerobic exercise

Is Running an Aerobic Exercise?

Running is a highly known physical activity that everyone, regardless of their fitness level, probably has done at some point in their lives. In fact, according to the American Heart Association, it is the third most popular exercise after walking and swimming, given its convenience and accessibility. 

While running is definitely a great exercise that offers a wide range of benefits, we go to the question: Is running an aerobic exercise? The answer is both a yes and a no.

When we run, our heart rate increases, our breathing becomes faster, and our body temperature rises. This means that our bodies are working hard to keep up with the demand of the work that we are doing.

We are in an aerobic running state when our bodies have enough oxygen supply to aid our muscles in producing energy. This allows us to use them for longer without needing to rest.

Imagine running in a fun run with a friend and you’re able to sustain a conversation without gasping for air. This means that you are still in an aerobic state, and you can run for a longer period of time.

What if, instead of a fun run, you are now running in an athletic race where you need to go faster and all out to get to the finish line?

When you are in a state where your body can deliver less oxygen than what is actually needed, your body switches from aerobic to anaerobic running.

Anaerobic running is a state where your breath becomes more difficult to access and use as there is not enough oxygen supply for your muscles to produce the amount of energy that your body is demanding.

This type of running requires a good level of physical conditioning and mental strength but is great training for athletes or runners who want to improve their speed and stamina. It can be done by doing short bursts of intense activities like sprinting or increasing the intensity and duration over time.

To make up for the lack of oxygen when you are in an anaerobic state, your body would start relying on other sources to help your muscles produce the energy they need. This comes from either sugar or fat.

However, too much of this can result in the buildup of lactic acid. This means more pain in the muscles and a longer recovery time after the training. Make sure to take steps to lower your lactic acid level such as drinking plenty of water and taking supplements.

Importance of Aerobic Exercises

Aerobic exercise has long been associated with weight loss and a healthy heart. It is any exercise or physical activity that provides cardiovascular conditioning by increasing your heart rate, breathing rate, and blood flow. It trains and helps your body to transport oxygen more quickly and efficiently throughout.

A study linked aerobic exercises with the management and prevention of several illnesses and conditions such as obesity, heart diseases and depression. 

Research have shown that it can result in increased metabolism and stronger bones, and moderate-intensity aerobic exercises can significantly reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension.

Given these benefits, it's safe to say that it is essential that we incorporate aerobic exercises into our workout routine. Swimming, elliptical training, and rowing are other great aerobic exercises that you can perform.


Having a better understanding of each running type will help you decide which is the better choice for you, depending on your fitness goals.

Aerobic running is great for anyone who wants to improve their endurance. It is also the better choice for anyone who wants to run casually or for fun. Anaerobic training, on the other hand, is the perfect training for those who aim to improve their speed and, to some degree, their muscle mass.

Running, regardless of the differences between the two types, is a perfect exercise that anyone can do. With little to no equipment, it will surely give you plenty of benefits for a fit body and good health.

Kevin Harris