Last Updated on by Eat Better Move More

Are Situps Cardio?

When talking about quick and simple exercises, situp is one of the most commonly mentioned. Situps is an exercise that is very simple and convenient. Doing this exercise does not require tools or some huge space to do it. You can even do this exercise in your bed! This is why people incorporate this exercise into their daily routine. 

Situp is not a cardio workout. Although it is not a cardio workout, it does not mean it is inefficient in losing weight. If you want to lose weight, starting doing situps is a great way to start. It is a misconception that aerobic is better for losing weight than anaerobic exercise.

A situp is a form of anaerobic exercise. And according to some studies, anaerobic is much more efficient in burning fat than aerobic exercise. Anaerobic exercise is very different from cardio or aerobic exercise. So what differentiates anaerobic and aerobic?

Are Situps Cardio

Anaerobic And Aerobic Exercise 

Anaerobic and aerobic are terms used to describe how your body produces or uses energy. Every movement requires energy, and this is true for your body as well.  Your body uses several ways to use and produce energy, one with oxygen and the other without oxygen. 

As defined by Merriam Webster, Anaerobic means living, active, occurring, or existing without oxygen. On the other hand, Aerobic is living, active, or occurring only in the presence of oxygen. In short, anaerobic is an exercise that does not use oxygen, while aerobic is an exercise that requires oxygen.

Aerobic exercise, also known as cardio, is an exercise that involves repeating the rhythmic process from low to high-intensity activities for extended periods. This exercise increases the heart rate and the body’s use of oxygen. Examples of aerobic exercises are jogging, running, and cycling.

Aerobic or cardio exercise primarily involves the use of oxygen to meet the body’s energy requirements. When you do a cardio workout, your body is trained to adapt and be more efficient in using oxygen and energy. The more efficient your body becomes, the less oxygen and energy your body will require. 

During aerobic exercise, you start to breathe faster and deeper compared to when you are at rest. The body strives to maximize the oxygen in the blood. Your heart rate also increases to deliver oxygen faster to the muscles. 

So when some people start doing cardio to lose weight, they are going about it wrong. The way cardio works does not fit the idea of losing weight. Aerobic or cardio uses oxygen, so it does not require using calories or fat for energy. 

Although cardio workout indeed burns some fat and calories to a certain extent, it does not burn as much as anaerobic.  This is why people hit a roadblock at some point in their journey of losing weight and becoming leaner. 

There are also downsides to doing too much cardio to lose weight. Too much cardio can also result in muscle atrophy and is prone to tissue and tendon injuries. Muscle atrophy even leads to fat gains. This is because the less muscle mass you have, the fewer calories your body burns when at rest.

On the other hand, anaerobic exercises primarily involve using stored energy within the muscles. What differentiates anaerobic from aerobic is that your body needs the energy immediately. An example of energy being used is the breaking down of glucose. 

Just like aerobic using calories or fat as energy, anaerobic also uses oxygen to a certain extent. When you start doing anaerobic exercises intensely, your body is deprived of oxygen. Once that happens, your body starts to look for another energy source. The body will need a new energy source, and it will start a process of glycolysis to obtain glucose as energy. 

Glycolysis, as ScienceDirect describes it, is a cytoplasmic pathway that breaks down glucose into two three-carbon compounds and generates energy. This occurs during high-intensity exercise without oxygen, thus delivering energy quickly. As a result of this process, lactic acid is produced. Lactic acid is the reason why your muscles feel listless after intense activity. 

If you do some anaerobic exercises regularly, the body starts to adjust and produces less lactic acid. This enables you to endure and last longer in your workout. 

Now that we know how effective anaerobic is at losing weight compared to cardio, let’s talk about situps. Doing situps is a great way to start your weight loss journey, so what are some benefits of doing it?

Benefits of Doing Situps

Are Situps Cardio

Situp is one of the most recommended ways to start developing your core strength. This is due to their simplicity and effectiveness. Here are a few benefits of adding situps to your daily routine.

  • Core Strength – The reason why situp is always recommended because it strengthens your core muscles. “Why are core muscles important?” You may ask. Core muscles are very important due to their placement, and that is in the center. If your center is weak, your body will have a hard time balancing.

Core exercises, such as situps, help better coordinate your muscles in the pelvis, abdomen, lower back, and hips. This results in a better balance in your daily life. Aged people can greatly benefit from this. It will help reduce their chances of falling.

  • Improved Core Muscles – Situps will greatly improve your core muscles. It will help burn away the belly fat and give you a leaner body. Do you want six-pack abs? Then this workout is for you!
  • Improved Athletic Performance – Strong core muscles make your body much more efficient in doing physical activities. It will help improve your endurance and muscular strength. A strong core muscle will enable you to have better posture, form, and balance. 
  • Improved Overall Health and Fitness – Adding situps to your daily routine will help improve your health. Strong core muscles improve your posture, less chance of back pain, protects your spine and lowers the risks of muscle injuries. 

Plus, doing situps also improves your mental health! It will give you the satisfaction that you have improved and have become overall better. 

Are Situps Cardio Takeaway?

Is situp a cardio workout? No, but it is worth doing! It has plenty of perks that will benefit you not only today but will also improve your health even at old age. 


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