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Anaerobic means "without oxygen." Anaerobic bacteria are able to survive and grow in environments that have no oxygen. Anaerobic exercise, such as weight lifting, uses energy produced by the body's metabolism that does not require oxygen.
Anaerobic is the opposite of aerobic.
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.