What is Aerobic Exercise?
Any activity that uses large muscle groups, can be maintained continuously, and is rhythmic in nature. It is also defined as exercise that increases the need for oxygen. Some examples of aerobic exercise include: walking, jogging, boxing, dancing, rollerblading, bicycling, swimming, aerobics classes, rowing, stair climbing, etc.
What are the Benefits of Aerobic Exercise?
Aerobic exercise strengthens your heart and lungs. During exercise, your muscles demand more oxygen-rich blood and give off more carbon dioxide and other waste products. As a result, your heart has to beat faster to keep up. When you follow a consistent aerobic exercise plan, your heart grows stronger so it can meet the muscles’ demands without as much effort.
Everyone, regardless of his or her weight, age, or gender, can benefit from aerobic exercise.
Regular aerobic exercise improves health in the following ways:
Reduces body fat and improves weight control
Reduces resting blood pressure (systolic and diastolic)
Increases HDL (good) cholesterol
Decreases total cholesterol
Improves glucose tolerance and reduces insulin resistance
Decreases clinical symptoms of anxiety, tension and depression
Increases maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max)
Improves heart and lung function
Increases blood supply to the muscles and
Enhances your muscles’ ability to use oxygen
Lowers resting heart rate
Increased threshold for muscle fatigue (lactic acid accumulation)