The Benefits of Aerobic Exercise

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) defines aerobic exercise as “any sport or activity that works large groups of muscles, is continually maintained and performed rhythmically, is defined as an aerobic, or cardiovascular, exercise.”

It is important to note that an active lifestyle promotes long-term cardiovascular health. Ideally, however, everyone should engage in various types of aerobic exercise, which would stimulate and tone their muscles, heart, and lungs, in order to maintain cardiovascular health.

Aerobic Exercise: Benefits

There are myriad benefits to aerobic exercise. Aside from strengthening your heart and lungs, aerobic exercise has many other health benefits. Aerobic exercise can help lower your cholesterol, improve your immune response, lower your blood pressure, and even reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Aerobic exercise burns off calories, which can help you get rid of any excess weight. Obesity has been linked to many serious health conditions, so shedding those extra pounds would be a great benefit to anyone. 

The general physical benefits of aerobic exercise, like toning your muscles, are great, but the mental benefits are even more noteworthy. Aerobic exercise helps boost your confidence, memory, and brain function. In addition, it helps improve symptoms of depression. Most people report getting a natural feeling of being uplifted after doing aerobic exercise.

Aerobic exercise helps you not only look and feel better, but also increases your stamina, thus giving you more energy to enjoy your life. You will be have more restful sleep and handle stress better.

Keep It Up!  Here are Some Tips to Get you Going…

The benefits of aerobic exercise are plentiful and worth the investment of 30 minutes a day to reap those benefits. You don’t even have to do all thirty minutes at once. Research shows that even three 10-minute periods of aerobic activity a day is beneficial.

As you get the recommended 30 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise five days a week, you should be exercising at a level that just lets you keep up a conversation during the activity.  If you’re healthy enough to exercise at a high intensity, make sure you’re not exceeding your target heart rate. You can find your target rate by subtracting your age from 220, then multiplying that number by 70 percent (.70).

Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after your workouts.  Dehydration is no laughing matter.  Make sure to Include a warm-up and cool-down in your exercise routine and avoid high-intensity aerobic activity for one to two hours after eating, as your blood and energy are devoted to the process of digestion.  And above all…Rest when you’re sick or exhausted.  This will also reduce your risk of overuse injuries.  Rest is perhaps the most difficult part, but it should never be underestimated.