The Benefits of Aerobic Exercise
- Lower risk of early death
- Lower risk of conditions such as coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes
- Weight loss and weight control
- Reduced depression
Examples of Aerobic Exercise
- Aerobic dance
- Cross-country skiing
- Playing sports that involve running, such as basketball and soccer
- Adults should complete at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity.
- For greater health benefits, adults should increase their aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes a week of moderate-intensity or 150 minutes a week of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity or a combination of both.
- Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes and it should be spread throughout the week.
- When older adults cannot do 150 minutes of moderate–intensity aerobic activity a week due to chronic conditions, they should be as physically active as possible.
- Older adults should determine their level of effort relative to their level of fitness.
- Participate in one hour or more of physical activity daily.
- Most of the hour should be either moderate– or vigorous–intensity physical activity
- The activity should include vigorous-intensity activity least 3 days a week
- Short episodes of activity are appropriate for people who are new to aerobic exercise.
- Warm up to gradually increase your heart rate and breathing before an activity. A warm up before jogging might consist of brisk walking.
- Slowly increase the intensity of your activity. If you are aiming for a moderate-intensity aerobic activity, you should be able to talk during the activity. If you are doing a vigorous-intensity activity, you can't say more than a few words without pausing for a breath.
- Cool down after an activity to gradually decrease your heart rate and breathing at the end of an activity.
American College of Sports Medicine http://www.acsm.org
American Council on Exercise http://www.acefitness.org
Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology http://www.csep.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. US Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at: http://www.health.gov/PAGuidelines/pdf/paguide.pdf. Accessed February 3, 2014.
Physical activity and health. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/health/index.html. Updated February 16, 2011. Accessed February 3, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 02/2014 -
- Update Date: 02/03/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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