Aerobic Fitness

Aerobic exercise uses large muscle groups rhythmically and continuously and elevates the heart rate and breathing for a sustained period. In other words, you are exercising at a faster but stable rate, as the heart and lungs try to keep up with your demand for blood and oxygen so you can continue exercising.

Aerobic exercise stimulates not only the body but the nervous system and the brain. Aerobic exercise strengthens your cardiovascular system, improves circulation, and gets blood flowing to all your organs. In other words, it is good for your body. 

Regular aerobic exercise the lowers overall risk of heart disease. A study by the National Institutes of Health showed that regular exercise (30+ minutes of moderate activity, 5+ days a week) reduced blood pressure in 75% of subjects who had high blood pressure. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, the blood pressure lowering effects of exercise can be observed as soon as one to three hours after a single 30- 45 minute workout. This response can linger for up to nine hours post-exercise. Permanent blood pressure changes can be seen as early as three weeks to three months after beginning an exercise program.

Aerobic exercise also improve cholesterol levels, and reduces the risk of developing type II diabetes.

It helps reduce stress and boosts your self-esteem. Working out gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment. When you do it consistently, it makes you feel good about yourself.

Aerobic exercise burns calories (about 100 to 200 calories with 30 to 45 minutes of brisk walking, depending on body weight), burns fat, and increases the metabolism temporarily throughout the day.

For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommend: getting at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity. However, to effectively lose or maintain weight, some people may need up to 300 minutes a week of moderate physical activity. You also can do a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. The guidelines suggest that you spread out this exercise during the course of a week, and sessions of activity should be at least 10 minutes in duration.

Most of these health benefits can be achieved through moderate-intensity physical activity. Most experts recommend at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week. Moderate-intensity activity causes a slightly increased rate of breathing and heart rate. It can be described as feeling "light" to "somewhat hard".

The good news is that it's never too late to start an active lifestyle. No matter how old you are, how unfit you feel, or how long you've been inactive, research shows that starting a more active lifestyle now—through consistent, moderate-intensity activity—can make you healthier and improve your quality of life.