Aerobic Exercise

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Aerobic or “with oxygen” exercises provide cardiovascular conditioning. The American Heart Association recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 5 to 7 days per week. Don’t forget warm-up, cool-down and stretching exercises in your aerobic exercise session.

What is aerobic exercise?

Aerobic exercise provides cardiovascular conditioning. The term aerobic actually means “with oxygen,” which means that breathing controls the amount of oxygen that can make it to the muscles to help them burn fuel and move.

Benefits of aerobic exercise

  • Improves cardiovascular conditioning.
  • Decreases risk of heart disease.
  • Lowers blood pressure.
  • Increases HDL or “good” cholesterol.
  • Helps to better control blood sugar.
  • Assists in weight management and/or weight loss.
  • Improves lung function.
  • Decreases resting heart rate.

Exercise safety

It is recommended that you talk with your physician before you start an exercise program. Ask what, if any, limitations you may have. People who suffer from diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, arthritis, pulmonary conditions, or other health conditions may need additional safety guidelines for exercise.

Note: If you develop symptoms during exercise including, but not limited to, unusual shortness of breath; tightness in the chest; chest, shoulder, or jaw pain; lightheadedness; dizziness; confusion; or joint pain, you should stop exercising immediately and contact your physician.

What are some examples of aerobic exercise?

Lower impact aerobic exercise includes:

  • Swimming.
  • Cycling.
  • Using an elliptical trainer.
  • Walking.
  • Rowing.
  • Using an upper body ergometer (a piece of equipment that provides a cardiovascular workout that targets the upper body only).

Higher impact aerobic exercise includes:

  • Running.
  • Jumping rope.
  • Performing high impact routines or step aerobics.

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