The Importance of Aerobic Exercise

The Importance of Aerobic Exercise

By: Pamela Olszyk, MS

What is Aerobic Exercise?

Aerobic exercise as defined by Cleveland clinic: “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 muscle to help them burn fuel and more.”  Aerobic exercise can be a variety of different forms, including walking, biking, dancing, skating, and rowing.  The main goal of aerobic training is to increase your stamina.  Increasing your stamina allows the heart, lungs, and blood vessels to function more efficiently pumping blood throughout your heart and parts of your body.

The American Heart Association recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of some kind of cardiovascular exercise 5 to 7 days a week.  These can be broken up and not completed all at once. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends a minimum of 3 sessions of 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise to improve cardio-respiratory fitness and help manage weight.

Benefits of Aerobic Exercise

There are many risks and health conditions that aerobic exercise can reduce ranging from heart disease to dementia.  The primary goal of aerobic exercise is to allow the heart and lungs to work harder. 

Aerobic exercises benefit the body as well as specific benefits for the brain.  Regularly incorporating aerobic exercise into your routine can help prevent heart disease.   It also burns calories, which will help in the process of losing or maintaining a healthy weight. High blood pressure has a direct correlation to a heart attack and stroke, so staying active and increasing aerobic exercise will decrease your risk. 

Aerobic exercises also help to decrease the likelihood of developing Type 2 Diabetes by allowing the body to increase the sensitivity of insulin –requiring less to control blood sugars.  While you are exercising your muscles are also using glucose from your blood to prevent blood sugar levels increasing.

Some benefits to mental health include reduced risk of dementia, help with depression and anxiety, enhanced cognitive performance and improved brain health.  People with higher levels of physical activity will have a lower risk of cognitive decline and dementia.  Exercising in general will help with symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Overall, aerobic exercise promotes a healthier lifestyle along with some great benefits for the body and brain!