Picture yourself working out. Are you lifting heavy weights? Stretching your muscles? Or maybe you’re performing an activity that causes you to sweat and breathe hard that makes your blood pump through your veins as it carries oxygen to your muscles to keep you going. If you’re performing this last activity, then you’re engaging in aerobic exercise.
Aerobic exercise is any physical activity that makes you sweat, causes you to breathe harder, and gets your heart beating faster than at rest. It strengthens your heart and lungs and trains your cardiovascular system to manage and deliver oxygen more quickly and efficiently throughout your body. Aerobic exercise uses your large muscle groups, is rhythmic in nature, and can be maintained continuously for at least 10 minutes.
Before going into the benefits of aerobic exercise, let’s break down some key terms we just mentioned. Cardiovascular system is made up of your heart and blood vessels e.g., arteries, veins, and capillaries that transports blood throughout the body. Aerobic refers to how your body uses oxygen to sufficiently meet energy demands during exercise.
Benefits of Aerobic Exercise
In addition to strengthening your heart and cardiovascular system, participation in regular aerobic exercise has many health benefits. Aerobic exercise:
- Improves your circulation and helps your body use oxygen better
- Increases energy
- Increases endurance, which means you can workout longer without getting tired
- Helps reduce the risk of developing heart disease
- Helps reduce the risk of developing diabetes
- Helps reduce body fat
- Helps you reach and maintain a healthy weight
- Helps reduce stress, tension, anxiety, and depression
- Improves sleep