Aerobic Activity - Topic Overview
or endurance activity is any activity that raises your
heart rate and keeps it up for a
This increases the amount of oxygen delivered to
your heart and muscles, which allows them to work longer.
Benefits of aerobic activity
| Increases in:
|| Decreases in:
- Heart health
- Blood supply to heart and muscles
- Your body?s use of oxygen
- Muscular endurance
- Mood, self-esteem, and self-concept
- Energy level
- Risk of cardiovascular disease
- Blood pressure
- Cholesterol level
- Shortness of breath
- Risk of diabetes
- Blood sugar
- Risk of some cancers
- Body fat
- Anxiety and depression
How often and how long?
Experts say to do
either of these to get and stay healthy:1
Moderate aerobic activity
at least 2� hours a week. Moderate activity
means things like brisk walking,
brisk cycling, or shooting baskets. But any
activity that makes your heart beat faster-including daily
chores-counts as moderate activity.
Vigorous aerobic activity
at least 1� hours a week. Vigorous activity
means things like jogging, cycling
fast, cross-country skiing, or playing a basketball game.
You breathe harder and your heart beats much faster with this kind of
You can choose to do one or both types of activity. And it's
fine to be active in several blocks of 10 minutes or more throughout your day
and week. Do what works best for you. For example, you could do moderate
activity for 45 minutes every other day. Or you
could do 10 minutes 3 times a day, 5 days a week.
You could do
vigorous activity 15 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Or you can try to do it once
a week for 1� hours, or for 25 minutes a day, 3 days a week.
Moderate exercise is safe for most people, but it's always a good idea to
talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program.
doing a short warm-up, such as walking or riding a stationary bike. And stretch
recommend that teens and children (starting at age 6) do moderate to vigorous
activity at least 1 hour every day.1 And 3 or more
days a week, what they choose to do should:
- Make them breathe harder and make the heart beat much
- Make their muscles stronger. For example, they could play on
playground equipment, play tug-of-war, do sit-ups, or use resistance
- Make their bones stronger. For example, they could run, do
hopscotch, jump rope, or play basketball or tennis.
It?s okay for them to be active in smaller blocks of time that
add up to 1 hour or more each day.
How hard should you work?
To get the health benefits, you need
to do your activity at a moderate pace, at
least. Here's an easy way to know if
you're working hard enough:
- If you can't talk and do your activity at the
same time, you are exercising too hard.
- If you can sing while you do your activity,
you may not be working hard enough.
- If you can talk while you do your activity,
you are doing fine.