Aerobic exercise

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Regular aerobic exercise can help you live longer and healthier. After all, aerobic exercise can reduce health risks, keep excess pounds at bay, strengthen your heart and boost your mood. It can also reduce your risk of death from all causes.

Healthy adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous activity. That doesn't have to be all at one time, though. For example, brisk walking for 30 minutes, five days a week meets the guidelines. Aerobic exercise can even be done in short blocks of time, such as several walk breaks spread throughout the day. Any activity is better than none at all.

Aim to reduce your time spent sitting, too. The more hours you sit each day, the higher your risk of dying of any cause, even if you achieve the recommended amount of daily physical activity.

Recent studies report significant health benefits from interval training, which means exercising at your near-maximal intensity for short periods. For example, you can sprint for 30 seconds and then walk for 60 seconds, and repeat this several times.

For many people, walking is a great choice for aerobic exercise. In fact, walking is one of the most natural forms of exercise. It's safe, it's simple, and all it takes to get started is a good pair of walking shoes and a commitment to include aerobic exercise in your daily routine.

Of course, there's more to aerobic exercise than walking. Other popular choices include swimming, bicycling and jogging. Activities such as dancing and jumping rope count, too. Get creative.

Oct. 11, 2019

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