Aerobic exercise

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Exercise that raises your heart rate, called aerobic exercise, can help you live longer and be healthier. Aerobic exercise can lower health risks, keep off extra pounds, make your heart stronger and lift your mood. It also can lower the risk of death from all causes.

Guidelines recommend that healthy adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week. Or get an equal combination of moderate and vigorous activity. For even more health benefits, the guidelines suggest getting at least 300 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity.

That doesn't have to be all at one time, though. For instance, brisk walking for 30 minutes, five days a week meets the guidelines. Aerobic exercise can be done in short blocks of time, such as a few walk breaks spread throughout the day. Any activity is better than none at all.

Aim to spend less time sitting, too. The more hours you sit each day, the higher your risk of metabolic problems. Sitting too much can negatively affect your health and longevity.

Recent studies report big health benefits from exercising harder for short periods, called interval training. For instance, run or walk as fast as you can for 30 seconds. Then walk at an easy pace for 1 to 2 minutes. Do this many times.

For many people, walking is a great choice for aerobic exercise. Walking is one of the most natural forms of exercise. It's safe and simple. All it takes to get started is a good pair of walking shoes and a promise to yourself to include aerobic exercise in your life every day.

Of course, there are other aerobic exercises you can do. Other popular choices include swimming, biking and jogging. Activities such as dancing and jumping rope count, too. Get creative and get moving.

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March 29, 2024

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