Aerobic fitness means increasing how well the body uses oxygen, which depends on the
condition of the heart, lungs, and muscles. Experts tend to describe aerobic activity
in three ways: light, moderate, and vigorous.
When people do moderate-intensity activities, they notice a faster heartbeat. To get
the benefits of moderate activity, a person can:
Cycle briskly (10 to 12 miles per hour [mph]).
Play golf without using a cart.
Sail or windsurf.
Mow the lawn (but don't use a riding mower).
Sweep floors, vacuum, or mop.
The goal of aerobic fitness is to increase the amount of oxygen that goes to the heart
and muscles, which allows them to work longer. Any activities, including many kinds
of daily activities, that raise the heart rate and keep it up for an extended period
of time can improve aerobic fitness. If the activities are done regularly and long
enough, they can help improve fitness.
Experts recommend that adults try to do moderate activity for at least 2½ hours a
week. Or they can do vigorous activity for at least 1¼ hours a week. You can choose
to do one or both types of activity. And it's fine to be active in shorter periods
of time throughout the day and week that add up to the recommended goals. Children
as young as preschool age benefit from being active. It's best for teens and children
(starting at age 6) to do moderate to vigorous activity at least 1 hour every day.
Moderate activity is safe for most people, but it's always a good idea to talk to
your doctor before starting an exercise program.
Current as of: May 5, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Heather Chambliss PhD - Exercise Science & Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine
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