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 vigorous-intensity activities, they breathe faster and have a much
faster heartbeat than at rest. To get the benefits of vigorous activity, a person
Jog or run.
Cycle fast (at least 12 miles per hour [mph]).
Swim moderately to hard.
Play a game of basketball or volleyball.
Carry heavy loads, such as bricks.
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 vigorous activity for at least 1¼ hours a
week. Or they can do moderate activity for at least 2½ hours a week. People can choose
to do one or both types of activity. And it's fine to be active in blocks of 10 minutes
or more throughout the day and week. 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.
It's always a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program.
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Heather O. Chambliss, PhD, FACSM - Exercise Science
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