Using the same large muscle group, rhythmically, for a period of 15 to 20 minutes or longer while maintaining 60-80% of your maximum heart rate.
Think of aerobic activity as being long in duration yet low in intensity. Aerobic activities include: walking, biking, jogging, swimming, aerobic classes and cross-country skiing. Anaerobic activity is short in duration and high in intensity. Anaerobic activities include: racquetball, downhill skiing, weight lifting, sprinting, softball, soccer and football.
Aerobic means with air or oxygen. You should be able to carry on a short conversation while doing aerobic exercise. If you are gasping for air while talking, you are probably working anaerobically. When you work anaerobically, you will tire faster and are more likely to experience sore muscles after exercise is over.
Aerobic exercise conditions the heart and lungs by increasing the oxygen available to the body and by enabling the heart to use oxygen more efficiently. Exercise alone cannot prevent or cure heart disease. It is only one factor in a total program of risk reduction; examples of other factors are high blood pressure, cigarette smoking and high cholesterol level.
- Control of body fat. (Aerobic exercise in conjunction with strength training and a proper diet will reduce body fat.)
- Increased resistance to fatigue and extra energy.
- Toned muscles and increased lean body mass.
- Decreased tension and aid in sleeping.
- Increased general stamina.
- Psychological benefits - exercise improves mood, reduces depression and anxiety.