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Can Aerobic Exercises Improve Your Overall Health?

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Aerobic exercises are also known as “cardio” because these exercises require the pumping of oxygenated blood by the heart which delivers oxygen to the working muscles of the body. These exercises stimulate the heart rate and breathing rate so that you can sustain the exercise session for longer. These are typically moderate-intensity exercises that not only improve your physical strength and overall fitness but also prove beneficial for your mental and emotional wellbeing.

Aerobic exercises can boost your cardiovascular health and promote optimal functioning of the heart. These exercises help prevent or reduce the chance of developing some cancers, diabetes, depression and osteoporosis. The exercises are not complicated, they are practical and performing them regularly will provide positive results.

Aerobic exercises are endurance-type exercises that increase a person’s heart and breathing rate over a sustained period. Anaerobic exercises involve short, intense bursts of physical activity. Both types of exercise are beneficial for a person’s cardiovascular, mental and overall health.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj – M.B.B.S, M.D.

Types of aerobic exercises

Aerobic exercises can be performed indoors or outdoors. These are easy and convenient to do and have no serious side effects. Some of the aerobic exercises which can be performed daily are:

Both aerobic and anaerobic exercise is important for optimal health. Aerobic exercise will mainly increase our cardiovascular endurance, while anaerobic exercise will mainly increase our muscle strength. The World Health Organization recommends doing both aerobic and anaerobic exercise over the period of a week.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD
  • Brisk walking

This is one of the exercises which suits almost every individual as it is not a high-intensity exercise. Walking vigorously every day is an effective way of reducing heart diseases and obesity. It improves metabolic rate, balances the hormones and promotes healthy bones and joints. It also improves your sleep and does not require any equipment. Make sure to always wear proper shoes with good ankle support to avoid injuries. If you are fit enough, you may also start jogging and running. It is best to consult a doctor before performing this exercise in case you have or previously had any health conditions. Set a goal and start today!

Aerobic exercises include cycling which is good for strength and stamina, it helps develop your leg muscles and varies in intensity, which is suitable for all levels. It is also a great exercise for people who suffer from joint problems, as it reduces pressure on your joints and muscles. You can easily make it a part of your daily workout routine, ideally one should aim for a cycling speed slightly above 15 miles per hour to receive positive results. You can begin at low intensity and gradually increase performance. Cycling boosts cardiovascular fitness, it helps improve your blood vessels and lungs.

  • Swimming

Swimming is a fun aerobic exercise that is beneficial in maintaining the overall health of your body. It is an effective activity to increase your heart rate and burn calories. Swimmers report fewer injuries and less pressure on their bones and joints. Swimming is a great workout for people with joint problems. As a beginner, you may do laps using one stroke and gradually add more and use different strokes. Always take rest between laps and swim in the presence of a lifeguard. 

  • Skipping

If you think skipping is just for fun and a thing for the kids, you are wrong. It is one of the easiest and most useful aerobic exercises. It improves your heart rate and tones your muscles and all you need is a skipping rope. You can perform this exercise at home or anywhere where there’s some free space. Go a little longer each time and challenge yourself to do better. This helps improve body awareness, agility and hand-foot coordination.

What are the benefits of aerobic exercises?

With any of these common aerobic activities, you can gain positive health benefits and make the most out of your workout sessions. Remember to always warm-up before an exercise and cool-down post-workout. Here are some of the benefits of aerobic exercises:

  • Your heart health improves significantly, your blood circulation gets better with time. This helps carry oxygen and nutrients to every cell of the body more efficiently making you feel active and energetic. Aerobic exercises play a beneficial role in people with deranged lipid levels and also for those dealing with problems like high or low blood pressure.  
  • Your body muscles can consume more oxygen during regular aerobic exercises. This will increase your body’s overall endurance.  
  • Mitochondria are the powerhouses of your cells, they increase inside the muscle and help you carry out all the heavy-duty activities throughout the day.  
  • It also helps you lose excess fat and maintain healthy body weight.
  • Aerobic exercises can strengthen muscles and improve lung function. You will notice more controlled and toned breathing after each session.
  • Aerobic exercises have a positive impact on your brain, mood and mental health.  

Also Read: Can You Drink While Taking Amoxicillin? Uncovering the Facts


It is recommended that all adults should perform at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity regularly unless advised otherwise by a doctor. You may go biking, walking, jogging, swimming, etc. three to five times a week, which will positively affect your health. It is important to understand what works best for your body, you may combine a few exercises, understand which intensity is ideal for you and monitor progress accordingly. Exercising safely is also important, talk with your physician before you start and discuss with him if you have any health issues like osteoporosis, spine-related or other bone and joint disorder. Pregnant women and people suffering from chronic illnesses and heart-related problems should consult their doctor about the right exercises for them. Safety guidelines must be followed while doing aerobic exercises and if you notice symptoms like dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath or joint pain, during exercise, you should stop immediately and contact your physician.

Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.


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