What Is Aerobic Exercise?

Move away from the leotard, the term 'aerobic exercise' encompasses a lot more activities than you may think

Turn down the Mr Motivator DVD and remove those leg warmers, aerobic exercise doesn’t just refer to 80s fitness trends. It’s the term for any exercise that increases your heart and breathing rate and can be performed for a sustained period of time. Think running 5k or cycling for 10 minutes or longer at ‘talking’ pace.

Literally meaning ‘with oxygen’, aerobic exercise strengthens your heart and lungs with the knock on effect of improving the way your body uses oxygen. It can also help to reduce stress and improve mental health as it causes the release of endorphins – chemicals that trigger a positive feeling and can act as a natural painkiller – in the brain. It’s often known as ‘cardio’ down the gym but can include anything from swimming and jogging to dancing and rowing.

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