Aerobic exercise refers to exercises that use large muscle mass, in a moderate intensity of continuous exercise to increase heart rate and the flow of oxygen to the muscles. The idea is to make your heart stronger by forcing it to work harder, so it can better do its job at pumping blood and oxygen through your body.

Benefits of Aerobic Exercise

1. Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease

It’s estimated that people who exercise regularly have a 47% lower chance of developing coronary artery disease compared to people who don’t exercise at all. The benefits are also noticeable in people who exercise regularly but not that often or vigorously. One hour of intense exercise every week reduces the risk by 30%.

2. Decrease in blood pressure

Many studies have demonstrated the positive effects of aerobic exercise on blood pressure, particularly in middle-aged and older adults at risk for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome, two conditions known to gradually increase blood pressure throughout adulthood. Exercise may improve the ability of the heart to use available oxygen, thereby making it more efficient.

3. Increased HDL, LDL, and insulin levels

Even in sedentary people with normal or high LDL cholesterol levels, regular aerobic exercise improves the ratio of “good” cholesterol to “bad” cholesterol. Exercise may cause changes in the body that help keep blood sugar stable. When a person is exercising, their insulin secretions are regulated so that they do not remain elevated after being tested by the laboratory. Insulin is a very important hormone because it helps your body break down fat and carbs into energy.

4. Weight loss (or weight progression)

Studies have shown that exercise leads to a significant reduction in the amount of fat and the total amount of body mass in overweight people. One reason for this is that exercise helps keep your metabolism strong, making it much easier to burn fat and maintain a healthy weight. Another reason is that muscle burns more calories than fat does even at rest. The longer you exercise, the greater your effects on energy expenditure and your ability to lose excess weight will be.

There are many other benefits of aerobic exercise, and it is very unlikely that you will be disappointed by the results. Strength training exercises can also help you reach your goals. Just remember to mix up your routine regularly and for best results, keep a log of your progress so you know what’s working for you and what’s not. See my other articles on strength training, specifically How to build muscle fast and How to do push-ups properly course.