Aerobic exercise helps push the heart and circulatory system further than the easy pace of many every day activities. This stress forces the body to adapt causing many changes which benefit us in lots of ways. The health benefits we gain from aerobic exercise are important, not only does this type of exercise help control weight, it also limits the chances of developing many common illness and diseases.

1. The heart enlarges.

2. The heart increases its blood stroke volume.

3. Resting heart rate slows, less than 60 beats per minute indicates good physical fitness

4. Oxygen is used more efficiently resulting in increased fat burning during exercise

4. More available energy due to greater amounts of ATP and PC for immediate power needs

5. Increased endurance

6. Lower blood pressure

7. Reduced risks in developing diabetes and other diseases

8. Increase in good cholesterol, decrease in bad cholesterol

9. Faster recovery after exercise

10. More efficient cardiovascular system

11. A positive body composition change, more muscle less fat

12. Better chance of maintaining healthy weight later in life

13. Help in coping with all other emotional and psychological stress

The constant stress of aerobic exercise forces the heart to gradually enlarge so future exercise eventually requires less effort. A bigger heart allows us to sustain exercise for longer periods because more oxygenated blood can be carried to the working muscles. This also has the added benefit that a higher fat percentage can be used to provide the energy for exercise. Learn more here, burn fat.

Learn about target heart rate to establish the correct exercise intensity!

Most of the above aerobic benefits begin to kick in within four weeks of starting an exercise program, within three months of consistent training there should be a well-developed level of physical fitness with the more dramatic benefits taking place. The changes in the cell's energy system can start to speed up the reduction in total body fat levels. The training effects of exercise does however start to reduce after about 48 hour so its important to be consistent and make your chosen activity fun!

Perhaps no area of exercise science has been more studied than the benefits of aerobic exercise. There is a mountain of evidence to prove that regular aerobic exercise will improve your health, your fitness, and much more. Here's a partial list of the documented health benefits of aerobic exercise.
Cancer prevention

Colon cancer. Research is clear that physically active men and women have about a 30%-40% reduction in the risk of developing colon cancer compared with inactive individuals. It appears that 30-60 minutes per day of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity is needed to decrease the risk, and there is a dose-response relationship, which means that the risk declines the more active you are. Breast cancer. There is reasonably clear evidence that physically active women have about a 20%-30% reduction in risk compared with inactive women. Like colon cancer, it appears that 30-60 minutes per day of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity is needed to decrease the risk, and it is likely that there is a dose-response relationship as well. Prostate cancer. Research is inconsistent regarding whether physical activity plays any role in the prevention of this cancer. Lung cancer. There are relatively few studies on physical activity and lung cancer prevention. The available data suggest that physically active individuals have a lower risk of lung cancer; however, it is difficult to completely account for cigarette smoking. Other cancers. There is little information on the role of physical activity in preventing other cancers.
Cancer treatment

There's some good news for people undergoing cancer treatment. In one study, aerobic exercise performed five days per week for 30-35 minutes for six weeks at 80% of maximal heart rate reduced fatigue in women being treated for cancer. In another study, 10 weeks of aerobic exercise at 60% of maximum heart rate for 30-40 minutes, four days per week, reduced depression and anxiety in female cancer patients. Aerobic exercise isn't a panacea when it comes to cancer, but evidence suggests that it certainly can help.

Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone density which can lead to an increased risk of fracture. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis is responsible for more than 1.5 million fractures annually, including over 300,000 hip fractures, 700,000 vertebral fractures, 250,000 wrist fractures, and 300,000 fractures at other sites. The good news is that exercise may increase bone density or at least slow the rate of decrease in both men and women. It may not work for everyone, and the precise amount and type of exercise necessary to accrue benefits is unknown, but there is evidence that it can help. In children there is good news, too. It seems that active children have greater bone density than sedentary children and that this may help prevent fractures later in life.

Most of us who exercise regularly understand that exercise can elevate our mood. There have been a number of studies investigating the effects of exercise on depression. In one of the most recent studies, it was shown that three to five days per week for 12 weeks of biking or treadmill for approximately 30 minutes per workout reduced scores on a depression questionnaire by 47%! It's not a substitute for therapy in a depression that causes someone to be unable to function (in which case medication and /or psychotherapy may be necessary), but for milder forms of depression, the evidence is persuasive that it can help.

No study has been more conclusive about the role of lifestyle changes (diet and exercise) in preventing diabetes than the Diabetes Prevention Program. It was a study of more than 3,000 individuals at high risk for diabetes who lost 12-15 pounds and walked 150 minutes per week (five 30-minute walks per day) for three years. They reduced their risk of diabetes by 58%! That's significant considering there are 1 million new cases of diabetes diagnosed each year. Aerobic exercise can also improve insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a condition where the body doesn't use insulin properly, and this condition can occur in individuals who do and do not have diabetes. Insulin is a hormone that helps the cells in the body convert glucose (sugar) to energy. Many studies have shown the positive effects of exercise on insulin resistance. In one, 28 obese postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes did aerobic exercise for 16 weeks, three times per week, for 45-60 minutes, and their insulin sensitivity improved by 20%!
Cardiovascular disease

The list of studies that show that aerobic exercise prevents or reduces the occurrence of cardiovascular disease is so long that it would take this entire article and probably five others just like it to review all of the research. One of the most important is one of the earliest. In a study of more than 13,000 men and women, it was shown that the least fit individuals had much higher rates of cardiovascular disease than fit individuals—in some cases, the risk was twice as high. Aerobic exercise works in many ways to prevent heart disease; two of the most important are by reducing blood pressure and allowing blood vessels to be more compliant (more compliant means that they become less stiff and it's less likely for fat to accumulate and clog up the vessels). Results like these have been proven over and over again.
Obesity and weight control

Aerobic exercise is believed by many scientists to be the single best predictor of weight maintenance. You can lose weight without exercise by reducing your caloric intake enough so that you burn more calories than you consume, but it takes a regular dose of exercise to keep your weight off. How much is not clear, but somewhere between 40 minutes of vigorous exercise several times per week to 75 minutes of moderate intensity exercise five or more days per week is probably about right. Your mileage will vary, and so once you get to the weight that you want to be at you'll need to experiment with different amounts of exercise until you find the one that works for you. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that overweight and obese individuals progressively increase to a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week, but for long-term weight loss, overweight and obese adults should eventually progress to 200 to 300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity.

Aerobic exercise definitely burns lots of calories. Below is a table of minutes of continuous activity necessary to expend 300 calories based on your body weight.
What aerobic exercise does for your health

Regardless of your age, weight or athletic ability, aerobic exercise is good for you. As your body adapts to regular aerobic exercise, you'll get stronger and more efficient. Consider some of the many ways that aerobic exercise can help you feel better and enjoy life to the fullest.

Regular aerobic exercise can:

* Reduce health risks. Aerobic exercise reduces the risk of many conditions, including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke and certain types of cancer. Weight-bearing aerobic exercises, such as walking, reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
* Help you manage chronic conditions. Aerobic exercise helps lower high blood pressure, control blood sugar and relieve chronic muscle pain. If you've had a heart attack, aerobic exercise can help prevent subsequent attacks.
* Keep excess pounds at bay. Combined with a healthy diet, aerobic exercise can help you lose weight — and keep it off.
* Ward off viral illnesses. Aerobic exercise activates your immune system. This leaves you less susceptible to minor viral illnesses, such as colds and flu.
* Keep your arteries clear. Aerobic exercise increases the concentration of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or "good") cholesterol and decreases the concentration of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol in your blood. The potential result? Less buildup of plaques in your arteries.
* Strengthen your heart. A stronger heart doesn't need to beat as fast. A stronger heart also pumps blood more efficiently, which improves blood flow to all parts of your body.
* Boost your mood. Aerobic exercise can ease the gloominess of depression and reduce the tension associated with anxiety, as well as promote relaxation.
* Increase your stamina. Aerobic exercise may make you tired in the short term. But over the long term, you'll enjoy increased stamina and reduced fatigue.
* Stay active and independent as you get older. Aerobic exercise keeps your muscles strong, which can help you maintain mobility as you get older. Aerobic exercise also keeps your mind sharp. Researchers say that at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three days a week can reduce cognitive decline in older adults.

Speeds Up Metabolism
The more muscle you have, the more calories those muscles will burn throughout the course of the day. Keep building those muscles by performing anaerobic exercises at least 2-4 times each week and you'll get that metabolism revving!

Strengthens Bones
By properly performing your anaerobic exercises, you will increase the density and weight of your bones more than you can with any other type of exercises. While osteoporosis may not be a concern for you now, taking care of your body with the right anaerobic exercises can pay huge dividends for you and your body down the road.

Hardens Joints
It is a very simple rule: build muscle to protect joints. An example of this rule is found when you do squats. Squats are an exercise that “hardens” the knee joint and this happens by building bigger ligaments and muscles. By hardening your joints through anaerobic exercise, you are giving your body an edge against potential injuries.

Increases Your Energy
In order to understand how anaerobic exercise can boost your energy levels, just remember this: muscles store glycogen (sugar) and this energy is called into action when you are performing physically challenging exercises. When you perform your anaerobic exercises, you increase muscle size and ultimately your ability to store energy. Building bigger muscles is the natural way to increase your energy and be healthy in the process.

Increases Sports Performance
Suppose you're a tennis fanatic. Chances are you are always looking for ways to improve your serve and ground strokes. Anaerobic exercises, by working on the strength of the muscle groups in your shoulder, for instance, can have a dramatic impact on your serve and hitting. The same is true for virtually all sports: anaerobic exercises help build muscles that will ultimately help improve your game.

Lowers Blood Sugar
The primary destination for the sugar (glycogen) we consume is the muscle. For people already with an active lifestyle (and who perform anaerobic exercises weekly! -hint, hint), this sugar is either burned immediately or simply stored for future use as fuel. If you are a couch potato or have a less-active lifestyle, then this sugar is turned to fat.
Furthermore, insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar, does not work as well for inactive individuals. The result may be an increase in blood sugar levels. Anaerobic exercise is vital to maintaining healthy and steady blood sugar levels.

Recaptures Youth
After we hit 40, the body can lose upwards of six pounds of muscle every ten years. Turn back the clock by acquiring and maintaining the same muscle mass you had in your early twenties. Anaerobic exercises will help you build back this muscle and increase your energy level and overall health in the process!

Improves Your Appearance
There is no better solution for the slouch-shouldered, bent-over look of middle age than an increase in muscle mass. If you're tired of "looking your age," anaerobic exercises can go a long way to help make you look younger and stronger!

Gives You Some Control of Your Life
The ability to control how you look and feel is a wonderful thing that should not be taken for granted. Anaerobic exercise is a great way to gain strength and feel better about yourself and your self-discipline. The results are gratifying and are due to you—and you alone! You are the master of your own destiny with anaerobic exercises.

Need more convincing? People who engage in regular aerobic exercise appear to live longer than those who don't.



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