Aerobic activity, also known as cardio or endurance activity, is the core of most fitness training programs. Aerobic activity or exercise causes you to breathe faster and more deeply. The breathing boosts how much oxygen is in the blood. The heart will beat faster, which sends more blood flow to the muscles and back to the lungs.
The better the aerobic fitness, the more efficiently the heart, lungs and blood vessels carry oxygen throughout the body. And it will likely be easier to do routine physical tasks.
Aerobic activity includes any physical activity that uses large muscle groups and raises the heart rate, such as:
For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. The guidelines suggest that you spread out this exercise during the course of a week. To help with weight loss or staying at a healthy weight, at least 300 minutes a week is recommended.
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Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. 2nd ed. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://health.gov/paguidelines/second-edition. Accessed Oct. 10, 2022.