No one would argue with me when I say that the most crucial type of exercise for the average person is aerobic exercise, such as walking, swimming, and bicycling.
Aerobic is a biological term that simply means "with oxygen". This is why people talk in terms of "better wind" or "getting less puffed" when they get together to discuss fitness.
What they are really trying to say is that they want to improve the functioning of the aerobic energy system, but they don't have the right words to describe what happens inside their bodies.
When performing aerobic exercise your body changes and adapts. Increase your aerobic fitness and you'll get:
The next time you are thinking about how much of a slob you've become, think of the benefits of even a small increase in your aerobic fitness.
You all know that sinking feeling you get when you contemplate that roll of fat that seems to be gradually growing across your stomach.
If you need some prompting to get you started on your home exercise program, here are some of the benefits of participating in a regular aerobic fitness plan that pop into my mind.
All these benefits are backed up by scientific research, and accepted widely:
If you are already exercising regularly, then congratulations. The next time someone is giving you a hard time by asking you why you bother, surprise them.
Tell them about all these benefits to your body, mind, and "well-being" (and your sex life) that come naturally to those who invest some of their time in regular exercise. All that regular exercise is worth it.
THE WRONG WAY
Or go to the gym, do a couple of stretches, lift a few weights, rest, lift a few more weights, rest, talk, rest, lift a few weights, and rest and talk a bit more. Are these people having an aerobic workout? No way!
These forms of exercise may increase flexibility, or muscle endurance, or strength, and even burn up a few calories and improve the person's self image by winning a game or lifting more weight than others in the gym, but they are not aerobic exercise.
THE RIGHT WAY
In order to strengthen the cardiorespiratory system, the cardiovascular system, increase your ability to mobilize body-fat stores and reduce your chances of diseases associated with ageing or lack of activity (such as obesity or osteoporosis), you must elevate your heart rate and keep it elevated for a minimum of 20 minutes three times per week.