What is Aerobic Exercise?

Do you ever wonder if you're getting enough aerobic exercise or even what aerobic exercise is? Have you ever been out of breath going up a flight of stairs? It could be an indication that you may need more aerobic exercise in your routine!

Aerobic exercise is commonly referred to as "cardio" (short for "cardiovascular"), which refers to our heart and all of our blood vessels. Aerobic exercise is great for keeping our heart healthy and strong, not to mention it boosts endorphins (makes us feel good), reduces stress, helps us sleep better at night, helps prevent or manage high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.

Our body's aerobic capacity is how well it uses the oxygen we breathe in. The more we condition ourselves with aerobic exercise, the more we increase our aerobic capacity.

The first thing that comes to mind when considering a cardio workout at the gym might be running, but there are so many other "flavors" of cardio exercises out there! Think about some things you love to do that get your heart pumping, like:

  • Walking

  • Dancing

  • Swimming

  • Biking

  • Rowing

  • Kayaking

  • Hiking

Honestly, the list could go on and on. If you're not sure where to start, check out some of the fitness classes offered that can be a good introduction start healthy habits. See the latest group exercise classes here.

Remember that with each bout of activity, there are three elements that should be considered:

  • Warm-up: Before working out, take at least five minutes to get your blood pumping. This warm-up could be as simple as walking before you go on a jog, or doing a few jumping jacks before hopping on a bike for spin class.

  • Conditioning: Being an aerobic super-star isn't an overnight transformation! It will take time to build up (or condition) your body to achieve that goal of at least 30 minutes of daily cardio. Take it slow, and make sure to work at your own pace.

  • Cool-down: Just like we had to have a warm-up, our body needs time after an intense workout to cool down. This cool-down routine should include stretching and allow for your heart rate and muscles to return to normal after!

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