Natural Health Journals

Is Aerobic Exercise Good for You?

By Marc Courtiol

Throughout our lives, we have all heard that aerobic exercise is good for us. It does not matter how old you are, what you weigh, or how athletic you might be (or not). The bottom line is that aerobic exercise helps us to live longer, healthier lives. So why do not more of us do it on a regular basis?

Excuses, Excuses

We are all guilty of it. Making excuses to justify the reasons why we can’t exercise is something we do almost automatically, and with the busy schedules most of us have, our excuses sound pretty legitimate. We have all said at one time or another that we are too busy, we have to work late or it is just too hard to get up an hour earlier each morning when we already suffer from lack of sleep.

Children, spouses, work, errands, chores, and a host of other commitments and obligations all conspire to keep us from doing something that is vitally important for maintaining our health and fitness.

When you consider, however, that all it takes is 30 minutes a day, four days each week to keep ourselves fit and healthy, it makes it much more difficult to keep coming up with those excuses.

How to get the Exercise you need

The first thing you need to do is find an aerobic activity that you enjoy. Walking, jogging, swimming, and cycling are the most popular aerobic exercises. For most people, walking or jogging are the easiest since they do not require any special equipment and they can pretty much be done anywhere that you have room to move.

You will need a good pair of athletic shoes, but this is really the only investment you will need to make to get started with your new activity. To make sure that you have the time to exercise at least four times each week, plan your schedule ahead of time. Even if it means that you have to write out a schedule in your day planner, pencil in at least 30 minutes during times of the day that will work best for you.

How Aerobic Exercise Benefits You

  • It helps you fight off a variety of chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and osteoporosis. Research has also shown that regular aerobic exercise helps to prevent cancer.
  • Aerobic activity also helps us to manage our weight. If you’re worried about your weight, or you just want to make sure that you do not start putting on extra pounds, aerobic exercise is the single best thing you can do for your body.
  • If you often have difficulty sleeping, regular exercise can help you to get a better night’s sleep. When we sleep well throughout the night, our productivity and concentration levels are vastly improved. Do not exercise too close to your bedtime, however, or your increased energy levels will actually keep you awake.
  • Can you believe that exercise can actually make you happier? It is true. When we exercise, chemicals in our brain are stimulated that make us feel more relaxed and happy. The end result of this can lead to increased self-esteem and elevated confidence. Exercise can also help to prevent depression.

One thought on “Is Aerobic Exercise Good for You?

  1. cbaileymd

    Great article on an important topic.

    Additional benefits of regular aerobic exercise are that it decreases cellular aging and increases one’s mental acuity as they age.

    I work full time and find it easiest to aim for 150 minutes of cardio exercise per week. Presently I achieve that in 3 50 minute segments. I don’t count activities that may provide some intermittent/limited cardio like yoga or ballroom dancing, just the hard/sustained cardio like a brisk walk, spinning, swimming. The other activities are also invaluable for health, but don’t count for this 150 minute goal.

    Cardio/aerobic exercise is critical for optimal health in my opinion. People with health issues should of course start this with physician supervision, but they should make it a priority.

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