According to the University of Michigan, aerobic exercise is an activity that forces the muscles to use oxygen for longer than three minutes. They recommend aerobic exercise as part of any exercise program, due to its reported health benefits.
Some types of aerobic exercise include swimming, walking, jogging and playing physical sports such as basketball or tennis.
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The goal of aerobic exercise is to increase the heart rate, which helps strengthen the heart muscle.
Aerobic exercise reduces the risk of some cancers, slows down the progression of osteoporosis, improves cognition and eases the effects of depression. According to MedicineNet.com, it also prevents diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity.
Aerobic exercise is heart-healthy–it decreases blood pressure and stress on the heart. It also increases good cholesterol levels, increases blood flow to the lungs and burns calories.
The University of Michigan recommends doing aerobic exercise five to six times a week for 30 to 60 minutes.