Aerobic activity raises your heart rate and keeps it up for a while.
This increases the amount of oxygen delivered to your heart and muscles. Over time, this kind of activity benefits your heart, your muscles, your mood and self-esteem, and your amount of energy. It can lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, body fat, anxiety and depression, and fatigue.
Experts say to do regular
moderate activity and/or
Here are some ideas for both
types of activities. You can boost many of the moderate activities in the left
column to a vigorous level by doing them faster or harder.footnote 1
House and yard work:
Adding variety to a fitness program is a good way to keep
If your job includes lots of sitting, try adding these short bursts of activity to your day:
If you are bored with a sport or activity that you once enjoyed,
coaching or giving instruction can renew your interest.
Competition can be a good motivator because:
Helping to plan or organize a competitive event instead of entering
it can provide friendship and fun with others interested in the same activity.
Cross-training is the combination of various activities to spread
the work among various muscle groups. Cross-training has some important
Some exercise machines, such as elliptical cross-trainers, can help
you cross-train. Or you can use exercise machines that give variety to your
program by working muscle groups that aren't heavily used in your primary
Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.
CitationsAinsworth BE, et al. (2011). Compendium of Physical Activities Tracking Guide. Columbia, SC: Prevention Research Center, Norman J. Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina. Available online: http://prevention.sph.sc.edu/tools/compendium.htm.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerHeather Chambliss, PhD - Exercise Science
Current as ofMarch 13, 2017
Current as of:
March 13, 2017
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Heather Chambliss, PhD - Exercise Science
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Last modified on: 8 September 2017