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 vigorous-intensity activity.
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 garden work:
Adding variety to a fitness program is a good way to keep motivated.
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 advantages:
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 activity.
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Ainsworth 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 MedicineThomas M. Bailey, MD, CCFP - Family MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerHeather O. Chambliss, PhD, FACSM - Exercise Science
Current as ofDecember 7, 2017
Current as of: December 7, 2017
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& Thomas M. Bailey, MD, CCFP - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Heather O. Chambliss, PhD, FACSM - Exercise Science
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