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What is Aerobic Exercise?

Aerobic (cardio) exercise is any rhythmic exercise activity that uses large muscle groups and which can be maintained continuously. The word aerobic means with oxygen, so it only refers to physical activities that need oxygen to be delivered to the muscles, via the lungs and blood supply - that is, activities that are sustained for a period of time, rather than short bursts of effort (eg. lifting weights) that don't rely on oxygen for fuel. Compare Anaerobic Exercise. Aerobic training is often called cardio exercise because it strengthens the cardiovascular (heart) and respiratory (lungs) systems.

Types of Aerobic Exercise

Examples of aerobic training include: walking, jogging, running, biking, swimming, skipping/jumping rope, stair-climbing, inline skating/roller-blading, elliptical-training and rowing.

Intensity of Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic training can be low-impact or high-impact, according to its intensity level..

What is Low-Impact Aerobic Exercise?

Low-impact training involves aerobic movements during which at least one foot remains in contact with the ground at all times. Low impact exercise leads to fewer injuries from muscle strain/overuse, and is recommended for people whose physical condition requires a lighter type of aerobic workout, like pregnant or nursing women, anyone in fitness rehabilitation, anyone suffering from obesity and seniors. Low-impact workouts include: walking, biking, swimming, step-exercise, rowing.

What is High-Impact Aerobic Exercise?

High-impact training involves aerobic movements (eg. jumping, hopping) during which both feet lose contact with the ground. Although it provides greater cardiovascular benefits, and is useful for extra calorie-burning, muscle-strengthening/toning and bone strength, high-impact aerobic exercise carries a greater risk of muscle and joint injury, especially in the lower-body (groin, knee, ankle etc.).

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