Aerobic exercise has several benefits for your overall health, particularly for your heart. This type of workout is best for generating optimal cardiovascular fitness.  Also known as “cardio” in gym terms, aerobic exercise increases blood flow, which increasing oxygen in the blood, as well as improves circulation and helps your body use oxygen better. Over time, aerobic exercise can lower your overall heart rate and blood pressure, reducing your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. As your heart gets stronger it will pump more blood with each beat, which means your heart will not have to work as hard during physical activities.


Cardio has several other benefits for overall health, including reducing your overall risks for obesity, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and certain types of cancer. It can increase your endurance, improve overall muscle tone and strength, as well as reduce stress, anxiety and depression. In addition, aerobic exercise can improve sleep, boost self-esteem, and help maintain a healthy weight.


Some examples of aerobic exercises include: walking, jogging, hiking, bicycling, skiing, swimming, dancing, and aerobic fitness classes. Equipment may be used but is not required for aerobic exercise. Workouts should increase your heart rate and breathing rate for a sustained period of time. For maximum benefit, your goal should be to achieve 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least three to four times a week. Maintaining a regular workout schedule will increase the benefits of these exercises.