What is aerobic exercise?

What is aerobic exercise?

Exercise that challenges your heart and lungs.

Aerobic exercise is activity that noticeably increases your breathing and heart rate for an extended period of time, but doesn’t leave you feeling out of breath. It’s exercise that challenges your heart and lungs.

Aerobic means “with oxygen” and refers to your body using oxygen to make energy. It’s also referred to as cardiovascular exercise (“cardio” for short), or endurance exercise.

Aerobic exercise also involves continuous movement of your large muscle groups: your legs, thighs, butt, back, and/or chest.

Types of aerobic exercise include:

  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Swimming
  • Biking

The recommended amount of aerobic exercise to lose weight and keep it off is 45-60 minutes a day, 5-7 days a week.

ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 7th edition (2006)
ACSM Position Stand: Appropriate Intervention Strategies for Weight Loss and Prevention of Weight Gain for Adults

Stephanie's Certifications and Experience
About the Author
Stephanie Averkamp

About the Author was created by Stephanie Averkamp, a recognized health and fitness professional and sole-author of the content on this website. Stephanie's approach to weight loss emphasizes making small, realistic, and permanent lifestyle changes. Read more...

Stephanie Averkamp

Our Approach: Short-term solutions (like dieting) are unrealistic and ineffective because at some point they end. As soon as a diet or program ends, so do the results. Permanent weight loss is a journey; it's not a race or competition and there is no finish line. Read more...