Different types of exercises strengthen different parts of your body. Bodybuilders and weightlifters attempt to increase muscle size and strength by performing anaerobic exercises. These types of exercises involve explosive movements that do not require an increase in oxygen consumption. Long distance runners and bikers, on the other hand, participate in aerobic exercises that create a need for more oxygen circulation around the body.
Aerobic exercise increases stamina and endurance while strengthening the entire cardiovascular system in the process. Avid runners tend to develop a strong heart and lungs and oxygen is able to flow freely and quickly throughout their bodies. In addition to being stronger, the heart becomes more efficient, beating less often while still delivering oxygenated blood throughout the body.
Any activity that raises the heart rate for a prolonged period of time is considered to be a form of aerobic exercise. To ensure that you’re getting the most from your aerobic workout you must keep track of your heart rate. During your workout, you should take your pulse to measure your heart rate. A good goal is to get your heart rate to 50-80 percent of your theoretical maximum heart rate for at least 30 minutes. To find your theoretical maximum heart rate or TMHR, simply subtract your age from 220. It is recommended that you should repeat this process of elevating your heart rate through aerobic exercise three to five times per week in order to get the most from your training.
It is important to ease into and out of aerobic exercise by warming up before you begin and cooling down after your workout is finished. A good warm-up should consist of some stretching as well as some light walking or jogging to elevate your heart rate above its resting level. A cool down concludes your workout by slowly bringing your heart rate back down to its normal rate through stretching and breathing exercises. Aerobic exercise can be a great way to strengthen your heart but if you have a history of heart or lung problems you should consult your doctor before you begin an exercise routine.