What Are the Different Types of Aerobic Exercise?

Harriette Halepis

Prior to the year 1968, the term aerobic exercise was not a part of everyday vocabulary. It was not until two United States Air Force medical specialists began experimenting with various forms of physical exercise that the term was established. In fact, the greater public was completely unaware of any kind of aerobic exercise until the two specialists released a book entitled "Aerobics."

An aerobic workout elevates the heart rate, or pulse rate.
An aerobic workout elevates the heart rate, or pulse rate.

Originally, aerobics involved three specific types of exercise including cycling, swimming, and running, though many other activities have since been included in this category. As detailed in the book Aerobics, the main goal of any aerobic exercise is to provide an increased amount of oxygen to the body as a whole. Therefore, any type of physical activity that accomplishes this task can be labeled aerobic exercise.

Swimming was one of the original activities referred to as aerobic exercise.
Swimming was one of the original activities referred to as aerobic exercise.

Essentially, any form of exercise that causes the pulse to race is a form of aerobics. Aerobics can include skiing, jogging, running on a treadmill, using an elliptical trainer, any anything else that may cause a person to sweat profusely or raise his or her heart rate.

Jogging provides an aerobic workout.
Jogging provides an aerobic workout.

Contrary to popular belief, aerobics do not have to be performed within a typical fitness center setting. Instead, aerobics can include all kinds of outdoor and indoor activities. Even though the concept of aerobics was developed during the 1960s, the benefits of aerobics are still widely supported today. The only difference between the initial concept of aerobics and contemporary aerobics is the addition of weight training.

Cycling is a type of indoor aerobic exercise.
Cycling is a type of indoor aerobic exercise.

While it's hard to criticize any theory that supports physical activity, modern physical fitness experts do not believe that aerobics alone can keep a person's body in shape. Instead, these professionals believe that aerobics must be combined with weight training, a proper diet, and a healthy lifestyle. As the years pass, and many studies based upon the effects of exercise are conducted, physical fitness experts add and adjust the necessary steps to becoming physically fit.

Aerobic exercise is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle.
Aerobic exercise is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle.

Still, aerobic exercise remains an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. Anyone who wishes to partake in aerobic activity can do so simply by walking, running, or finding another activity that causes oxygen to fill the lungs. Aerobic activity is not confined to one type of exercise or another, though everyone should attempt to participate in some type of aerobic activity on a regular basis in order to remain healthy.

People who want to exercise outdoors often choose running and interval training for an aerobic workout.
People who want to exercise outdoors often choose running and interval training for an aerobic workout.
Jumping on a trampoline is a fun aerobic exercise for kids and adults.
Jumping on a trampoline is a fun aerobic exercise for kids and adults.
Running on a treadmill is an aerobic exercise.
Running on a treadmill is an aerobic exercise.

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Discussion Comments

cupcake15

Suntan12- I like to swim and ride my bike. Both exercises get my heart rate up and leaving me feeling great afterwards.

I usually swim for about twenty-five minutes with a few breaks in between. I weight about 150 pounds and burn about 123 calories for that time.

When I ride my bike it’s usually for about thirty minutes, but I am thinking of trying an aerobics class at my gym because I am starting to get bored with my routine, and I want an additional form of aerobics exercise.

suntan12

Great article- I agree that adding weight lifting to an aerobic routine makes the muscles stronger and allows the exerciser the ability to gain higher levels of fitness due to the increase strength in the muscles.

Also as a result of the increased muscle tone, the exerciser will not only burn more calories during the workout, but he will also burn more calories at rest as well.

Most competitive athletes perform aerobic and weight lifting activities in their workouts. The two forms of workouts really compliment each other well.

I personally jog on a treadmill and also use the weight machines at my gym.

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