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Aerobic Training in a Nutshell

Publications 2 February 2024 No Comments

Regular exercise is a game-changer with an epic range of health benefits! It's not just about looking good, it's about feeling amazing inside and out. And when it comes to exercise, aerobic or cardiovascular training usually steals the show. It's a decent workout for your heart and lungs, with multiple options including jogging, brisk walking, cycling, and swimming. It isn't just about burning calories and shedding pounds.

Decent training is a secret agent, working undercover to make your heart and blood vessels strong and healthy. But that’s not all!! Your lungs get a power-up too, with increased capacity and oxygen delivery to your muscles. In this article, we’re going on a deep dive into the amazing world of aerobic training. Get ready to discover the mind-blowing impact it can have on your overall well-being!

Two types of workout

Aerobic exercises, or as the Greeks would say, “living in air” workouts, are all about using oxygen to fuel your exercise energy. After all, the word “aerobic” comes from ancient Greece. In simpler terms, these are the endurance activities that get you sweaty while making your heart pound. They rely on oxygen in your cells to keep those big muscle groups going strong. Think of activities like jogging, brisk walking, cycling, swimming, or dancing as your aerobic pals. They do wonders for your heart and lungs, giving them the ultimate boost and making your body filled with oxygen. Over time, you might even notice your heart rate and blood pressure chillin’, while your breathing becomes calmer.

On the flip side, we have anaerobic exercises. These are like lightning bolts of intense effort, where you give it everything you’ve got for a brief moment. Activities like sprinting or weightlifting fall into this category. Unlike aerobic exercises, anaerobic workouts don’t need oxygen for energy. They tap into the energy stash in your muscles like a trick up your sleeve that can be used at a right moment. While aerobic exercises are all about heart and lung health as well as endurance, anaerobic exercises turn up the volume on muscle strength, power, and muscle gain. They’re also the secret sauce for boosting bone density and metabolism. Remember, both types of exercise are power players in a well-rounded fitness routine, each bringing their own unique perks to your health.

How fast does the heart beat?

When it comes to aerobic training, it’s all about finding an activity that makes your heart race and your breath go fast. Start off with a 5-10 minute warm-up to get your body primed for action. Then, gradually crank up the intensity until you’re pushing yourself but still feeling comfortable. Keep up this groove for most of your workout, which usually lasts around 20 to 60 minutes. Don’t forget to cool down afterwards to bring your heart rate back to its comfy zone. And of course, listen to your body and stay hydrated throughout the process.

The ‘best dose’ of aerobic training can actually vary quite a bit depending on factors like your current physical condition, fitness goals, and how much time you have in your busy schedule. But as a general rule of thumb, the American Heart Association recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week. It’s like getting your weekly dose of endorphins and good vibes. It’s best to spread this out over the week if you can. For moderate intensity, you could try going for brisk walks or swimming. Of course, it’s important to remember that these recommended durations are just a starting point – you can level up and reap even more benefits by going for longer or more intense sessions if you’re up for the challenge!

Keeping an eye on your heart rate during training is key to make sure you’re in the right groove. Typically, it is 60% to 80% of your maximum heart rate – that sweet spot where the adaptation happens without pushing yourself too hard. Sticking within this range helps you groove your way to health and fitness benefits, while minimizing the chances of looking like you need a bottle with oxygen.

Simple math can make it easy

Calculating your optimal heart rate is actually pretty simple! First, you gotta estimate your maximum heart rate (MHR). A common way to do this is by subtracting your age from 220. For example, if you’re 30 years old, your estimated MHR would be 220 – 30 = 190 beats per minute (bpm). 

Once you’ve got your MHR, you can rock your way to your target heart rate zones, which are usually expressed as a percentage of your MHR. Typically, the groove zone ranges from 60% to 80% of your MHR. So, to calculate this, you just need to multiply your MHR by 0.60 and 0.80. Using our previous example of a 30-year-old with an MHR of 190, this comfortable point would be 114 bpm (190 x 0.60) to 152 bpm (190 x 0.80). That way, you can get the most out of your aerobic exercise while minimizing risks.

The help of technology

There are a bunch of different devices available on the market today that can help you keep your heart rate in check while you jam out to your workout. You’ve got wearable fitness trackers that act like personal trainers. They’re super popular because they do more than just monitor your heart rate – they also track steps or sleeping rhythm, and provide other simple features. Then you’ve got chest strap heart rate monitors, which are basically made for pros. These ones wrap around your chest and are known for being really accurate. They measure the electrical signal of your heart. And of course, there are wrist-based heart rate monitors, which you can find in sports watches. Their reliability in terms of heart rate monitoring varies, but some of the more expensive models can be pretty accurate. Each of these devices has its own pros and cons, and which one you choose really just depends on what gets your heart racing, what kind of workout you’re doing, and how much heart rate data you want to measure. 

Benefits of aerobic training

Regular aerobic training is the bomb-diggity for boosting your cardiovascular health. Check it out: your heart needs a workout to stay in top shape. So, when you break a sweat with aerobic exercises, in fact, you’re supporting the condition of your circulatory system to a great extent. It’s an oxygen shot for your hard-working muscles and a big “no thanks” to heart diseases, stroke, and hypertension. Plus, your heart becomes more efficient at pumping blood throughout your body.

Your respiratory and cardiovascular systems work great together, teaming up to supply oxygen to your muscles and organs. Aerobic training flexes those respiratory muscles, cranks up your breathing rate, and helps to improve lung capacity. In short, regular workouts lead to more efficient oxygen supply to your muscles, better endurance, and stamina. Sayonara to shortness of breath and hello to awesome lung function!

It’s not just about the physical perks. Aerobic training is a one-way ticket to a happier brain. It’s a proven mood-booster, thanks to those endorphins that’ll simply improve your mental well-being. Seriously, in terms of an RPG game you’d likely consider it a happiness potion, since it has a great influence on well-being while giving your brain a high-five. Your brain cells should enjoy positive effects too, especially in memory and learning areas.

Aerobic training is your secret weapon for burning calories like a champ. It revs up your metabolism, so you can torch those calories even when Netflixing on the couch. Combine it with a healthy diet, and voila! Additionally, workouts can protect our health. It is the ultimate immune system repairer. It beefs up your specialized immune cells, which are ready to fight harmful microbes that cause infections. Plus, it brings on the anti-inflammatory effects that boost your overall immunity while reducing the risk of chronic diseases. 

The bottom line

So, strap on those kicks and get ready for a transformation like no other. Aerobic training is your ticket to a healthier, stronger, and downright awesome you. Trust me, your heart, lungs, brain, and immune system will be satisfied. And the best part is that you can start your journey with regular exercise at every age and fitness level. Just be patient and listen closely to your body. It really is a great guide!

Categories: Publications



Almeida, M. B., & Araújo, C. G. S. Effects of aerobic training on heart rate. Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte, 2003

Bouaziz, W. et al., Health benefits of aerobic training programs in adults aged 70 and over: a systematic review. Archives of gerontology and geriatrics, 2017

Delevatti, R. S. et al., The role of aerobic training variables progression on glycemic control of patients with type 2 diabetes: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Sports medicine-open, 2022

Farhani, F. et al., Effects of aerobic training on brain plasticity in patients with mild cognitive impairment: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Brain Sciences, 2022

Lemes, Í. R., et al., Aerobic training reduces blood pressure and waist circumference and increases HDL-c in metabolic syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Journal of the American Society of Hypertension, 2012


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