Aerobic exercise is defined as any physical exercise that requires additional effort by the heart and lungs to meet the skeletal muscles’ increased demand for oxygen. Aerobic exercise increases the breathing rate and ultimately raises heart and lung efficiency. This entry reviews the numerous benefits conferred by engaging in regular aerobic training. It examines the key components of an aerobic training program, the dose-response relationship between energy expenditure and numerous health benefits, and special considerations for designing aerobic training programs in older-adult, cardiac-diseased, hypertensive, and obese populations.

Prevalence of Physical Inactivity

Physical inactivity is a major health concern today. In 2005, fewer than half (49.1%) of U.S. adults fulfilled the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Heart Association's (AHA) physical activity recommendation, with ...

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