Along with strength training, keeping active and moving will help your joints, spine and muscles stay healthy. Activities that get your heart rate up, such as running, swimming or cycling will also help you prevent many chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.
Not only that, but research shows that aerobic exercise can help people who have chronic pain. When the exercise is of a long duration and of moderate intensity, it results in a release of a natural anti-inflammatory called Interleukin 6, which can reduce pain and inflammation. So if you have chronic pain, then you should really embrace aerobic exercise.
For general health, international guidelines recommend performing 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. This means you are exercising such that it requires effort to continue.
Many people with the best intentions drop out of exercise so it is really important to pick an activity that you enjoy doing. Where possible join a group or class as the social aspect can help keep you engaged and motivated.
Here is a list of some aerobic activities of moderate or vigorous intensities.
- brisk walking
- water aerobics
- riding a bike
- doubles tennis
- pushing a lawn mower
- jogging or running
- swimming fast
- riding a bike fast or on hills
- singles tennis
- skipping rope
- martial arts