Health Benefits of Aerobic Exercise

For general health and fitness, nothing works quite as well as aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise has been proven to help mental and emotional well-being. Anxiety, depression, panic attacks, phobias, attention deficit disorder, and many more mental and emotional problems can be virtually eliminated with exercise. When you exercise, your body produces many different types of hormones. These hormones can make you feel better and help your body rebuild itself.

During aerobic exercise, your body releases beta-endorphins. These beta endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers sometimes known as opiates. These endorphins are what are responsible for the feeling known as quote runner’s high quote which is experienced by long-distance runners and marathoners.

Aerobic exercise also stimulates the production of norepinephrine. This body chemical may help eliminate depression. People who are depressed typically have low levels of norepinephrine so aerobic exercise may help combat this type of depression.

Aerobic exercise also causes the body to heat up and sweat. Body heat helps to calm the muscles while sweat moves toxins out of the body. Large accumulations of toxins in the body are known to cause many health problems. By sweating out these toxins, you are improving your health.

You should strive to perform aerobic exercise at least three times a week for a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes. It used to be widely believed that you would have to exercise for 20 to 30 minutes at one time. However, new research shows that three 10-minute workouts throughout the day can achieve the same effect of one 30-minute workout.

Aerobic exercise does not necessarily mean going to the gym and a Lycra leotard and performing a routine to music. This is the most familiar form of aerobic exercise. However, any exercise that elevates the heart rate can be considered aerobic exercise. Be creative. Aerobic exercise can include walking, hiking, running, biking, swimming, jumping rope, and even a vigorous mowing a lawn. It really doesn’t matter. Just get out and start moving. In fact, if you change your aerobic exercise every couple of days, you are more apt to stick with it. Most people give up their aerobic exercise because they get bored with doing the same aerobic exercise day after day after day. By combining walking with swimming or by hiking one-day and jumping rope another, it will become less routine, more exciting, and more fun. For added fun and excitement, include a friend or family member to do your aerobic exercise with you. Having a friend exercise with you not only makes the time go faster, but also provides some accountability. You are far less likely to skip your aerobic exercise if you know you have to meet a friend for a walk in the park.

So for the next four weeks, commit yourself to aerobic exercise at least three times a week. Keep a daily journal of how you feel. At the end of the four weeks, I guarantee that if you have stuck with your aerobic exercise you will feel more energized, less anxious and stressed, and be in a better overall mood.

Dean Novosat writes for Here you’ll find a collection of health and fitness research and articles.

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