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Aerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise is rhythmic, repetitive activity such as walking, swimming and biking that continues for up to 30 minutes. This type of exercise restores a steady supply of oxygen to your muscles.


In addition to how aerobic exercise can help your heart, it may also:

  • decrease cardiovascular symptoms
  • decrease heart muscle oxygen demand and decrease your risk for a heart attack
  • reduce body fat.

Benefits of aerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise helps your heart to work more efficiently by:

  • toning your heart muscle
  • stimulating circulation through the coronary arteries and peripheral vascular system and enhancing circulation
  • improving cardiovascular endurance (how long)
  • improving cardiovascular tolerance (how much).



Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Helping Your Heart, fourth edition, cvs-ahc-90648

First published: 10/04/2002
Last updated: 06/01/2007

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts