What We Need to Know About Aerobic Exercise

Last updated date: 18-Jul-2021

Samsung Medical Center

2 mins read

Aerobic exercise refers to low-intensity full-body workouts that burn fat and carbohydrates with oxygen. To lose weight, adding aerobic exercise to reducing meal sizes is more effective as it increases energy consumption of your body. The main fuel of this type of exercise is fat, so regular aerobic exercise reduces the body fat and helps prevent and recover from adult diseases. It also strengthens your lungs and heart, improving motor abilities and endurance, and relieves stress for your mental health.

What types of workouts are aerobic?

There are numerous types of aerobic exercise. What matters is choosing one that suits your physical conditions and strength. As too much exercise may result in adverse effects like difficulties in breathing and muscle pain, start with a low-intensity workout and raise the intensity and duration slowly and steadily.
- For beginners (low intensity)
  Walking, slow-paced cycling, slow dance, aquarobics, etc.
- For those with strength and basic exercise skills (medium intensity)
  Power walking, normal-paced cycling, stair climbing, quick dance, badminton, basketball, climbing low mountains, etc.
- For those with average strength and exercise skills (high intensity)
  Running, fast-paced cycling, inline/ice skating, rope skipping, swimming, squash, climbing high mountains, etc.

How many calories does aerobic exercise burn?

Calories burned vary by intensity of exercise, and the heavier you are, the more calories you burn. Running fast (9 to 12km/h) is very effective, burning about 350 to 450kcal, the equivalent of one portion of steamed rice (300kcal). However, walking at a normal pace (3km/h) can burn merely 100kcal for 30 minutes. So to lose weight, you will need to work out longer or more intensely.


The American College of Sport Medicine (ACSM) recommends healthy adults to do physical activities with a medium intensity (i.e. you are sweating but can talk) for at least 30 minutes five days a week or with a high intensity for at least 20 minutes three days a week. However, if you have heart conditions or diabetes, you might experience a surge in blood pressure or hypoglycemia and it is recommended to consult a doctor and find a suitable type of exercise.


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