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Aerobic Exercise

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Exercise; Moderate-vigorous physical activity


Aerobic exercise refers to the type of repetitive, structured physical activity that requires the body’s metabolic system to use oxygen to produce energy. Aerobic exercise improves the capacity of the cardiovascular system to uptake and transport oxygen. Aerobic activity can be undertaken in many different forms, with the common feature that it is achieved at a heart rate of 70–80% of a person’s age-appropriate maximum. Aerobic exercise is considered the cornerstone of endurance training, characterized by moderate energy expenditure over a prolonged period of time. Aerobic power or endurance is measured by VO2 max, a person’s maximal oxygen uptake.


Aerobic exercise is different from, though related to, physical activity and exercise in general. Physical activity is a broad category that refers to all bodily movements that require skeletal muscle contraction and energy expenditure. Exercise is a subset of...

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Correspondence to Rachel Millstein .

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© 2013 Springer Science+Business Media, New York

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Millstein, R. (2013). Aerobic Exercise. In: Gellman, M.D., Turner, J.R. (eds) Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine. Springer, New York, NY.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, New York, NY

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4419-1004-2

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-4419-1005-9

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