Aerobic conditioning

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Aerobic conditioning is a process whereby the heart and lungs are trained to pump blood more efficiently, allowing more oxygen to be delivered to muscles and organs.

Aerobic conditioning is a determining factor in performance in events with a duration greater than 2mins. On the athletics track this would include all events in excess of 800m.

Aerobic condition is usually achieved through cardiovascular exercise such as running, swimming, aerobics, etc. A stronger heart does not pump more blood by beating faster but by beating more efficiently. Trained endurance athletes can have resting heart rates as low as the reported 28 beats per minute in people such as Miguel Indurain or 32 beats per minute of Lance Armstrong,[1] both of whom were professional cyclists at the highest level.

Although exercising at lower intensities will improve aerobic conditioning, the most rapid gains are made when exercising close to an individual's anaerobic threshold.[2] This is the intensity at which the heart and lungs can no longer provide adequate oxygen to the working muscles and an oxygen debt begins to accrue; at this point the exercise becomes anaerobic. Anaerobic training intensity for most individuals will be <85-92% of maximum heart rate.[3]

Once improvement in aerobic conditioning is apparent, for example in metabolism and oxygen uptake, the body will progressively adapt to further training.[4] Aerobic conditioning can be anywhere from walking on the treadmill to mowing the lawn. The average healthy person should engage in 150–200 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise every week. This amount of physical activity should help with maintaining a healthy weight and keeping the cardiovascular system in good condition.[5] Aerobic conditioning is an exercise at which allows oxygen flow to the cardiovascular system at a slower pace than anaerobic conditioning.

Aerobic conditioning has many advantages over anaerobic as it can increase physical endurance and lifespan. During aerobic training, the aim is to improve the blood flow to the lungs, heart, and blood vessels. This particular type of training targets large muscle groups so that as the intensity of physical activity is increased, overall fitness is improved.[6] There are many benefits to aerobic training, and the outcomes can be very rewarding. Aerobic conditioning can increase the duration that one can endure physical activity. This type of conditioning can help with heart disease, diabetes, or anxiety. Aerobic conditioning also has many non-medical benefits, such as improving mood, alleviating fatigue and stabilizing sleeping patterns. This overall type of conditioning has the most longevity to its practice and can improve a person's health and general well being immensely.[7]


  1. ^ The Lance Armstrong Performance Program ISBN 1-57954-270-0
  2. ^ Arthur Lydiard's Guide to Athletic Training. A Guide to the Brooks/American Track and Field Lydiard Running Lecture Tour 1999
  3. ^ Craig, Neil. "Scientific Heart Rate Training." Eureka Quality Printers.1996.
  4. ^ Olpin, D. M. (2011, October 14). Benefits of aerobic conditioning.
  5. ^ Davidson, J. (2011, September 2). Aerobic Vs. Anaerobic Conditioning. LIVESTRONG.
  6. ^ Mccord, E. (n.d.). Aerobic details.
  7. ^ Am J Lifestyle Med. (2010). Aerobic Conditioning and Physical Activity.Sage Publications.
  • Kearns, K. (2011). Aerobic exercise and fasd. University of Victoria, Retrieved from
  • Cooper, Kenneth C. The New Aerobics. Eldora, Iowa: Prairie Wind.
  • Donatelle, Rebecca J. Health: The Basics. 6th ed. San Francisco: Pearson Education, Inc. 2005.
  • Hinkle, J. Scott. School Children and Fitness: Aerobics for Life. Ann Arbor, MI: ERIC Clearinghouse on Counseling and Personnel Services.

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