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The importance of aerobic exercise

Put your heart into it!
The importance of aerobic (cardiovascular) exercise

Cardiovascular (cardio) exercise – also known as aerobic exercise – is any activity that makes you puff. It works the heart, lungs, and muscles – all of which help the body to burn  calories.

The current exercise recommendations for Australians aged 18 to 64 years are:

  • Adults should be active most days, and preferably every day.
  • Each week, adults should do either:
    • 5 to 5 hours of moderate intensity physical activity – such as a brisk walk, golf, mowing the lawn or swimming, or…
  • 25 to 2.5 hours of vigorous intensity physical activity – such as jogging, aerobics, fast cycling, soccer, netball, or an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous activities.

For people aged 65 years and over:

  • A minimum of 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days. If 30 minutes is difficult now, start with just 10 minutes once or twice a day. After 2 weeks, increase to 15 minutes twice a day.  If you can do more than 30 minutes, the benefits will be greater.
  • Try to do a variety of activities and reduce the time you spend sitting down.

Moderate intensity cardiovascular/aerobic fitness activities include:

  • Brisk walking
  • Swimming
  • Golf (no cart)
  • Aerobics or water aerobics
  • Cycling – indoors or outdoors
  • Gardening
  • Tennis
  • Mopping and vacuuming
  • Dancing

You can calculate your heart rate range to determine whether you are working at a moderate to high intensity. However, a simpler method is if you are puffing and able to continue for 30 minutes, that means you are working at a moderate level.

Cardiovascular/aerobic work is important for everybody but it’s even more essential for people with Parkinson’s.

Click on this link for more information: For maximum benefit in people living with Parkinson’s, research suggests that aerobic activity should be at a moderately-high to high intensity or pace.