As mentioned earlier, aerobic exercise is primarily characterized by activities that cause the heart to pump at an accelerated pace for an extended period of time. In addition to referring to activities that engages the heart, aerobic exercise refers to physical exercise that either improves or involves the body's oxygen consumption. When cardio exercise is used alongside a healthy diet and anaerobic exercise, it can contribute to a healthy life. Cardio is a particularly good category of exercise to perform in order to shed pounds, as cardio exercise burns fat as a fuel source. Fats, along with oxygen and carbohydrates, together form the fuel source used by all cells: adenosine triphosphate (ATP). For some aerobic exercise routines to get you started, check out this great list and this informative page.
Do you have any health or physical limitations to consider? If you have back problems, knee issues, arthritis, high blood pressure, asthma, or any kind of health or physical limitations, you need to consider these when looking at the array of exercise videos on the market. There are some that will push you to the very edges of your limits and others that can accommodate a necessity for lower impact and a slower pace yet are still effective. Ignoring health problems or physical limitations is very dangerous. Asking your doctor for any restrictions before shopping is a plus as well.
Summary of long-term adaptations to regular aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise can cause several central cardiovascular adaptations, including an increase in stroke volume (SV) and maximal aerobic capacity (VO2 max), as well as a decrease in resting heart rate (RHR). Long-term adaptations to resistance training, the most common form of anaerobic exercise, include muscular hypertrophy, an increase in the physiological cross-sectional area (PCSA) of muscle(s), and an increase in neural drive, both of which lead to increased muscular strength. Neural adaptations begin more quickly and plateau prior to the hypertrophic response.