Aerobic Exercise Medical Recommendations

17 September, 2020
If you want to make sure that aerobic exercise benefits you, it’s a good idea to follow some clear medical guidelines. Here are some keys to understanding when it’s useful and when it isn’t.

You probably know that exercising is good for your health. But do you know about aerobic exercise and medical recommendations? It’s important to know when aerobic exercise is beneficial and when it isn’t, so you can avoid wasting your time and energy.

People who suffer from hypertension, diabetics, cancer patients, and overweight people can reap the benefits of aerobic exercise. In this article, discover aerobic exercise medical recommendations.

What’s aerobic exercise?

Exercise is divided into two groups, aerobic and anaerobic, according to the type of oxygen consumption they demand. This is determined by how much the muscles use oxygen.

All cells metabolize to produce energy with sufficient oxygen supply. However, sometimes, they can use certain oxygen reserves, generating a deficit that the body must compensate for through breathing and heart rate.

This means that the muscles contract and relax using oxygen and request more of it as the intensity of the activity increases. For example, we start jogging with enough oxygen reserves. However, as you jog faster, your heart rate increases to keep up with the demand. This is an aerobic exercise.

On the contrary, when you go to the gym and do many reps in a row, perhaps more than indicated, you enter the anaerobic stage. As such, your muscles exceed the oxygen demand that your lungs and pumping heart can regulate. Thus, your body must compensate for this demand in the future.

A woman running.

Thus, the aerobic exercise medical recommendations affirm that there should be an effective use of oxygen in the framework of sports activities that continuously consume this gas at the muscular level. This is the case for swimming, running, soccer, and dance, among many others.

Aerobic exercise medical recommendations for children and teens

A publication by the Paraguayan Pediatric Society suggests that children over the age of five must follow certain guidelines to avoid overdoing it and putting themselves at risk when they practice aerobic exercise. Similarly, teens and young people up to the age of 17 can be guided by the same recommendations.

In itself, for this age group, experts advise practicing at least one hour of physical activity a day, every day of the week. Their energy demands are different, and they don’t always have to meet them through organized sports. Any moment where they consume oxygen counts.

The greatest danger in this age group is accidents and injuries. Thus, experts recommend the use of the necessary protective equipment for the sport in question. This goes for recreational cycling, rugby, and even hockey.

What should healthy adults consider?

The aerobic exercise medical recommendations for healthy adults are focused on stimulating the metabolic effect of the activity. This means that a real change should occur in the mechanism by which cells incorporate nutrients and produce energy.

In this regard, the World Health Organization states that adults between 18 and 64 years of age should practice aerobic exercise 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Each training session should be in bouts of at least ten minutes duration. Otherwise, there’s no medical effect.

The maximum limit is 300 minutes per week. Scientific evidence indicates that exceeding this value isn’t synonymous with added benefits. Thus, this may only be beneficial for professional athletes.

Although walking to work or riding a bicycle for certain tasks count, health professionals agree on the importance of allocating a specific time for exercise, separated from the rest of the activities. This is because this increases the psychological effect of aerobic exercise as a stress reliever.

An old woman swimming.

Aerobic exercise medical recommendations for adults over 65

The recommended levels for this age group are the same as for the previous group. Between 150 and 300 minutes of aerobic activity per week is enough to reach the desired metabolic effect of lowering blood glucose and blood pressure.

However, what these adults must consider is the mobility limitation that accompanies aging. In this regard, there’s a higher prevalence of joint problems and osteoporosis that represent a risk compared to oxygen-consuming sports, which require precise and measured movements.

In any case, an active life is the key to counteracting the effects associated with aging. Therefore, experts recommend that this age group practice as much aerobic exercise as their ability allows.

Beyond the benefits, you should pay attention to the indications

You must follow the guidelines of aerobic exercise. Many of them are automatic in people who lead an active life. However, it never hurts to consider the weekly minimum to achieve the metabolic effect. Otherwise, you could waste your time for no reason, as you won’t reap any benefits from it.

If you’re wondering if you can do aerobic exercise, consult a doctor. Finally, it’s essential for health professionals to guide the recommendations and clarify the risks for those who already suffer from a chronic disease.

  • Desia, Néstor Zawadzki. La práctica deportiva en niños, niñas y adolescentes. Pediatría (Asunción): Organo Oficial de la Sociedad Paraguaya de Pediatría 31.1 (2004): 33-42.
  • World Health Organization. Recomendaciones mundiales sobre actividad física para la salud. (2010).
  • Pizano, Alejandro, Darío Echeverri, and Félix R. Montes. Efecto del ejercicio aeróbico en la rigidez vascular en una población sana. Revista colombiana de cardiologia 24.3 (2017): 308-315.
  • Concha-Cisternas, Y. F., E. E. Guzman-Muñoz, and G. N. Marzuca-Nassr. Efectos de un programa de ejercicio físico combinado sobre la capacidad funcional de mujeres mayores sanas en Atención Primaria de Salud. Fisioterapia 39.5 (2017): 195-201.
  • Mora, Jorge Leonardo Rodríguez, et al. Efectos de un programa de ejercicio aeróbico submáximo sobre el rendimiento cardiorrespiratorio y la potencia anaeróbica. Revista Investigaciones Andina 22.40 (2020).
  • Calderón, Tyrone Loría, and Mynor Rodríguez Hernández. Efecto del ejercicio aeróbico sobre el equilibrio en personas adultas mayores de 50 años: un meta-análisis de ensayos controlados aleatorios. Pensamiento Actual 19.32 (2019): 78-91.
  • Morales Palomo, Félix Alberto. Tratamiento del síndrome metabólico con ejercicio aeróbico; efecto de distintos tipos de entrenamiento y de la periodización anual. (2019).
  • Maureira, Fernando. Efectos del ejercicio físico sobre las funciones ejecutiva: Una revisión del 2010 al 2016. EmásF: revista digital de educación física 43 (2016): 110-125.