Aerobic exercise involves using large muscle groups in a rhythmic, continuous manner to increase heart rate and promote blood circulation. Engaging in regular aerobic exercise improves cardiovascular health and can also prevent or reduce chronic pain.

Aerobic activity varies from low to high intensity. Low-impact aerobic exercise is gentler on the body, as it puts less pressure on the joints. Examples of low-impact aerobic exercises include walking, swimming, and cycling.

  • Walking is an aerobic exercise that doesn’t require special equipment or a specific environment. Walking pace can be adjusted for individual comfort and fitness level.
  • Cycling is a good low-impact choice if arthritis or joint pain is an issue. Cycling puts less pressure on the back, hips, knees, and ankles.
  • Swimming and water aerobics are also good alternatives to walking if joint pain is an issue. Because the body faces less resistance in the water, exercising is easier on the joints.

Regular aerobic exercise can help achieve or maintain optimal weight, improve spine function and mobility, lower blood pressure, and improve lung function. It also increases the production of endorphins (the body’s natural pain killers) and reduces the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension.

To reap the maximum benefits of aerobic exercise, it should be practiced from three to five times a week for 20 to 30 minutes. Of course, as with any exercise program, starting slowly and gradually increasing to the desired duration and intensity is recommended.