Aerobic Exercise: How Hard Should It Be?


Most have heard that endurance exercise is good for us, so we pedal away, go for a walk or run, or move our arms and legs back and forth repeatedly on an elliptical machine. But, have you ever wondered how hard to exercise? The answer all depends on your goal (or goals).

The energy system your body uses for endurance exercise varies according to your exercise intensity. This grid provides a simple summary of how to target the primary energy system in your body based upon your goal (or goals).

Please note: The higher the intensity of the exercise, the more important it is to perform 5 to 10 minute warm-ups and cool-downs. Doing so prepares your body for the stresses you’re about to place on it and to recover following your exercise.

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Claims of increased strength are based on an analysis of 716 members who exercised for two years. Results will vary based on each individual’s level of participation. Wellness claims are based on evidence in health and exercise science literature.
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