NX_cyclist_side_mountain_highEndurance, or aerobic, activities increase your breathing and heart rate.  These activities help keep you healthy, improve your fitness, and help you do the tasks you need to do every day.  Endurance exercises improve the health of your heart, lungs, and circulatory system.  They also delay or prevent many diseases that are common in older adults such as diabetes, colon and breast cancers, heart disease, and others. Some examples of physical activities that build endurance include:

  • Brisk walking
  • Yard work (mowing, raking)
  • Dancing
  • Jogging
  • Swimming
  • Biking
  • Climbing stairs or hills
  • Playing tennis
  • Playing basketball

The key with endurance exercise is significantly increasing one’s heart rate and breathing.  Although you want the benefits of endurance training you also want to ensure you are safely increasing your level of fitness.  The way to do this is by monitoring your heart rate.  By monitoring your heart rate, you can adjust your level of exercise intensity to ensure you stay within what is referred to as the “target heart rate zone.”