Article | July 2018

Benefits of Exercise

Everyone—young and old—can benefit from regular physical activity.1 Getting your blood pumping and your body moving can be as simple as going for a walk.

How often should I work out?

You should try to engage in moderate activity for at least 2-1/2 hours each week. Try getting your body moving for at least 10 minutes at a time.

If exercise is new for you, start out slow. You can add in activity and for a longer length of time as you gain confidence and your physical abilities improve. Check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program, especially if you have health concerns.

What is aerobic exercise?

Aerobic exercise refers to exercise that involves using extra oxygen. During aerobic exercise, your cardiovascular system is activated and your heart rate is elevated. Walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, and dancing are all good examples of aerobic exercise.

What is anaerobic exercise?

Anaerobic exercise is used to develop strength, and doesn’t require extra oxygen for your muscles to perform. A good example of anaerobic exercise is weight-lifting.

What are the benefits of exercise?

Exercise can help you lose fat and build muscle. It’s also a great way to manage stress. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to exercise as often as you’d like, you can still enjoy its benefits by adapting your daily routine. For example, walk more often, or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Good habits such as these can help you with small, but significant, improvements in your overall mental and physical health.

What should my exercise heart rate be when I work out?

Your exercise heart rate refers to how many times your heart beats per minute during a workout. Your weight, height, age, and current fitness level influence your exercise heart rate. A trained fitness professional can offer some advice on what rate is best for your stage of fitness.

What exercises burn the most fat?

Incorporating a combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercises into your fitness routine is likely to help you get the most health benefits. As you age, anaerobic exercises that help you build and maintain strength tend to be most beneficial.

Tailor your workout to your life stage and body type. Aerobic exercises can help reduce your body fat. As you get older, maintaining and building muscle mass through anaerobic exercise is also important.

No matter what exercise or physical activities you add to your routine, you’ll enjoy the health benefits they bring you.

The health information provided under this program is for educational purposes only. It is not medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a doctor.

Cigna assumes no responsibility for any circumstances arising out of the use, misuse, interpretation or application of the information provided. Individuals are encouraged to consult with their doctor for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing and care recommendations, including before undertaking a new diet or exercise program.