Skip to main content Skip to Search Box

Definition: aerobic exercise from The Macquarie Dictionary

physical exercise during which energy is derived from glucose produced by the reaction of oxygen in the blood with stored glycogen, and which typically involves moderate activity over a relatively long period of time, such as walking, gently paced running, swimming, gymnastic exercises, etc.; benefits are improved blood circulation, and strengthened respiratory and cardiac muscles.

See Also: anaerobic exercise

Summary Article: aerobics
From The Columbia Encyclopedia

(ârō'biks), [Gr.,=with oxygen], system of endurance exercises that promote cardiovascular fitness by producing and sustaining an elevated heart rate for a prolonged period of time, thereby pumping an increased amount of oxygen-rich blood to the muscles being used. Such aerobic activities as running, swimming, and cycling can improve the body's use of oxygen, thereby allowing the heart to work less strenuously. Major Kenneth H. Cooper, a physician, pioneered the field with Aerobics (1968), which outlined fitness programs based on his study of 50,000 U.S. Air Force men and women. Since the 1980s, the term has indicated a specific type of physical fitness routine that involves a fast-paced series of exercises usually performed to the accompaniment of music. Variations include aerobic dance, jazz dance exercise, step aerobics, and low-impact aerobics. Aerobics has become one of the most popular forms of physical exercise in the United States, spawning growing memberships in exercise clubs and creating a large commercial market that includes celebrity exercise videotapes and aerobic gear.

  • See P. Malfetone; M. Mantell, The High Performance Heart (1991).
The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2018

Related Articles

Full text Article aerobic exercise
Collins Dictionary of Medicine

A system of physical exercising in which the degree of exertion is such that it can be maintained for long periods without undue breathlessness....

Full text Article aerobic exercise
Academic Press Dictionary of Science and Technology

Any of various forms of physical exercise intended to produce increased heart and lung activity and thus promote the body’s use of...

Full text Article aerobic exercise
The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology

Any exercise that increases oxygen uptake by the body. ...

See more from Credo