Is aerobic exercise important to muscle health?

Aerobic exercise is essential to muscle health for several reasons. During aerobic exercise, your heart rate increases and your blood flows more quickly, carrying more oxygen between your lungs and muscles. Aerobic activity helps to promote overall health, which in turn makes it easier to maintain muscle health. Maintaining muscle health helps you to prevent injury.

Yes, aerobic exercise is important for muscle health because it can help strengthen the heart.  The heart is made up cardiac muscle and this type of muscle cannot consciously be controlled.  Heart muscle involuntarily contracts and relaxes in an effort to keep blood circulating throughout the body.  Over time, exercising aerobically and for longer durations can decrease the amount of times the heart pumps as well as increase the amount of blood that is pumped with each contraction.  This makes for a more efficient heart as it is able to get more work done in less time. 

Joanne Duncan-Carnesciali, CPT,NASM Elite Trainer
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Yes!  In fact, it is possible to train the muscles aerobically.   When one thinks of "aerobics" it is not uncommon to think of group fitness classes like step or Zumba.  However, those classes require the participants to lift their arms and legs which requires the use of one's muscles.


One can increase their muscular endurance in an "aerobic" way by using very light weights while they are walking or participating in classes of that sort.  In this way, the aerobic muscular endurance they've developed as a consequence of performing muscular endurance training with light weights will transfer well within their everday lives.

The importance of aerobic exercise is beneficial because this type of exercise challenges, and strengthens the heart muscle by placing moderate to high demands on the cardio respiratory system. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.