According to Dr. David Cooper, arguably the father of aerobic exercises, and the man who invented the tread mill test for endurance, aerobic exercise should form an integral part of your exercise routine. Having tested thousands of people over several years for fitness, he has come up with a list of the exercise that give you the maximum benefit. I was surprised by the number one form of exercise. According to him the best exercises in order of preference are
Cross Country Skiing which involves a full body work out including your arms and legs, especially since you have to climb up minor hills before your work your way down. It also forces your lungs to expand creating capacity to take in more oxygen.
Swimming which involves both muscle work out and cardiovascular training. Many people enjoy swimming since its also a low impact exercise and does not strain the knees. This is also an exercise that is easy to take up even if you are not young anymore. Of course you need to be careful of infection.
Running or Jogging is a wonderful way to elevate your heart rate. Most importantly, your can build your capacity to run by almost starting to walk/jog. Remember its important to get your heart rate close to your maximum and therefore being able to take your cadence (steps per minute) up to 180 is important. Sorry, strolling the dog won’t cut it.
Outdoor Cycling which requires you to propel your own body weight, even uphill for those who are so inclined. This form of exercise is also great for the knees. In his opinion, indoor cycling on a stationary bike does not provide the same benefits as you only use the muscles in your legs indoors.
Walking which is the easiest form of exercise and something our bodies have been designed to do. What you need to be careful about is that sedentary walking at home in spurts does not count as walking. Walking is best done at one continuous stretch and should involve some brisk walking such that you manage to get your heart rate up to close to your maximum. Since its less taxing, walking requires you to put in extra time to burn the same amount of calories as the others on this list.
As for me, I manage to do three of the five on this list and blame the lack of snow around my hometown for my lack of inclination to take up skiing.