To improve aerobic fitness the ACSM recommends exercise that employs large muscle groups, is rhythmic or dynamic, can be maintained continuously and is aerobic in nature (Garber et al., 2011). This type of exercise results in larger increases in aerobic fitness. Activities that would fit into this category include walking, running, swimming and cycling. This again depends upon the level of the individual and their goals and demands of their activity or sport.
Frequency, intensity, time (duration) and type (mode) of exercise are key factors to consider when prescribing aerobic or any other type of exercise. As you can see, in addition to the FITT guidelines and prescription factors already mentioned, the principles of training also need to be taken into consideration when planning an exercise programme. Next we explore some of the training methods used to develop aerobic activity.