Aerobic endurance refers to the ability of the body to continuously transport oxygen throughout its various systems for extended periods of time. By maintaining the flow of oxygen, an individual is able to exercise continuously for longer periods of time without wearing down.
Aerobic endurance relies on the respiratory and cardiovascular systems of the body. The respiratory system consists of the lungs, which are responsible for transporting oxygen that is taken in by the nose and mouth to the blood. The cardiovascular system, which includes the heart, veins and arteries, provides the means by which blood travels through the body, delivering nutrients and oxygen.
Aerobic endurance is important in all exercise and athletic activities. In endurance sports, such as distance running, the body must be able to supply blood and oxygen constantly for an extended period of time. For sports that require explosive action over a shorter period of time, such as weightlifting or football, aerobic endurance helps the body to recover more quickly.
Aerobic endurance can be improved by performing any aerobic exercise. These exercises are typically performed at a moderate intensity level for extended durations. The key principle in this form of exercise is to increase the heart rate consistently for a certain period of time. As a result, oxygen is used to burn fat and glucose.