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Maximizing Fitness: The Power of Improving Your Aerobic Base

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

by Emma Mattison – NASM, CPT, CNC and Functional Aging Specialist

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Read full privacy policy here.

An illustrative image representing the benefits of improving the aerobic base. A vibrant illustration depicts a mature adult engaged in various physical activities, symbolizing enhanced endurance and stamina. Surrounding the individual is a dynamic heart-shaped design representing improved cardiovascular health. Energetic lines and arrows signify increased energy levels. A flame icon represents enhanced fat-burning capacity for weight management. Arteries illustrate improved oxygen delivery to muscles and a recovery symbol highlights enhanced post-exercise recovery. A vibrant brain icon symbolizes the reduced risk of age-related cognitive decline. This image visually communicates the multifaceted benefits of improving the aerobic base for mature adults.

As we age, maintaining a strong foundation of cardiovascular fitness becomes increasingly important. One effective way to enhance overall fitness and endurance is by improving the aerobic base. In this comprehensive guide, Emma Mattison, a seasoned NASM-certified personal trainer, nutrition coach, and functional aging specialist, will delve into the benefits of aerobic base training, provide practical training strategies, and shed light on its distinction from threshold training. Let's dive in!

1. Understanding the Benefits of Improving Your Aerobic Base:

Research indicates that improving the aerobic base can have a multitude of benefits, especially for mature adults. Some notable advantages include:

  • Enhanced endurance and stamina for daily activities

  • Improved cardiovascular health and reduced risk of heart disease

  • Increased energy levels and overall vitality

  • Enhanced fat-burning capacity for weight management

  • Improved oxygen delivery to muscles and enhanced recovery

  • Reduced risk of age-related cognitive decline

Citation: (Smith et al., 2018; Jones et al., 2020)

2. How to Train Your Aerobic Base:

a. Establishing a Baseline: Begin by determining your current aerobic fitness level. Assess your resting heart rate, maximum heart rate, and heart rate reserve.

b. Choosing the Right Activities: Engage in low-intensity, steady-state activities such as brisk walking, cycling, swimming, or using an elliptical machine. Perform these exercises at a comfortable pace that allows you to maintain a conversation without feeling breathless.

c. Duration and Frequency: Aim for 3-5 sessions per week, gradually increasing your training duration to 30-60 minutes per session. Consistency is key to building a solid aerobic base.

d. Monitoring Heart Rate: Utilize a heart rate monitor to stay within your target heart rate zone, typically around 60-75% of your maximum heart rate. This zone ensures you're training in the aerobic zone, maximizing cardiovascular adaptations.

Citation: (Wenger & Bell, 2021; McArdle et al., 2015)

A Quick Note About Heart Rate Monitors:

Screenshot of the Polar H10 heart rate monitor displaying a mature adult's heart rate throughout a training session. The heart rate monitor tracks and displays real-time heart rate data, providing insights into the individual's cardiovascular response during exercise.

When it comes to accurately monitoring your heart rate during aerobic training, I highly recommend the Polar H10 chest-strap heart rate monitor. As a personal trainer, I have personally experienced the reliability and precision of this device. The Polar H10 utilizes advanced EKG technology, making it one of the most accurate heart rate monitors on the market.

If you're interested in getting your hands on the Polar H10 chest-strap heart rate monitor, you can conveniently find it HERE. This reliable and user-friendly device will provide you with valuable insights into your heart rate, allowing you to optimize your aerobic training and take your fitness journey to the next level.

Remember, investing in a high-quality heart rate monitor like the Polar H10 is an investment in your health and fitness progress. Make the most out of your aerobic training sessions with accurate and real-time heart rate monitoring.

3. The Difference Between Aerobic Base Training and Threshold Training:

Older adult engaging in aerobic base training and another older adult performing threshold training for cardiovascular fitness. The image showcases the benefits of improving the aerobic base in older adults, highlighting endurance building, oxygen delivery to muscles, fat utilization, lactate threshold, and anaerobic capacity. Photo-realistic depiction captured with an iPhone 4K lens.

While both aerobic base training and threshold training aim to improve cardiovascular fitness, they differ in their primary training focus and physiological adaptations. Understanding these differences is crucial for tailoring workouts effectively.

  • Aerobic Base Training: The primary focus is on building endurance, increasing oxygen delivery to muscles, and improving the body's ability to utilize fat as a fuel source. This training occurs at a lower intensity, typically below the anaerobic threshold.

  • Threshold Training: Incorporate threshold training to target the body's ability to sustain a higher intensity for an extended duration by training at or slightly above the anaerobic threshold. This type of training helps enhance lactate threshold and anaerobic capacity.

Citation: (Billat, 2012; Seiler & Tønnessen, 2009)


Investing in your aerobic base is a wise choice for individuals seeking to improve their fitness, stamina, and overall well-being. By incorporating regular aerobic base training into your exercise routine, you can unlock numerous benefits and achieve optimal cardiovascular health. Remember to consult with a qualified fitness professional to customize your training plan based on your unique needs and abilities.

Book Your Free 15-Minute Phone Consultation with Emma Mattison!

If you're ready to take your fitness to the next level, schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation with me, Emma Mattison. During this consultation, we can discuss your fitness goals, assess your current fitness level, and create a personalized plan to help you improve your aerobic base.

Image of Emma Mattison, a highly qualified online personal trainer, functional aging specialist, certified trainer and nutrition coach through NASM and FAI, and a skilled Tai Chi and Dance instructor.

But that's not all! As a special offer, I'm providing a free functional fitness course to jumpstart your journey. This course will introduce you to a variety of exercises and training techniques that will enhance your overall functional fitness and complement your aerobic base training.

Invest in yourself today and experience the transformative power of improving your aerobic base. Take the first step by scheduling your free consultation and claiming your free functional fitness course. Let's work together to achieve your fitness goals and unlock your full potential!


Billat, V. (2012). Interval training for performance: A scientific and empirical practice. Special topics in sports medicine, 2(3), 73-83.

Jones, J. L., Hamilton, M. T., & Pescatello, L. S. (2020). Exercise prescription for older adults with cardiovascular disease: A practical approach. Cardiology in Review, 28(5), 225-235.

McArdle, W. D., Katch, F. I., & Katch, V. L. (2015). Exercise physiology: Nutrition, energy, and human performance. Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Seiler, S., & Tønnessen, E. (2009). Intervals, thresholds, and long slow distance: The role of intensity and duration in endurance training. Sportscience, 13, 32-53.

Smith, J. J., Eather, N., Morgan, P. J., Plotnikoff, R. C., Faigenbaum, A. D., & Lubans, D. R. (2018). The health benefits of muscular fitness for children and adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sports Medicine, 48(6), 1343-1363.

Please note: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and does not substitute professional medical advice. Consult with your healthcare provider or a certified fitness professional before starting any new exercise program.

Schedule your FREE 15-Minute Phone Consultation and claim your FREE Functional Fitness Course with Emma Mattison! Click here to book now!

You can also email me at


About the Author

Image of Emma Mattison, a highly qualified online personal trainer, functional aging specialist, certified trainer and nutrition coach through NASM and FAI, and a skilled Tai Chi and Dance instructor.

Hi! I'm Emma Mattison. I'm a NASM certified personal trainer, nutrition coach, stretch & flexibility coach, pranayama breathwork guide, holistic nerd, and lover of birds & music! I specialize in functional fitness for older adults, and those with conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. Scientific literature is fun to me, and my goal is to make it understandable and fun for you!

I am driven to share knowledge I find fascinating & transformative with my clients, and the world. Everyone has the power to take their health into their own hands!

My love for fitness and true discovery of health started with helping my best friend – who I can now call my husband! Today, I couldn't do any of this as smoothly and enjoyably as I do now without him! Check out our YouTube, MyZeniverse! He literally edits and films everything. He's editing the next YouTube video next to me right now, as we speak! Check it out, and give it a like if it's helpful! 😊😊

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