(CNN) – The start of a new year means more people are thinking about health and fitness. However, not all exercise is the same. There’s one particular kind of fitness that has more positive benefits than any other.
Physical fitness is clearly important for overall health, but you can be fit in different ways — weight lifters have strength, yoga practitioners have flexibility and sports-lovers have the skills to play their games.
However, these activities don’t all impact your health the same way. The most important factor for good health is “aerobic” fitness, how well your body uses oxygen.
Aerobic activity directly impacts your ability to exercise vigorously for a long period of time. Aerobic activity has a host of benefits – in addition to weight loss, it can help ward off viral illnesses by activating your immune system.
Aerobic activity helps manage many chronic conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure and type two diabetes.
It strengthens your heart and helps keep your arteries clear. Aerobic activity can even help with depression and anxiety. Any activity that raises your heart rate and keeps it up is an aerobic activity.
You don’t even need special equipment to get started all you have to do is walk.
Take it slow at the beginning- you might only be able to walk five minutes at first, but if you keep at it and add a few more minutes every session. Before you know it, you’ll be reaping the benefits of aerobic activity.