Traditional lower-intensity, steady-state aerobic exercise on treadmills, bikes, ellipticals, etc. are good for beginners or those who have been inactive. It will also bore you to tears! Aerobic exercise is an activity that is done continuously for more than 2 straight minutes. But, research has proven that the benefits of anaerobic exercise is superior to aerobic exercise. The progression of exercise should be low-intensity aerobics to moderate/high-intensity aerobics to high-intensity anaerobic exercise .
Middle-aged and older adults can definitely benefit from anaerobic exercise. According to research, low-intensity walking for 30 minutes, 5 days a week, is not adequate enough to delay heart disease and premature death. The research was performed using 2000 men, ages 45 to 59, over a ten year period. The men had no initial signs of heart disease. The men's exercise was measured using low (walking and bowling), moderate (golf and dancing) and high levels (running and swimming).
The number of deaths that occured during the 10 year period was 252. Of that amount, 75% were linked to heart disease and stroke. and 25% was linked to cancer.
The conclusion of the study was this: low and moderate intensity exercise failed to reduce premature death from heart disease. Only the high-intensity anaerobic exercise lowered death rates.
Older adults may not be able to perform at the same intense exercise levels of 20 or 30 year olds, but they can certainly do high-intensity anaerobic exercise adjusted for their age.