Aerobic exercise has been defined by the American
College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) as 'any activity using large muscle
groups and maintained continuously with rhythmic pattern'. Aerobic exercise
causes the heart ad lungs to work harder. Whether it's swimming, skiing,
running or aerobic dance, aerobic fitness goes a long way in keeping
your heart rate elevated and maintaining good health. Find out how aerobic
exercise can benefit you.
Aerobic means 'with air or oxygen'. Aerobic activity enables your body
to burn calories. Effective weight loss is possible with moderate intensity
aerobic workout rather than short-term and high intensity activities such
as sprints. Any aerobic activity should leave you able to carry on a short
conversation. Breathlessness indicates that you have been doing the workout
in an anaerobic manner. This will tire you out and lead to sore muscles.
An aerobic workout trains your lungs to process more air with less effort
and your heart to pump more blood with fewer beats. This increases cardiovascular
efficiency and endurance. Other than the obvious physical benefits, aerobic
exercise improves your mood and reduces depression and anxiety.
A more efficient heart and improved immune system leave you less susceptible
to infection. Improved muscle health and increased life span are important
benefits. Aerobic exercise involves working out large muscle groups continuously
and rhythmically over a period of time. This elevates breathing and consequently
the heart rate. Climbing stairs, bicycling, swimming and cross-country
skiing are examples of aerobic activity. Some aerobic exercises are low
impact whereas some are high impact.
Low impact aerobic exercise: This form of exercise is performed
with one foot on the ground at all times. In this way, lower leg overuse
injuries are minimized especially for overweight and senior persons.
High impact aerobic exercise: This form of aerobic activity involves
moments when the body is off the ground, such as in the case of jumping
and hopping. This sort of activity makes for good metabolic benefits.
But caution has to be exercised since the instances of lower leg and foot
injuries are more.
Step aerobic exercise: This form of aerobic fitness activity involves
stepping up and down a platform and provides a moderate cardiovascular
Aerobic exercises must be avoided by those suffering from problems of
the feet, ankles, knees or lower back. You must train under a qualified
aerobic instructor so that you use the proper technique - this will lead
to optimum efficiency in your aerobic workout and also prevent injuries.
A typical aerobic fitness workout lasts about 45 minutes to an hour. The
intensity of an aerobic workout is measured in terms of the heart rate
and exertion level. Adequate warming up and cool down exercises should
be part of any aerobic fitness workout. This will help in reducing discomfort
and chances of injury.
Aerobic fitness involves maintaining a comfortable pace while exercising.
If you feel faint or weak during or after exercise, then you must look
into your aerobic routine. You can select activities that suit your interests,
such as walking, dancing, sports activities or cycling. Gradually build
on your aerobic fitness levels. alternating between different aerobic
activities might help in keeping your interest levels higher. Whether
you want to lose weight or just feel good, there is no denying that aerobic
fitness goes a long way in maintaining good health.
Benefit of aerobic exercise
· Improved cardiovascular and cardio respiratory functioning.
This is measured as increased blood volume and ability to carry oxygen.
It leads to increased blood supply to muscles and thereby their ability
to use the oxygen.
· Improved glucose tolerance and thereby reduced insulin resistance
· Reduction in body fat and control over weight
· Decrease in blood tri glycerides
· Increasing the threshold for lactic acid accumulation
The benefit of aerobic exercise is the ability to monitor and reach
your Target Heart Range. This refers to the safe range of heartbeats per
minute during exercise. Here is how you can calculate your Target Heart
Range: Women must subtract their age from 220 and multiply the answer
by 60% and by 80%. The lower figure indicates the safe rate for beginners
to aerobic exercise whereas the higher number indicates your fitness goal.