Aerobics exercises promote cardiovascular fitness and sustain an elevated heart rate. These endurance exercises in the form of running, swimming and cycling allow increased amounts of oxygen-rich blood to the muscles that are being used. Major Kenneth H. Cooper outlined aerobic fitness programs based on his study of U.S. Air Force men and women.
Over the years, aerobics have gained in popularity and led to the mushrooming of aerobic dance centers all over. Step aerobic routine, jazz dance exercise and aerobics dance set to aerobic music are offshoots of the aerobic exercise routine. Step aerobics involves going up and down stairs to aerobic music.
Step Aerobic Routine
Step aerobics works as a good calorie-burning workout. A typical class of about 50 minutes will help you burn off 250-400 calories but can vary depending on the level of exertion. You can adjust the step aerobic intensity by a higher step. A session of step aerobics can be started as a 20-minute session and later increased to an hour, once your muscles and heart have become used to the workout.
Step aerobic routine involves intensive lower body workout by making use of a step to increase muscle conditioning. This also makes for a low-impact workout. The perfect posture for a step aerobic session is head up, shoulders down and tight back, abs and butt. Step aerobic routine must be preceded by adequate warming up.
Stretching all the major muscle groups, especially the lower back is a good warm up for a step aerobic routine. This warm up session is critical since it causes gradual raising of the heart rate. Failing to do this can result in injuries. Ideally, a step aerobic session should alternate fast paced steps with slower paced ones. Squats, leg lifts and lunges are carried on to the beats of aerobic music.
You can also use light dumbbells to add an additional upper-body workout. A typical step aerobic routine must be followed by a cooling down session. This is done to slow down the heart to a normal rate. It is also necessary to bring the blood circulation back to the earlier state without pooling in the extremities. Cooling down prevents sore muscles that are caused due to chemical build up in the muscles used in the step aerobic routine.
Step aerobic Music
Aerobics music follows a pattern of three big melodic phases, based on 32 beats. This pattern is designed for aerobic dance as its tempo is characterized by a series of waves. The beat per minute of the aerobic music is synchronized to the heartbeats. The tempo of the aerobic music should not be too fast for a workout.
The music for aerobic warm ups and cool downs is ideally paced at about 140 beats per minute. The aerobic music for step aerobic routine is slower so as to allow time to go up and down the aerobic steps. Each segment of the step aerobic routine is set to a different music tempo. This music can help in setting the tempo for the aerobic session and helping people release their tensions.
Aerobics step is a raised platform that can be adjusted according to the degree of intensity desired. A basic aerobic step would cost about $50. Look for aerobic steps that allow you step up comfortably. The platform should be large enough for you to place both your feet comfortably yet small enough to straddle. The aerobic steps must be tested for strength and sturdiness. A flimsy piece can cause more damage than good. Protect your feet with good shoes that provide extra arch support and strong laterals.