Aerobic exercise is an essential component of your exercise program. In addition to weight control, aerobic exercise offers many other health benefits including, but not limited to, lowered cholesterol, decreased symptoms of anxiety, tension or depression, prevention of type 2 diabetes, and decreased resting heart rate.
What is aerobic exercise? Aerobic exercise is any exercise that moves your body hard enough and fast enough to raise your heart rate. It usually involves using your body’s large muscle groups at a regular, even pace. It is any exercise that helps you use oxygen more efficiently.
A well-rounded aerobic exercise program should include a warm-up, the primary cardiorespiratory activity and a cool-down. The warm-up serves to gradually increase the heart rate, maximize safety during the actual workout, and warm-up the muscles that will be used in the primary activity. The duration of the warm-up is dependent on the intensity of the primary aerobic activity. The harder you intend to work, the longer the warm-up should be to avoid injury. The purpose of the cool-down is somewhat the opposite, it serves to gradually lower the heart rate after the core of the workout is complete, and it may aid in preventing muscle stiffness. An adequate cool-down should last anywhere from five to ten minutes.
The mode of aerobic exercise you choose will be dependent on your interests and abilities. Choose an activity you enjoy, as aerobic exercise should be included most days of the week in an exercise program. Some examples of aerobic exercise may include: walking, jogging, running, swimming, outdoor or indoor cycling, jump rope, aerobics or group exercise activities such as kickboxing or step aerobics, stationary exercise devices such as elliptical, treadmill or stair climber. The core phase of your aerobic workout may vary from as little as ten minutes to sixty or more minutes.
Do you include aerobic exercise in your fitness program? What is your favorite cardio workout? Are you a runner or do you prefer a group aerobic class? Share your favorite workouts, I would love to hear from you.