What is Aerobic-Exercise and Why Should I Do It?

Definition of Aerobic-Exercise:

Using the same large muscle group, rhythmically, for a period of 20 minutes or longer while maintaining 60-80% of your maximum heart rate.

Anaerobic activity is short in duration and high in intensity. Anaerobic activities include: Racquetball, downhill skiing, weight lifting, sprinting, softball, soccer and football.

Aerobic activity is long in duration and low in intensity. Aerobic activities include: Walking, biking, jogging, swimming, aerobic classes and cross-country skiing.

Aerobics means with air or oxygen. You should be able to carry on a short conversation while doing aerobics exercise. If you are gasping for air while talking , you are probably working anaerobically. When you work anaerobically, you will tire faster and are more likely to experience sore muscles after exercise is over.

Cardiovascular Benefits

Aerobic exercise conditions the heart and lungs by increasing the oxygen available to the body and by enabling the heart to use oxygen more efficiently. Exercise alone cannot prevents or cure heart disease. It is only one factor in a total program of risk reduction; examples of other factors are high blood pressure, cigarette smoking and high cholesterol level.

Additional Benefits of Aerobic-Exercise

In addition to cardiovascular benefits, other benefits of aerobic exercise include:

-Control of body fat.(Aerobic-exercise is conjunction with strength training and a Proper diet will reduce body fat.)

-Decrease tension and aid in sleeping.

-Increase general stamina.

-Increase resistance to fatigue and extra energy.

-Psychological benefits –exercise improves mood, reduces depression and anxiety.

-Toned muscles and aid in sleeping.

Getting into your Target Zone

The goal when exercising aerobically is to hit your target heart rate and maintain it for the Entire exercise session. This works the heart muscle more effectively and burns more Calories. Think of riding a bike, running or swimming- you start, hit your pace( or target Zone), then you maintain your pace until the cool down. As your heart becomes conditioned, you will have to work harder to reach the target zone. Less conditioned athletes will reach their target zones quickly because their heart muscle isn’t used to the stress being put on it.

Exercise Frequency

Cardiovascular fitness is an ongoing process and requires consistent reinforcement. To Maintain your current level of fitness you should do aerobic-exercise at least 3 times a week. To increase your level of fitness, try exercising 4 to 5 times per week.

Rainy Day Suggestions for Aerobic Programs

If you belong to the gym go there! In your home: A home treadmill or exercise bike. These can be purchase at any reputable sport equipment store. Don’t go to cheap here if you want the product to last. The treadmill motor is a big concern. Home used motors tend to burn out faster than commercial grade equipment. Aerobic tapes/DVD’s: If you like more of the choreography that these offer there plenty on the market to keep you moving. If space is a concern you can use a step aerobic step or make your own step out of a Strong board and some risers (milk crates work wonders). 30-60 minutes of stepping in front of the TV goes quickly. Calisthenics, bouncing around, dancing.. anything you can think of that is going to keep your heart rate elevated will lead to gains.

Good luck and always remember to do activities that you enjoy doing, not the ones that you have to force yourself to do.

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