Aerobic exercise is sustained physical activity that uses large muscle groups at a regular, even pace and induces the release of energy in the body through the increased consumption of oxygen in the body’s metabolic process. It thus requires the exertion of the heart and lungs. Walking, jogging, swimming, cycling and dancing would be considered aerobic activity, while yoga and weight lifting would be considered anaerobic.
Aerobic Exercise Health Benefits
Aerobic exercise helps push the cardio and pulmonary systems further than the easy pace of everyday activities. This stress forces the body to adapt, strengthening it and making it fitter. The benefits of this type of exercise are not only mental and physical but it is also helps to reduce the risk of developing many common illness and diseases. Here are some health benefits of aerobic exercise:
- Increased mental agility – it improves memory and makes you feel more alert.
- Keeps the heart healthy by strengthening it.
- Increases stamina and helps reduce overall fatigue.
- Oxygen is used more efficiently resulting in increased fat burning during exercise.
- Helps to lower blood pressure and improve circulation.
- Weight loss in terms of body fat.
- Helps the body and mind to cope with emotional and psychological stress.
- Releases endorphins that boost your mood.
The constant exertion of aerobic exercise enlarges the heart gradually so that future exercise eventually requires less effort. A larger heart allows us to sustain exercise for longer periods because more oxygenated blood can be carried to the working muscles. The other added benefit is that a higher fat percentage can be used to provide the energy for exercise.
Changing an aerobics routine is different and simpler than developing one. For those who have not participated in aerobics regularly, finding a workout can be especially difficult, but you want to find a routine that works for your schedule, your body and your goals. Running, swimming, and combo fitness should not be considered upfront if you are just starting out. Start out slow and work your way to incorporating those activities. Walking, light climbing, and cycling are ideal if you want to work on your cardio without injury or working your body too much too fast. Also consider including stationary exercises like windmills, lunges, low level kickboxing steps and/or punches, and light dancing. Whatever routine you settle on, make sure to start at the basics and progress to a more advanced level. Safety should be your main concern. If you decide to include equipment in your routine, always follow the proper protocol when using it. For beginners, rowing machines, spinning bikes, and elliptical exercises are easy to familiarize yourself with and allow for flexibility.
Exercises Targeting the Knees
Finding exercises that will help strengthen your knees is difficult. You want the exercise to target your joints but not cause you any injury. Use common sense when participating in any exercise, especially if they are new to you. If you’re not sure how to execute them properly or if you are not comfortable including them, move on to another or consult with an expert. Exercises for the knee are important, but if you are overweight, it is important to eliminate the strain on your knee joints before attempting to strengthen them. Start with basic walking. This will help you shed any unwanted pounds while also helping you strengthen your knees. Try knee-to-chest lifts, lunges, squats, and step-ups. Again, you’ll want to start out slow and then progress to a more advanced level. If you have had knee surgery or an injury, you will want to stay away from those exercises until you are cleared by your doctor and opt instead for walking, swim-walking, swimming, cycling and running in place.
Lose Weight With Aerobics
There are countless exercises that will allow maximum calorie burn, so finding the right one that combines both cardio and weight loss is as simple as choosing one that will fit your schedule and goals. If you want to lose weight due to being overweight, you’ll want to select combination exercises that can target more than one area, focusing on cardio. Elliptical machine exercises, running in place, jumping jacks, stair climbing, dancing, windmills, scissors, cycling, deep lunges, speed walking, and swimming provide cardio and weight loss. These exercises are also good for simple muscle toning.
Quantity of Aerobic Exercise
The level of aerobic exercise depends on the person’s physical condition, gender, and previous training. It is measured by the target heart rateachieved during exercise. This is a desired range of heart rate reached during aerobic exercise which enables the heart and lungs to receive the most benefit from a workout. You can calculate your target heart rate here.
Most of the above aerobic benefits begin to show within four weeks of working out. The training effects of exercise begin to decline after about 48 hour so it is important to exercise regularly. The recommended level of activity for adults is 30 minutes a day, five times a week.