If you ever doubted the benefits of aerobics, trust me, you were wrong to do so. I find that many people hear aerobics and think tacky 80’s workout classes. But this type of exercise doesn’t just mean taking part in a gym class by this name! The actual definition of aerobics is working the same muscle groups for at least 15 minutes, all while keeping up your heart rate at 60-80% of it’s capacity. This can include brisk walking, cycling, swimming, running…basically anything you can do for at least 15mintues at a time, that isn’t too intensive. Anaerobic exercise includes activities that you perform for a short amount of time, but at a higher intensity level. This means sports like football, baseball, sprinting, skiing, etc. A good way to test whether you’re doing aerobic or anaerobic exercise is to check if you can hold a quick conversation with someone while doing it. If you can speak without gasping for air, then it’s aerobic exercise, if not then it’s anaerobic.
If you’re not getting aerobic exercise on a regular basis, start to! Not only does it help keep you fit and looking great, but it also helps prevent various diseases. It doesn’t have to be anything in particular. Think of something you like doing, like walking your dog, or dancing, and try to keep it up for at least 15 minutes, while maintaining 60% of your heart rate (that means walking your dog briskly).
The most important benefits of this type of exercise include:
- Weight control
- Lowers your chance of developing heart diseases
- Decreases chance of developing diabetes
- Increases good cholesterol levels, while decreasing bad cholesterol
- Increases endorphins (natural workout drug that makes you feel great!)
- Improves lung capacity
- Improves body strength and flexibility
- Helps prevent insomnia
- Gives you more energy during the day
- Helps fight stress and anxiety
- Can help prevent certain kinds of cancer
My favorite part about aerobics is that it makes me feel amazing. I always have to force myself to get to the gym for my run, but after I’m done, I feel great for the rest of the day. I’ve even found that I don’t have to drink as much coffee as my non-exercising friends do! And if I ever have a terrible day, I know that, for the most part, a good workout will usually help me heal faster. In order to keep it interesting, I try to mix it up a bit. For instance, I will take a spin class one day, a dance class another, and then run the rest of the week. When I travel and don’t have access to a gym, I try to find things I can do in the area (ex. when I was in Egypt, I jogged around my hotel grounds everyday).
Ok folks, now that you know how great aerobics is for you, get out there and start moving!