Aerobic exercise has been around since the 1980’s and has benefited the exercise community by strengthening the body, improving circulation, and increasing performance. Aerobic exercise was obsolete before 1978 when exercise was about strength and resistance training by building muscles. However, people realized that strong muscles didn’t equal best athlete. Performance suffered due to the lack of oxygen and increased muscle mass. Aerobic exercise requires the use of oxygen for the body to generate energy. Due to the increased period of time of exercise the body increases the circulation and transportation of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. This allows for longer endurance during competition. Although, aerobics are not only good for performance, they benefit the body as well.
The benefit of health and performance through aerobic exercise is based on the duration and frequency of exercise. It is recommended to get a minimum 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise in on a daily basis. Cardiovascular exercise is any exercise that increases the heart rate while increasing circulation throughout the body. Aerobics are the most prevalent cardiovascular exercise. Not only does it improve circulation throughout the body, it strengthens the heart and respiratory muscles. Both the heart and lungs become more efficient at pumping blood and oxygen throughout the body as aerobic exercise becomes longer and more vigorous. Red blood cell count increases in the body to transport more oxygen for exercise. Aerobic exercise uses the large muscle groups throughout the body therefore strengthening them while in use. It also reduces the risk for diabetes, heart disease, and cardiovascular disease. The resting heart rate and blood pressure both decrease from aerobic exercise. It improves mental health by decreasing stress and depression.
Aerobic exercise is good for weight loss because it burns more calories at a faster rate. It raises the metabolic rate (the amount of calories needed for the body to sustain at rest) and burns fat when done consistently. During the initial stages of aerobic exercise glycogen is broken down to produce energy. As the glycogen, which comes from carbohydrates is used up, the body moves onto fat to produce energy. This is a longer process and can cause performance to decline. However, over time as you continue to do aerobic exercise the body becomes more efficient at storing glycogen in the muscles to be used for energy. And because of the increased energy endurance is improved. The body also increases vascularization of the muscles to improve blood flow. The body becomes better able to break down fats for energy. Aerobic exercise also speeds up the ability of muscles to recover from exercise.
Aerobic exercise is normally categorized into two areas, low impact and high impact. Low impact aerobics include stair climbing, walking, swimming, housework, etc. During low impact aerobics one foot stays on the ground to support the weight of the body. For the most part any healthy person can do low impact aerobic activities. Walking is the most prevalent low impact aerobic exercise because it can be done anywhere without the use of any equipment and requires no skill. Even though walking is a weight bearing exercise it causes less injury to the knees, and joints. If you are looking to include aerobic activity in your exercise routine start with low impact and work your way up to high impact.
High impact aerobics include running, sports such as football, tennis, rugby, dance, etc. During high impact aerobics both feet come off the floor simultaneously, even for a moment which can cause jarring of the joints when the body weight hits the floor again. When including aerobics in your exercise routine, start with low impact and work your way up to high impact. People who are overweight, elderly, injured, out of condition should get approval from a doctor before jumping into high impact aerobics. High impact aerobics should be preformed on opposite days as low impact aerobics. Remember aerobic activity should always be part of your fitness plan.
Sarah Labdar, ” Why Aerobics Are So Good For You”, Everyday Health