Nothing keeps the heart going like a good exercise. Physical activity and exercise can also lower your risk of particular diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. Working out can also help you lose weight and tone the body, boosting your self-esteem and making you feel good. If you’re aiming to improve your overall health, then cardio and endurance exercises, or aerobic exercise, are key, as they keep your heart and lungs healthy and strong.
Aerobic Exercise: What Is It?
The word ‘aerobic’ gets thrown around quite often, especially when referring to physical activity. To put it simply, the term ‘aerobic’ can refer to anything that involves using oxygen. This means that aerobic or cardio and endurance exercises involve exerting the different muscles of the body and using the breath.
During the cardio and endurance exercises that are part of aerobic exercises, you’ll find yourself breathing deeper and faster as you exert more effort. This means that you’ll have more oxygen in your blood as your heart starts to pump more and more blood to your muscles. Aerobic exercises also cause the capillaries (small blood vessels) to widen to provide more oxygen and carry away waste.
Aerobic exercises can also improve your mental health. Have you noticed that you feel good after a workout? This is because the body releases endorphins during aerobic exercises, which is a natural pain-killer and feel-good hormone that comes after the initial discomfort of exercising.
Benefits of Aerobic Exercise
One risk factor for many diseases is not getting enough physical activity. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), engaging in aerobic exercise and maintaining a balanced diet can greatly improve your overall health. The benefits of cardio and endurance exercises include:
Increase in good cholesterol. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is known as the “good cholesterol” because it’s responsible for bringing cholesterol to the liver, where it will be flushed out from the body. Aerobic exercise has proven to boost the production of HDL and reduce one’s risk of heart disease.
Improvements in your cardiovascular system and strength. Engaging in aerobics can help build your tolerance for physical activity. This is because consistent exercise helps condition your cardiovascular system and muscles. The more you exercise, the more your endurance and strength increase.
Better physical mobility. Engaging in aerobics while you’re still young can help you prepare for your future. Building muscular strength and stamina can help you as you age, as this means that you will still maintain some mobility even as an elderly adult. This also makes you less prone accidents.
Examples of Cardio and Endurance Exercises
Aerobics or endurance and endurance exercises include exercises that make your heart beat faster and increase your rate of breathing. If you don’t have the time to do a full workout, something as easy as going up and down a flight of stairs for a few minutes can already count as physical activity.
Some examples of exercises include:
To brisk walk, you must be able to do 100 steps per minute. This can be an ideal exercise for those who want to slowly make their way to more intense workouts. To increase the difficulty, try walking with a weighted vest or small dumbbells.
Jogging or Running
Once your body is used to brisk walking, you can start jogging or running. If you’re just starting out, you can alternate between walking and jogging every few minutes. Try to slowly increase how long you jog every session.
This exercise involves jumping and then raising your arms over your head. Put your arms back down once you reach the ground and repeat.
Think of this as a modified substitute for running. When doing high knees, lift one leg as high as it can go towards your chest. Do this with the other leg and repeat alternately.
Raise one leg up and bend your knees just enough so that the heel touches your buttocks. Alternate this movement with both legs.
This can be done by a sidewalk or one step. Place one foot on top of the elevated surface, then quickly switch to the other foot. Repeat, and try to maintain your pace.
Aerobics: Dos and Don’ts
If you’re just beginning to engage in cardio and endurance exercises, it can be tempting to overwork yourself or immediately engage in high-intensity workouts. This can lead to injuries or muscle pain.
If you’re planning to start exercising, here are some guidelines to keep in mind:
Don’t rush. Reaping the benefits of exercise, such as weight loss or increased stamina, takes time. Try to do 10-15 minutes of exercise at the start of your fitness journey, and gradually build-up from there.
Do customize your workout. It’s not a sign of weakness to skip a particular workout or take a break in the middle of exercising. Listen to what your body tells you.
Do complement your workout with stretching. A proper warm-up and cool-down routine can help reduce muscle pains that typically come about when you’re starting to exercise.
Do try to be consistent. It can be difficult to stick to a workout routine, especially if you have a busy schedule. Try to be as consistent as you can with your workouts, but don’t fret if you miss a day or two.
Cardio and endurance exercises, also known as aerobic exercises, can greatly reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases and improve your overall health and well-being. Engaging in regular aerobic exercises not only builds strength and stamina, but also keeps your heart healthy and strong. Before engaging in a proper workout, it’s best to seek the advice of a health professional.
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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.