If you have friends who are bodybuilders, you will already know that it is a bit of an ego thing to dismiss any talk of cardio. However, if your aim is to be healthy, cardio, or aerobic fitness, is an element you really shouldn’t overlook. If you are stuck in a routine, it might get stale after a while. This article, written and willingly shared by another fitness expert, introduces you to a few aerobic-style ideas that you can implement and integrate into your workout repertoire.
The word “aerobic” literally means “with oxygen” or “in the presence of oxygen.” Aerobic exercise is any activity that uses large muscle groups, can be maintained continuously for a long period of time and is rhythmic in nature. Aerobic exercises utilise oxygen as the major fuel for sustaining activity for relatively long periods.
In general, aerobic exercises are those activities that require large muscle work, elevate the heart rate to between 60 percent and 80 percent of maximal heart rate, are continuous in nature and are of 15 to 60 minutes in duration. An aerobically fit individual can work longer, more vigorously and achieve a quicker recovery at the end of the aerobic session.
Low to moderate cardio include walking, swimming, stair climbing, step classes, light water aerobics, rowing and cross-country skiing. Nearly anyone in reasonable shape can engage in some low- to moderate-impact exercise. Brisk walking burns more calories than jogging for the same distance because it takes more time to walk than jog that distance and poses less risk for injury to muscle and bone.
High impact cardio include running, dance exercise, tennis, racquetball and squash. High-impact aerobics, or cardio, should be performed on alternate days. People who are overweight, elderly, out of condition or have an injury or other medical problem should do them even less frequently and only with clearance from their doctor. Here are some ideas for you:
I always introduce this first, as it had helped me lose a lot of weight in a short period of time. When jogging or running, an individual is able to cover greater distances in a shorter period of time. Therefore, greater numbers of calories can be burned per time spent. It also works out most of your leg muscles.
Not at the level where you can jog yet? Well, walk! Walking is a popular form of exercise because it requires very little equipment or facilities. Walking an extra 20 minutes each day will, for most people burn off seven pounds of body fat per year. Longer, moderately-paced daily walks are best for losing weight. It can be leisurely too.
Three: Stationary Cycling/Bicycling
This is the one I do these days since I have bad knees. Stationary cycling or bicycling is excellent forms of aerobic exercise when done continuously. Like swimming, cycling is a non-weight bearing activity that builds muscular endurance and strength and improved flexibility of selected muscles of the legs and thighs.
Summertime delight indeed! Swimming is a very popular form of regular exercise. Due to the natural resistance of water, the amount of energy required to swim a certain distance is greater than that needed to run or walk the same distance. In other words, swimming can burn more calories than running per unit of distance.
Five: Skipping, i.e. Jumping Rope
Jumping rope can be a great aerobic workout as long as it is performed at a slow to moderate pace and is done continuously for 15 minutes or more. I usually perform this when on holidays, and also occasionally when I am at the gym in my hometown. I won’t do it regularly if I don’t have to, but variety is indeed the spice of life.
Six: Choreographed Aerobic Exercise
Choreographed aerobic dance is a very popular form of exercise throughout the world. Aerobic dance helps in toning up the muscles of the body and many people find it fun to do as well. And these days there are so many options available to you.
Step aerobics incorporates the use of a step or bench typically about one foot wide and three feet long and about six inches high. Instructors use many moves that require participants to step up and down from the platform. This way, the activity will not be boring and tiring, but will be lively and motivating.
The key to effective weight loss is through use of a healthy exercise program which is performed on a regular basis while following a healthy dieting & nutritional plan. Aerobic exercise is good for weight loss because it uses more calories than other activities and helps raise your metabolic rate. However, it’ll only work if you are motivated enough to do it frequently.
Cardio only burns fat during the workout itself, unlike strength training. So if you want encouraging results you need to be able to exercise daily and for longer periods. If you want to find out how to do both cardio and strength training for maximum results, grab a copy of the Lifelong Fitness Blueprint today. Better still, get it as part of the Granite Fitness Masterclass.
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