The Benefits Of Aerobics

One of today's most popular exercises is aerobics. The one version we know of is what we usually see practiced in gyms with groups, often led by an instructor and filled with some bouncy music.

However, aerobics actually include more physical activities than that. Walking, jogging, biking, dancing, swimming, basketball, skiing and many more physical activities can all be performed aerobically.

Loosely defined, aerobics is any physical activity done with moderate levels of intensity and for an extended period of time. Those activities with frequent breaks in-between are not considered aerobic (like doing a 100-meter sprint).

Primary benefits

Most aerobic exercises are geared towards making the heart pump faster than it ordinarily does, and makes your breathing faster and quicker. Working the heart this way makes it stronger and more efficient in helping the circulation in the body.

Because of efficient circulation, the mood of the person doing the exercise becomes elevated, and the energy level increases.

Inside the body, the number of red blood cells also increases. This, in turn, helps in making the system more efficient in transporting oxygen all over the body.

Aside from a healthy heart and an efficient circulation system in action, the body benefits greatly because of increased oxygen delivered by the blood to all parts. After a while, the muscles become trained for endurance as well.

In turn, this strengthens the muscles, especially those related to respiration including the flow of air in and out of the lungs. Overall, the body's muscles become toned which again helps improve circulation and reduce high blood pressure.

In high-impact aerobics (which includes jogging or jumping rope), bone growth is stimulated. This helps in reducing osteoporosis risk in men and women alike.

Other benefits

Consequently, because of aerobics, there are many beneficial decreases that happen in the body. First, there is a measurable decrease (and sometimes the disappearance) of the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

There is also a decrease in blood pressure as well as a lower count in cholesterol level. As stated, these are some of the critical points which help decrease a person's risk in having cardiovascular diseases.

Added to these would be a considerable decrease in body fat over time, again helping in the reduction of the risk of cardiovascular problems. Blood sugar is now being used and hence a decrease of its presence.

Because of the toning of respiratory muscles and subsequent decreases of all the bad elements in the circulatory system, persons who do aerobics lose their old difficulties of short breaths and early fatigue.

Another happy note is that most people who do aerobics become less anxious and depression-prone. Exercise, notably the less strenuous kind, produces endorphins, the natural mood enhancers. It can also help some people sleep better.

Because aerobics burn fats, it definitely helps obese people lose weight. Aerobics is one exercise that is ideal to maintain a healthy weight level.

Medical practitioners know that regular exercise benefit most people, even those with conditions like asthma. Aerobics fits the ideal exercise bill. Of course, one must first consult a doctor to know what the aerobic exercise program is best and what to avoid.

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Step Aerobics

Aerobics, developed by Dr. Kenneth Cooper in the early seventies, had become one of today's most performed exercises. Aerobics (literally "with oxygen") is basically a form of exercise to improve one's overall fitness in muscular strength, flexibility and cardiovascular health.

One of today's more popular forms of aerobics exercises is called step aerobics, introduced at the start of the 90s. The new form is an innovation of the old aerobics routine, this time having a step (a raised contraption, 6 to 8 inches high) where the aerobics performer will step on or off from time to time.

The stepping rates (it usually starts at 120 per minute) and the height of the steps (6 to 8 inches) are adjusted according to the exerciser's needs and experience. These simple step-up, step-down aerobics are as beneficial as those of more intense movements, but less damaging to the joints.

Basic moves

The basic step involves stepping one foot first and then the other on top of the step, and stepping down on the floor using the same sequence of foot movements. There is a general agreement among aerobic enthusiasts that the "right basic" is stepping right foot up, then the left, and then stepping down to the floor with the right then the left foot.

For variations, instructors switch different moves within the sequence, like changing the "right basic" to the "left basic" without in-between moves. Usually, this is done by way of "tapping" the foot instead of shifting weights.

Another form of step is called "tap-free" or smooth step. This is done with the feet always alternating and without the confusing "taps". The "taps" can sometimes make learning difficult for new aerobics students.

The instructor usually plans beforehand when to insert a switching move that maintains the natural rhythm of moves to simulate the natural shifting of weights on both legs like in walking.

From the right basics, the instructor might insert a "knee up" (lifting a knee and during the return, switches the move to the other foot) and continue with the left basics.


Usually, a set prepared by the instructor consists of many different moves with different durations. This is executed together by the whole class and usually timed to 32 beats per set. This is done in such a way that the whole set can be switched and repeated in the other leg, mirror-like.

Basic level classes have simpler basic moves. Advanced classes sometimes incorporate dance elements like turns and stomps and whatever is in vogue.

Elements are strung together in two to three routines per class. One learns these routines in class, which will be performed at the end of the class. Most instructors offer several choices for every person's level of intensity or dance ability during the teaching of the routines.


Step aerobics helps burn calories and maintain weight. The amount of calories that are burned depend on the intensity, speed and the duration of the aerobic exercises.

Step aerobics helps in endurance, prevents cardiovascular diseases, and improves gait and balance. It also provides flexibility training to enhance joints movements.

Finally, step aerobics helps maintain good mental health because the workouts are fun and enjoyable, and sessions certainly releas stress. With a group session, a person's social life is enhanced as well.

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Long before aerobics exercises became a popular option to lose weight, the industry has come up with a variety of products and programs that bear the promise of losing weight easily. These weight loss products include pills, food supplements, dietary supplements—which can be organic or natural—and weight loss programs.

Since these products and programs lead to various physiological effects, more and more cases of side effects and deaths have been reported upon the use of these medicines or weight loss aids. These cases of side effects and death made experts in the world of nutrition advise obese people who would want to lose weight to go for easy, safe, and effective alternatives to these medicines. Such is aerobic exercises.

Important reminders

Now, more than ever, people are quite conscious over their weight issues because it affects not only a person’s physical appearance but his or her overall outlook in life. Seeing how obesity alters health and social lives, obese or morbidly-obese people are now becoming more determined to find the perfect weight loss strategies for them and are equally-determined to keep their ideal weight for good once they have achieved it.

Experts say that people who have finally decided to lose weight through aerobic exercises should know where to begin. One of the most important things to remember before losing weight is that the person should seek professional help first. It is a must that one chooses a responsible and safe weight loss program or plan carefully.

He or she must determine the real reason or reasons why she/he would want to lose weight. By determining and establishing the reason/s why one would want to lose weight, they can easily breeze through the program because they can use those reasons as motivations during the weight loss phases they are about to face. They must know it within themselves if they can truly and whole-heartedly commit to doing the things necessary for them to lose weight.

They must also look for a back up support system in case they can no longer manage weight control on their own and they must make sure that they are strong enough to deal with the possibility of failing if they do not achieve their desired weight or result in record time.

When exercise is not enough

Experts say that two of the most crucial factors that affect weight loss are food—or calorie—intake and the frequency of physical activities such as exercise.

Although it may seem easy to monitor calorie intake and exercise regularly, it is not always effective especially if the person doing it is not determined and disciplined enough. For a person to achieve their weight loss goals here are some important reminders to keep in mind:

- don’t ever skip regular meals since food nourishes the body. Dieting or cutting down on food intake cannot assure permanent weight loss because they will tend to eat more on their next meal and the meals after that.

- regulate the food intake because eating in smaller amounts or food portions will help one cut down on calorie and fat intake. Also, these small portions will help you a lot when doing simple aerobic exercises such as walking or jogging.

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One of the most popular means of losing weight ever since is aerobic exercises because of its long term benefits when it comes to overall health. Although many people are living testaments to the wonders of weight loss by dieting and cutting down on important nutrients, not all of these offer certain and desirable results like aerobic exercises can.

If you are one of those who are contemplating over losing weight, then now is the time to stop entertaining the thoughts on weight loss programs or diets. It is now time to conduct a little research first on aerobic exercises to help you understand how aerobics help you lose weight and achieve can long term health benefits.

Aerobics basics

Aerobics refer to doing an activity such as a physical exercise for a longer period of time but with lesser force and effort on the part of the one who is doing it. Simply put, aerobics exercises are those that allow a person to do multi-tasking such as carrying out a conversation while doing the exercise or engaging in simple yet productive activities.

The most common forms of aerobic exercises might include simple walking, jogging, swimming and even cross country skiing. To those who cannot carry on these simple exercises religiously on their own, they can try attending aerobic classes nearby where there is an instructor to lead them.

Experts say that before you engage in any activity such as aerobic exercises please make sure that you have reviewed its requirements well. Avoid choosing activities that would not suit your health and lifestyle conditions.

Also, make sure that you have visited a registered or licensed physician first before trying on aerobic exercises and before using any weight loss product that you think might complement your activity such as food supplements, herbs, or over-the-counter medications.

What can be done?

To ensure that aerobic exercises will work for you, take time off to read and understand various issues surrounding it. You can check the Internet where there are thousands of sites that will lead you into any information you want on aerobic exercise or ask a person who you know that did this before so you can ask for first hand tips and suggestions. It will also help if you:

- record your eating habits and patterns by keeping a food journal. Updating and monitoring your food and eating patterns will help you track down the reasons behind your weight gain. Asking for professional help from a registered dietitian will make the monitoring more valid.

- indulge and give in if you are craving for a specific food or dish since being not overly-restrictive with food or favorite treats can be awarding experience. By giving into these cravings you can totally avoid eating foods that are high in calories and fats.

- engage yourself in only one daily exercise such as walking

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