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.
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Aerobic exercises utilize oxygen as the major fuel
for sustaining activity for relatively long periods.
In general, aerobic
exercise 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
Benefits of Aerobic Exercise
Regular aerobic exercise yields the following
- It builds endurance and stamina.
- It keeps the heart rate steady and elevated rate
for an extended period. Walking briskly for three
or more hours a week reduces the risk for coronary
heart disease by 65%.
- It enhances cardiac function.
- It increases the HDL (the "good") cholesterol
- It controls the blood pressure.
- It strengthens the bones in the spine.
- It helps maintain normal weight.
- It lowers the risk of heart attack, high blood pressure,
stroke, diabetes, and even some forms of cancer.
- Overall it improves one's sense of well being.
- Swimming is an ideal exercise
for many elderly and certain people with physical
limitations, including pregnant women, individuals
with muscle, joint, or bone problems, and those who
suffer from exercise-induced asthma.
Types of Aerobic Exercise
Aerobic exercises fall in two categories :
- Low- to moderate-impact exercises: These include
walking, swimming, stair climbing, step classes, rowing,
and cross-country skiing. Nearly anyone in reasonable
health can engage in some low- to moderate-impact
exercise. Brisk walking burns as many calories as
jogging for the same distance and poses less risk
for injury to muscle and bone.
- High-impact exercises: running, dance exercise,
tennis, racquetball, squash. High-impact exercises
should be performed only every alternate day. People
who are overweight, elderly, out of condition, or
have an injury or other medical problem should do
them even less frequently.
- Even if you devote just one hour a week to aerobic
exercises, it is more than sufficient.
- For most healthy young adults, the best approach
is to perform a mix of low- and higher -impact
exercise. Two weekly workouts will maintain
fitness, but three to five sessions a week is better.
- People who are out of shape or elderly should start
aerobic training gradually. For example, they may
start with five to 10 minutes of low-impact aerobic
activity every other day and build toward a goal of
30 minutes per day, three to seven times a week.
- People who want to lose weight should do six to
seven low-impact workouts a week.
- A good floor mat should be used to provide cushioning
for all home exercises.
- A simple jumping rope can improve aerobic endurance
for people who are able to do high-impact exercise.
Jumping rope should be done on a floor mat to avoid
- The treadmill has been found best for burning calories,
followed by stair climbers, the rowing machine, cross-country
ski machine, and stationary bicycle. Elliptical trainers,
may be even better than treadmills for elevating heart
rate and increasing calorie expenditure and oxygen
- Stationary bikes and Stair machines are good for
conditioning the leg muscles.
- Rowing and cross-country ski machines exercise
both the upper and lower body
Aerobic Exercises and Weight loss
- Walking is a popular form of exercise because it
requires little in the way of equipment or facilities.
- One major benefit of walking is that it can be
done by people of all ages and does not require a
great deal of ability or technique in order to be
- A second benefit is that walking is a great calorie
burner so it can help in maintaining optimal body
- Walkers should attempt to burn a minimum of 2,000
calories per week in order to reduce the risk of heart
- Walking an extra 20 minutes each day will burn off
7 pounds of body fat per year.
- Longer, moderately-paced daily walks are best for
In jogging or running, an individual is able
to cover greater distances in a shorter period of time,
so greater numbers of calories can be burned.
3. Choreographed Aerobic Exercise
4. Step Aerobics
- Choreographed aerobic dance is a very popular form
of exercise throughout the world. There are three
distinct types of choreographed aerobic dance currently
being taught: low impact, high impact, or a combination
of the two.
- Aerobic dance helps in toning up the muscles of
5. Water Aerobics
- It is currently, the hottest aerobic activity in
the United States
- Step aerobics incorporates the use of a step or
bench typically about one foot wide and three feet
long and about six inches high. The best steps are
light and can be easily stored. These steps are durable
and provide a solid non-slip platform. The best steps
can also be adjusted to increase or decrease the height
of the step to accommodate individuals of different
heights and to increase or decrease the intensity
of the workout.
- Instructors use many moves that require participants
to step up and down from the platform.
- Water aerobics incorporates a variety of movements
from both swimming and land aerobics to develop vigorous
routines that are aerobic in nature.
- It utilizes the resistance to movement that water
creates to elevate heart rates .
- It helps in losing weight.
7. Stationary Cycling/Bicycling
- Swimming is a very popular form of regular exercise.
- Due to the 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 burns more calories than running.
- Because swimming is non weight bearing it is also
a good activity for the overweight, arthritic, injured
and those who are prone to joint problems.
- 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.
It is especially good for those who are overweight
and unfit or who have leg or foot conditions which prevent
them from running or walking
8. 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 a relatively long period of time (15 minutes).
Calorie consumption per 30 minutes of workout:
- Land walking: 135 calories are burned.
- Deep water walking (Water Aerobics): 264 calories
- Jogging on land: 240 calories are burned.
- Deep water jogging (Water Aerobics) : 340 calories
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
Aerobic exercise is good for weight loss because it
uses more calories than other activities and helps raise
your metabolic rate which helps your body burn calories
at a faster rate.
Aerobic exercise is an effective way to lose fat only
if you are motivated enough to workout frequently, aerobics
only burn fat during the workout so
if you want encouraging results you need to be able
to exercise daily and for longer periods.