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   Aerobic and Weight Loss

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 session

Benefits of Aerobic Exercise
Regular aerobic exercise yields the following benefits:

  • 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 levels.
  • 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.

Aerobic Routine

  • 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.

Aerobic-Exercise Equipment

  • 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 joint injury.
  • 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 consumption.
  • 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

1. Walking

  • 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 effective.
  • A second benefit is that walking is a great calorie burner so it can help in maintaining optimal body fat levels.
  • Walkers should attempt to burn a minimum of 2,000 calories per week in order to reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • 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 losing weight.

2. Jogging/Running
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

  • 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 the body.
4. Step 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.
5. Water Aerobics
  • 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.
6. Swimming
  • 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.
7. Stationary Cycling/Bicycling
  • 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 are burned.
  • Jogging on land: 240 calories are burned.
  • Deep water jogging (Water Aerobics) : 340 calories are burned

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 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.

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