For many of us, walking or jogging can seem like a task rather than an enjoyable activity. Most of us would do anything to knab the closest parking spot or avoid a weekend fun run. But did you know that these examples of exercise, a form known as aerobics, are really important to our health? I’m not talking about the aerobics with leotards and leg warmers from the 80s (but if that’s really your thing, go for it!). Nowadays, ‘aerobics’ looks like going for a walk, spin class, power yoga, a group workout class – anything to get your heart pumping for an extended period of time. 10 minutes or more is what it takes, and it can be as low intensity as going for a long walk. The benefit of participating in an aerobics program are immense. All of our internal systems like our cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine, immune, central nervous, skeletal, and muscle system, etc… benefit greatly from aerobics.
Continue reading to find out what those benefits are… you might be surprised and decide to incorporate a little more aerobics into your day!
High duration, Low intensity aerobic exercise utilizes fats as the body’s main energy source. This is because fats are the “slowest” yet “most-efficient” energy source.
When you think about a fat loss, the first thing you think of might be a change in physical appearance. While that’s true, it’s not the only benefit. Excess fat within the body may cause narrowing of arteries, as well as, increased blood pressure.
Therefore, fat loss doesn’t only mean your body looking good, but also feeling good as well. With fat loss, you decrease the risk of developing Coronary Artery Disease by improving the health of your cardiovascular system (heart).
An example of a fat-burning aerobic exercise would be a low-intensity thirty minute walk. If that seems too hard for you, try taking two 15 minute walks in the same day. On the other hand, if that seems too easy, try extending your route, adding in a few minutes of running, or walking with 1lb hand weights to give yourself more of a challenge. Remember, the key here is time. Be sure your program increases in duration as you progress. If you are starting at 10 minutes of daily activity, try progressing to 20 minutes by adding an additional minute each day for 2 weeks.
Aerobic exercise challenges the cardiovascular system by increasing our heart rate. Our heart rate increases to meet the oxygen demands of our muscles. This form of exercise trains and strengthens our heart – our body’s most important muscle! By regularly exercising the heart, it grows stronger and allows more blood flow per beat. Conditioned heart muscles (heart that has been trained through aerobics) will accomplish more with less effort, which decreases the “wear and tear” effect. This means we live a longer and healthier life!
If you have ever taken any type of aerobics class or program, you will learn that over time your body becomes stronger. You will be able to do more for longer, while your feelings of fatigue will lessen. This is due to the fact that your endurance is better. You will even see a change in your daily activities. Certain tasks that used to take more effort and strength are now easier to complete.
Moving the body creates a positive domino effect in a number of ways. Many scientific studies have concluded that aerobic exercise helps drastically improve:
- Mood – When we exercise our bodies release natural endorphins that improves our mood, while decreasing any depressive symptoms we may have. This can be achieved by incorporating as little as 10 minutes of aerobics into your daily routine.
- Sleep – Exercise doesn’t only affect our bodies, it also affects our minds. Did you know that exercise alters our body temperature, which in turn can reset the ‘sleep and wake’ cycle? This can result in better quality sleep for a longer period of time. Who wouldn’t want that?
- Chronic Pain – Movement within your joints actually decreases friction, which is a common culprit of joint pain. In cases of weight loss, you’d also benefit from a relief in joint pressure. As a result, you can experience lower levels of pain not only during the aerobic session but in many cases, this relief from pain lasts throughout the day.
Exercise in any shape or form is beneficial to us. It improves our overall health physically, mentally, and helps us have a better quality of life.
At CoreLife we believe that being active is an important factor to sustaining long term health, which is why our personal trainers help teach you how to incorporate movement and exercise into your daily life.
CoreLife offers one on one sessions in our private, member-only gyms, where our certified personal trainers will teach you how to move your body in a safe and pain-free way. We work in conjunction with your CoreLife care plan and incorporate exercises to suit your body and your abilities, so that you are able to live a healthy lifestyle.