29
April
2013

The Importance of Aerobic Exercise

Why aerobic exercise is so important and how to make it a part of your daily routine

Aerobic exercise is the form of exercise that gets your heart pumping fast, makes you breathe hard and sweat, and works major muscle groups for more than several minutes at a time. Aerobic means using oxygen, which differentiates aerobic exercise from anaerobic exercise, such as sprinting and weightlifting, in which the muscles are forced to work extremely hard during short bursts of oxygen-deprived activity. While anaerobic exercise has its benefits, regular aerobic exercise is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Health benefits of aerobic exercise

The benefits of aerobic exercise have been extensively studied in exercise science, and the results are incontrovertible: regular aerobic exercise improves both mental and physical health and fitness. As your body heats up, the heart beats faster and stronger and your blood vessels dilate to allow greater blood flow, thus oxygenating the body’s tissues and removing metabolic waste products such as lactic acid. The lungs also work harder, expelling air contaminants and improving alveolar exchange. Here are just a few of the major benefits of this increased cardiovascular rate:

  • Release of endorphins, a natural pain-killer and mood-improving compound. This can help prevent depression and keep a positive outlook on life.
  • Prevention of diabetes by improving glucose usage rates, decreasing insulin resistance, and reducing the risk of diabetes by as much as 50% (when exercising 5 times per week for 30 minutes).
  • In combination with a proper diet, regular aerobic exercise helps to reduce body mass index by burning excess fat. This helps prevent a range of chronic diseases and improves body image.
  • Prevention of cardiovascular disease by reducing blood pressure, keeping the heart strong, and keeping blood vessels free of plaques and flexible.
  • Regular exercise invigorates and bolsters your immune system against viral infections such as the flu and cold.
  • By staying active, you increase your body’s ability to respond to everyday physical activity such as climbing stairs and lifting heavy loads. In the short-term, this means you have greater stamina and can carry out most daily physical activities. In the long-term, this can signify a greater level of independence and physical/mental activity in old age.
  • People who exercise regularly even tend to live longer!
  • With all of these proven benefits, it certainly makes sense to make regular aerobic exercise a central part of a healthy lifestyle. But how? It is often hard for sedentary people to make the transition to regular aerobic exercise. When you have been inactive for a long period of time or suffered from a chronic illness, it is important to start exercising gradually in order to prevent injury and over-exertion. Start out walking 5-10 minutes per day at a leisurely pace, and increase the duration/speed of your walk every week. You will immediately feel the mental and physical benefits of exercise. Other great options for aerobic exercise include biking, hiking, jogging, swimming, dancing, skiing, rowing, and any of the various “cardio” machines at the gym. Just make sure that your workout involves a gradual warm-up and cool-down, gets your heart and breathing rates up for the entire workout, and gets you warm and sweaty. Sports scientists recommend 20-60 minutes of moderate-intense aerobic exercise, three to five days per week. This can also be split up throughout the day, by taking a walk in the morning, biking to and from work, and going for a swim in the evening. Find ways to make aerobic exercise a regular component of your daily routine and reap the benefits!

    Categories: Exercise

    5.0/5 rating (2 votes)

    Nutrition Facts

    29
    April
    2013

    The Importance of Aerobic Exercise

    Why aerobic exercise is so important and how to make it a part of your daily routine

    Aerobic exercise is the form of exercise that gets your heart pumping fast, makes you breathe hard and sweat, and works major muscle groups for more than several minutes at a time. Aerobic means using oxygen, which differentiates aerobic exercise from anaerobic exercise, such as sprinting and weightlifting, in which the muscles are forced to work extremely hard during short bursts of oxygen-deprived activity. While anaerobic exercise has its benefits, regular aerobic exercise is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

    Health benefits of aerobic exercise

    The benefits of aerobic exercise have been extensively studied in exercise science, and the results are incontrovertible: regular aerobic exercise improves both mental and physical health and fitness. As your body heats up, the heart beats faster and stronger and your blood vessels dilate to allow greater blood flow, thus oxygenating the body’s tissues and removing metabolic waste products such as lactic acid. The lungs also work harder, expelling air contaminants and improving alveolar exchange. Here are just a few of the major benefits of this increased cardiovascular rate:

  • Release of endorphins, a natural pain-killer and mood-improving compound. This can help prevent depression and keep a positive outlook on life.
  • Prevention of diabetes by improving glucose usage rates, decreasing insulin resistance, and reducing the risk of diabetes by as much as 50% (when exercising 5 times per week for 30 minutes).
  • In combination with a proper diet, regular aerobic exercise helps to reduce body mass index by burning excess fat. This helps prevent a range of chronic diseases and improves body image.
  • Prevention of cardiovascular disease by reducing blood pressure, keeping the heart strong, and keeping blood vessels free of plaques and flexible.
  • Regular exercise invigorates and bolsters your immune system against viral infections such as the flu and cold.
  • By staying active, you increase your body’s ability to respond to everyday physical activity such as climbing stairs and lifting heavy loads. In the short-term, this means you have greater stamina and can carry out most daily physical activities. In the long-term, this can signify a greater level of independence and physical/mental activity in old age.
  • People who exercise regularly even tend to live longer!
  • With all of these proven benefits, it certainly makes sense to make regular aerobic exercise a central part of a healthy lifestyle. But how? It is often hard for sedentary people to make the transition to regular aerobic exercise. When you have been inactive for a long period of time or suffered from a chronic illness, it is important to start exercising gradually in order to prevent injury and over-exertion. Start out walking 5-10 minutes per day at a leisurely pace, and increase the duration/speed of your walk every week. You will immediately feel the mental and physical benefits of exercise. Other great options for aerobic exercise include biking, hiking, jogging, swimming, dancing, skiing, rowing, and any of the various “cardio” machines at the gym. Just make sure that your workout involves a gradual warm-up and cool-down, gets your heart and breathing rates up for the entire workout, and gets you warm and sweaty. Sports scientists recommend 20-60 minutes of moderate-intense aerobic exercise, three to five days per week. This can also be split up throughout the day, by taking a walk in the morning, biking to and from work, and going for a swim in the evening. Find ways to make aerobic exercise a regular component of your daily routine and reap the benefits!

    Categories: Exercise

    5.0/5 rating (2 votes)

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