|Aerobics is a form of aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise involves activity of moderate intensity paced out over a relatively longer duration. |
Aerobic exercise derives its benefits from the increased, generally uniform, consumption of oxygen by muscles and other tissues facilitating the expenditure of calories in a sustained and controlled manner. It combines stretching and strength training exercises with the aim of improving all aspects of fitness including, flexibility, Cardiovascular strength and muscular strength. It can be performed individually or in a group, depending on preferences, so as to optimize a regular routine.
Types of aerobics
Aerobics can be classified into:
- Formal aerobic classes—with different levels of intensity and intricacy.
- Aerobic gymnastics or sport or competitive aerobics—a combination of choreography, acrobatics and rhythmic movements.
- Fartlek training or aerobic dance classes.
- Tennis and jogging.
- Cardio-boxing workouts—a form of aerobics using martial arts movements.
- The Nia technique—a form of non-impact aerobics aimed at combating the problem of impact injuries.
|What it involves |
Aerobics involves an initial warming-up period characterized by moderate exercise including stretching that is followed by moderate or intense exercise for about 20 min or longer. This is followed by a cooling down period where the heart rate is allowed to settle down with the performance of a series of slowing-sown exercises that may be similar to the exercise of the warming-up period.
How it differs from anerobic exercise
Aerobic exercise focuses on the expenditure of energy in processes that require oxygen consumption. Most anerobic exercises, such as weight or strength training, focus on sustained and intense exercise wherein the duration and intensity of muscular contractions varies. In aerobic exercise, sugar is initially broken down to produce energy through processes that involve the consumption of alcohol. In the absence of readily available carbohydrate, fat metabolism is initiated. In anerobic exercise, sugar is consumed without the expenditure of oxygen and is less efficient in terms of fat burning.
|Benefits of aerobic exercise Regular aerobic exercise has several benefits|
- Improving the respiratory muscles and thereby improving the process of respiration.
- Strengthening of the Cardiovascular system, primarily by focusing on strengthening the heart muscle, improving the cardiac competence and reducing the resting heart rate.
- Increasing muscle tone.
- Reducing blood pressure by increasing efficiency of circulation through mediating the chemical processes involved in circulation.
- Facilitating the transport of oxygen by a few mechanisms, including the increase in red blood cell production.
- The release of endorphins and adrenaline has a mood uplifting effect that results in stress reduction and reduces the incidence of depression.
- High-impact aerobic exercises stimulate the production of bone growth and prevent disorders of bone weakness, such as osteomalacia and osteoporosis, both in men and women.
- There is a resultant storage of energy molecules within body tissues so that there is increased stamina or endurance.
- Blood flow throughout the muscles and body tissues is increased delaying aging changes.
- Increasing faster recovery from exercise.
- The body learns to use more fats during exercise.
- This form of exercise has been considered safe during pregnancy and has been documented as facilitating normal labor.
|Risks of aerobics |
- There is some risk of repetitive stress injuries from high-impact aerobic exercises.
- There is a tendency to neglect upper body muscular strength.
- It does not increase the basal metabolic rate and is hence a less effective form of exercise for weight-loss programs.
- There is some risk of misuse by anorexics as aerobic exercise results in suppression of appetite.