We all know moving our bodies is important for optimal health and well-being. Yet, the many recommendations out there can be confusing. How much aerobic exercise should you do? Is it better than strength training? Is it different from cardio? Can aerobic exercise be part of a healthy weight loss regime?
What is an Aerobic Exercise?
So, what is the meaning of aerobic exercise? Basically, aerobic exercise is any movement that increases your breathing and heart rates.
Aerobic Exercises and Cardio: What’s the Difference?
Aerobic exercise is frequently used interchangeably with cardio exercise. This isn’t a mistake, as these are actually two of the same thing. Both strive to improve overall fitness by increasing one’s heart rate and oxygen intake.
This means you don’t need to worry about doing one or the other; these terms are used synonymously along with endurance exercise.
Aerobic Exercise vs Anaerobic Exercise
Aerobic vs. Strength Training
It’s important to note that aerobic training will also build some muscle, but not to the same extent as strength training.
At the end of the day, incorporating both of these types of workouts into your weekly routine can not only support your weight loss journey but also contribute to a long, healthy, and happy life.
How Aerobic Exercise Workouts Improve Your Health
The benefits of aerobic exercise should never be underestimated. Even a low-impact aerobic workout is better than no aerobic activity at all. So, with that in mind, here are a few benefits associated with aerobic exercise.
1. Fat Burn
Aerobic exercise burns fat after using up your glucose stores. In other words, aerobic activity uses calories for energy, which are gained through glucose and fat stores. However, aerobic activity must be very intense or long to burn major calories. Yet, at the same time, it always has a place in a healthy weight loss regime.
2. Improves Heart and Lung Health
The major benefit of aerobic exercise is its direct impact on your heart and lung health. Over time, you may see decreases in your resting heart rate, indicating your heart is becoming more efficient. In turn, this can also reduce your risk of a heart attack, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and more.
3. Improves Mood
Even a small bout, such as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise at home or low-impact aerobic exercise, can lead to significant improvements in mood. This is because most forms of aerobic exercise help release endorphins, which help us feel good. Additionally, this can contribute to lower stress and anxiety.
All of the above can also help contribute to your weight loss efforts. When we’re less stressed, we’re more likely to engage in healthy behaviours and stick with them.
The Best Aerobic Exercises for Weight Loss
So, what exercises are aerobic? And which ones are best for weight loss? Below, we look closer at the types of aerobic exercise.
While cardio is frequently used interchangeably with aerobic exercise, “cardio workouts” can be defined as consistently performing a movement for long amounts of time, such as 30 to 60 minutes. Some examples include running, jogging, and cycling.
Running and Jogging
The great thing about running and jogging is that it’s accessible to almost anyone. All you need is a pair of runners and a path or treadmill to run on, and you’re set.
If you’re new to running, it can be beneficial to start with a walk-run split. This may mean running for one minute, then walking for one minute, and alternating for 30 minutes or more. You can then begin to increase your running intervals as your body adapts.
As your swimming proficiency improves, you can gradually intensify your workout by incorporating more challenging strokes and increasing the duration of your swims, allowing your body to adapt to the cardiovascular demands of this invigorating exercise.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT combines high-intensity intervals with active recovery intervals. It’s another great way to get your heart rate up.
HIIT Workout Classes
Alternatively, there are also many types of spin workouts available online or at home. If you have a stationary bike available, this may be something you want to explore.
Low-Impact Aerobic Exercises
Not all aerobic activity has to be intense, either. As per the above, aqua aerobics is a low-impact option. On top of this, aerobic step workouts, boxercise and dance workouts may also provide low-impact ways to get your heart rate up.
Aerobic Step Workouts
The exercise not only introduces basic boxing skills in a non-contact environment but also progressively advances to teach intricate combinations, encompassing footwork and body movements, ensuring a safe, effective workout that adapts to varying skill levels.
Zumba and other dance classes can further offer a great aerobic workout. Again, anything that gets your heart rate up is aerobic exercise; this includes any dancing you do at home!
Aerobic Exercises at Home
You can even make it a whole event. Invite friends over. Plan a brunch afterwards, and make this a weekly event.
Sample Aerobic Exercise Plan
A sample of an aerobic exercise plan may include 30 minutes of aerobic movement five times a week. Alternatively, you could also do 60 minutes three times a week (such as three aerobic classes). Try alternating between different exercises to keep it interesting. This will ensure you achieve the recommended 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week, keeping your heart and lungs in tip-top shape.
Boost Your Aerobic Endurance with Aura Leisure
So by now, we know the answers to how aerobic exercise works, what the benefits of aerobic exercises are and how much we should include in our lives. If you’re interested in joining a community of like-minded individuals and having fun while you exercise, look no further than Aura Leisure.