Your blood is pumping, your heart rate is elevated, and your breathing is faster are you reading a great romantic novel? Nope, you’re just doing aerobic exercise! In order to know what aerobic exercise is, we need to take a look at the word aerobic.
What Is Aerobic Exercise?
Aerobic means with oxygen. Therefore, aerobic exercise is the exercise you perform that raises your heart rate and makes you breathe heavier. When you perform aerobic exercise, the action of your large muscle groups (your thigh muscles, back, and stomach muscles, and of course your gluteus maximus, which is the largest muscle in your body) increases the need for oxygen in your body.
Your breathing becomes harder and faster to accommodate the oxygen need, and your heart pumps more blood through your system in order to provide the oxygen to your lungs. The health benefits of this type of exercise are many and varied. When your heart rate becomes elevated due to the need for increased oxygen, you work the heart muscle harder, and it becomes stronger in the process.
You also strengthen your lungs, increase their capacity, and increase your circulation to all areas of your body, including your brain, which can also result in clearer thinking. One fact you may not be aware of, is that when you perform any type of aerobic exercise, your body burns more fat. And that fat-burning action doesn’t stop when you do.
This increase in your metabolism will last for hours after you stop exercising and so the effects last much longer than your exercise session does. Forms of aerobic exercise can be nearly anything, so long as your heart rate becomes slightly to moderately elevated (this, of course, will depend on your current health and athletic ability).
Walking at an increased speed, jogging or running outside or on a treadmill, elliptical training, and even hiking hills are all forms of exercise that require a greater amount of oxygen to accomplish.
An aerobic workout doesn’t just mean running endlessly on a treadmill.
Aerobic workouts include:
- brisk walking
- swimming laps
- aerobic dancing, like Zumba
- cross-country skiing
- stair climbing
- elliptical training
Take in the scenery while revving up your heart. Do you own a treadmill or elliptical trainer? Don’t just use it as a clothes rack get on it and get moving! No matter where you live, or what your current health, you can find an aerobic workout routine that fits your lifestyle and time constraints.
Your heart, lungs, metabolism and especially that waistline will thank you when you add aerobic exercise to your daily routine. Health benefits have been recorded at just 20 minutes a day. So there really are no excuses, just the awesome benefits of a healthy body and mind!