Aerobics means with oxygen, and aerobic fitness consists of physical exercise, strength training and stretching. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least 30 minutes to 1 hour of moderately intense physical activity a day. Aerobic exercise has many health benefits besides weight management.
Exercise causes the heart to pump more efficiently, making it stronger. It reduces the systemic inflammation and decreases the chance of developing heart disease. Exercise also helps to increase good cholesterol and decrease bad cholesterol. The effects exercise has on the heart can control blood pressure and contributes to a healthier life, better weight management and a sense of well being.
Another benefit of exercise in people with Type 2 diabetes is that it makes the efficiency of the body better by increasing tissue sensitivity to insulin. In addition, more glucose is produced and pressed out of the blood stream. The blood will enter the cells and decrease the amount of glucose in the blood. By allowing glucose to metabolize in the body and letting normal blood sugar levels be maintained, aerobic exercise minimizes the risk of developing diabetes.
Reducing the risk of obesity makes exercise another benefit by controlling calories, decreasing body fat all while improving lean muscle, strength and flexibility. Aerobic activity increases endorphins, making life a happier experience, it prevents certain cancers, improves sleep, increases energy and mood, and lessens feelings of depression, stress and anxiety.
Reaching a target heart rate is key to benefiting the most from aerobics. Using the age method, age is taken away from 220, then that number is multiplied by 0.7. The American Heart Association recommends a target heart rate range of between 50% and 75%. Because people exercise at different fitness levels, this method may not be completely accurate but it does give a number to work toward.
Dr. Kenneth Cooper is the physician who brought aerobic exercise to the forefront in the nineteen sixties when he noticed that people were not putting enough physical activity into their lives. He authored the book Aerobics in 1968, outlining his exercise routines such as swimming, bicycling, walking and running.
Immediately following Dr. Coopers book, a woman named Jackie Sorenson developed aerobic dance. Aerobic dance consisted of a series of dance routines, done to music, where by improving cardiovascular fitness.
Sportaerobics was introduced in 1983 by Howard and Karen Schwartz. The first national aerobic championship was held in 1984 and by the year 2002, the competition included six athletes performing a 1 minute and 45 second rhythmic routine. Scores were based on artistic and technical merit. By 1996 gymnastique discipline had replaced the name sportaerobics.
Including aerobic activity into a daily routine, will lead to a longer, happier, and healthier life.