Benefits of Aerobic Training

benefits of performing aerobics

With so many individuals living a lifestyle that is sedentary, it is no wonder that the rate of obesity and chronic disease have increased over the last 20 years. The human body was designed to be active and perform some form of physical activity on a daily basis. In order to live a healthy and fit lifestyle you must regularly perform some type of physical activity - period. In addition, and equally important, you must consume healthy well-balanced whole foods on a daily basis as well.

A recent study conducted by the University of Hong Kong and the Department of Health concluded that leading a sedentary lifestyle is more dangerous and detrimental to your health and wellness than smoking cigarettes.

The researchers of the study evaluated the level of physical activity in individuals who had died and successfully correlated their level of physical activity to their risk of dying.

The study concluded that 20% of all deaths in individuals that were 35 years of age or older were directly attributable to their lack of physical activity. When evaluating the specific diseases, the risk of death from cancer increased 45% for men and 28% for women. The probability of death from respiratory ailments were 92% higher for males and 75% higher for females. In addition, the probability of death due to heart disease was 52% higher for men and 28% higher for women. These increases in the probability of contracting a life threatening disease were solely due to a lack of physical activity.

Don't Become a Statistic


However, the good news is that the probability of contracting one of these types of debilitating diseases can be greatly reduced, and even prevented, by simply performing some form of physical activity with regularity. The human body is designed to be active. By simply being active, the muscles, ligaments, tendons, limbs, and organs of the body are massaged.

In addition, physical activity also forces oxygen into the soft tissue, promotes the removal of waste byproducts, and improves their flexibility. Likewise, the lymph fluid must be circulated throughout the body as well. However, unlike the oxygen that is transported through your cardiovascular system via the heart, the lymph system does no have a pump to circulate the lymph fluid throughout the body. No only way to transport lymph fluid throughout your body is through physical activity.

Regularly performing some form of physical activity forces the body to circulate the blood, oxygen, nutrients, cellular respiration, nervous system, to name a few items. Sweating is also healthy for the human body in that it forces toxins to be flushed from the body.

Performing a physical activity outside exposes the body to the healing effects of sunlight. Sunlight is an essential nutrient for the human body and is typically deficient in most individuals. Sunlight aides in the ability of the digestive system to fully acquire the nutritional value from food that is ingested. In addition, regular exposure to sunlight has been proven to reduce the probability of contracting chronic aliments such as osteoporosis, cancer of the bladder, breasts, cervix, colon, ovaries, prostrate, and stomach, type 2 diabetes, and mental depression. However, as with most things in life, over exposure to anything can produce detrimental affects; and sunlight is no different.

This being said, one form of physical activity is aerobic exercise. Aerobic, meaning "with oxygen", is a form of exercise that focuses on elevating the heart rate. More specifically, successfully performing an aerobic activity will elevate an individual's heart rate to their target heart rate and maintain that level for a minimum of 20 consecutive minutes. When an individual accomplishes this, it is said that they have achieved an "aerobic effect."

There are countless physical activities that fall under the aerobics exercise type. In general, any physical activity that elevates the heart rate to an individual's target heart rate, and is able to sustain that level for at least 20 consecutive minutes, is considered an aerobic activity. To this end, typical aerobic activities include briskly walking, jogging, running, swimming, biking, aerobic classes, and so on. In addition, treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, stair climbers, and rowing machines are all forms of aerobic exercises. The key is finding the right aerobic workout for you.

Advantages of Aerobic Training


benefits of performing aerobics

There are several health and fitness benefits associated with regularly performing an aerobic activity. While most individuals may be aware of several of the benefits of aerobic exercise, there are a large set of benefits that are not as readily apparent.

This being said, incorporating an aerobic exercise routine into your daily lifestyle will provide you with not only an abundance of physical benefits, but mental benefits as well.

By knowing the physical and mental benefits associated with regularly performing an aerobic activity you will maintain a greater level of motivation, discipline, and desire to actually perform your routine.

Simply being aware of the benefits that an aerobic exercise routine provides to your overall level of health and fitness will assist you in maintaining focus on why you are taking the time to perform the actual exercises. Without this level of knowledge many individuals get to the point where they lose sight of why they are working so hard.

Below is a list of several of the physical and mental benefits derived from performing an aerobic activity with moderate frequency (i.e. 2 to 5 times per week):

  • Increases cardiorespiratory and cardiovascular system outputs
  • Strengthens the heart and entire cardiovascular system
  • Decreases resting heart rate
  • Improves circulation by removing cholesterol and plaque buildup from the arteries
  • Body adapts to burn fat as it's primary fuel source
  • Promotes safe and effective weight loss
  • Reduces stress levels and calms and centers the mind
  • Increases the basal metabolic rate, resulting in a greater number of calories being burned per day
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Increases good cholesterol levels (HDL) while reducing bad cholesterol levels (LDL)
  • Improves muscle tone
  • Improves coordination, balance, and posture
  • Increases oxygen levels in the blood
  • Increases flexibility
  • Increases the volume of blood per stroke from the heart
  • Increases the efficiency in which oxygen is utilized
  • Increases cardiovascular endurance
  • Decreases the probability of contracting diseases such as heart, stroke, some forms of cancer, and type 2 diabetes
  • Improves muscular tone while reducing body fat
  • Increases the probability of maintaining healthy weight level as you age

The above benefits associated with regularly performing an aerobic activity comprise only a subset of the overall physical and mental benefits related to an aerobic exercise routine. However, the benefits are numerous and will promote a lifestyle that is filled with good health and fitness, mental well-being, and longevity.

Health and Fitness Gaps in Aerobic Training


In terms of achieving complete health and fitness, there are a few shortcomings in only performing an aerobic exercise routine. For this reason, it is important to understand the areas of fitness that aerobic conditioning does not address. While a certain level of aerobic activity is considered healthy for virtually everyone, aerobic training will not facilitate the obtainment of all fitness and health goals. For instance, aerobic training will not, to a significant degree, create a large increase in structural strength and lean muscle mass. To this end, knowing the limitations associated with regularly performing an aerobic training routine will better inform you as to whether or not aerobic training is the method best suited to meet your personal fitness goals.

For individuals that are wanting to significantly increase the muscle tone and create a physique that is well sculpted, strength training will be necessary. In addition, strength training is an excellent activity for improving structural strength as well. Below are a few of the limitations associated with solely performing an aerobic exercise routine:

  • Minimal gains in lean muscle mass and structural strength

  • May be risky for individuals that already have a heart condition or other illness.

  • May be difficult for individuals with chronic pain to perform with regularity

  • Increased risk of overuse injuries in aerobic activities that are highly repetitive (i.e. running, swimming...)

  • Susceptibility to become bored with aerobic activities that are highly repetitive (i.e. exercise bikes, treadmills, stair climbers...)

There are several aerobic exercise types to choose from when determining which type of activities to perform. One approach is to choose activities that you are already familiar with and enjoy.

various aerobic activities

In addition, if you are ambitious and open minded you may want to consider performing an aerobic activity, or activities, that you have never participated in before. This approach is outstanding for reducing boredom, maintaining motivation, and achieving your personal fitness goals at an even quicker rate.

Performing multiple types of aerobic activities is a form of cross training that will keep your muscles off-balance, exercise your body under different conditions and from different angles. This type of approach, cross training, is outstanding for obtaining fitness goals in a reduced time-frame.

Regularly performing an aerobic type activity will provide a greater level of overall health and fitness; not only today, but as you age as well. In addition, adding a healthy whole food diet that is nutritionally balanced to a aerobic activity that you perform regularly will ensure that you are providing your body with the nutrients to perform optimally.

By combining an aerobic activity with a nutritionally balanced diet you will ensure that your body is given every opportunity to live a healthy and fit life that is filled with mental stability and well-being. In addition, by implementing this type of lifestyle into your daily life you will find that your energy levels increase and your overall outlook on life improve as well.

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