Health Benefits Associated with Aerobic Training

Benefits of Aerobic Activity

There are a variety of benefits that regular aerobic activity can provide for you, both mentally and physically. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this means around two and a half hours of moderate physical activity per week, or one hour and fifteen minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week.

Breaking up the duration of your exercise routines to shorter sessions still provides all of the benefits derived from performing an aerobic activity. For example, you can break up this time to as little as ten minute sessions at a time, if you have a particularly hectic schedule.

The Mayo Clinic lists seven major health benefits of aerobic activity, including controlled weight, improved mood, and boosted energy.

However, there are many more substantial health, fitness, and mental well-being benefits that you can expect to receive by adding an aerobic activity to your lifestyle in which you perform on a regular basis.

Benefits of Aerobic Activity

Weight Loss: In it's simplest terms, losing a pound of weight requires you to cut or burn 3,500 calories beyond your maintenance level to lost one pound. For example, if your recommended daily caloric intake is 2,000 calories and you cut your diet to 1,750, you can expect to lose a single pound every 2 weeks or so. This is, of course, ignoring the impact of metabolism for the moment. But you can also cut these same calories using aerobic activity. Assuming you weigh around 240 lbs., you can expect to burn about 1,173 calories a week simply by walking 2.5 hours a week. For many people, that's a much easier sacrifice to make than cutting 250 calories out of their diets every day.

Muscular Tone: Of course, cutting fat from your body through aerobic activity also helps to tone your muscles, simply by making them more visible. After all, you may have powerful muscles hiding under a layer of fat. Keep in mind that there is no way to "spot tone" muscle groups. Cutting fat works on your whole body, and only your whole body.

Cardiovascular Endurance: Using your aerobic activity to achieve a cardiovascular effect (or reaching a target heart rate for at least 20 minutes at a time) can also help improve cardiovascular endurance. As you train, you literally build up your body's tolerance for exercise. Over time, you will gradually feel less tired from a starting workout (if it never changes) and you'll find that it takes more work to increase your heart rate.

Flexibility/Balance/Coordination: It's a shame that flexibility is so often overlooked by athletes and exercisers alike (when's the last time you skipped your stretches??) because flexibility is one of the single most important benefits of increased physical activity. Not only does flexibility help prevent injuries, and help your body recover from them, but flexibility also helps you get the most out of your workouts by increasing joint range of motion.

Higher Energy Level: If you tend to feel sluggish around 3 p.m., it's not an overpriced, sugary energy drink that you need to give you the a boost. Actually, adding more exercise to your lifestyle may be a safer and much more effective solution. It seems counterintuitive, but working out every day can make you feel more energized and ready to meet challenges throughout the week. You'll feel more focused and better able to concentrate on important tasks.

Decrease the Probability of Contracting a Disease: When most people think of diseases that are often attributed to obesity, a couple probably come to mind -- diabetes and heart disease. But there are actually a whole host of diseases and conditions that have been directly linked to obesity, including:

  • Enlarged Heart

  • Varicose Veins

  • Benefits of Aerobic Activity
  • Pulmonary Embolism

  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

  • Menstrual Disorder

  • Infertility

  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

  • Fatty Liver Disease

  • Cholelithiasis

  • Hernia

  • Colorectal Cancer

  • Erectile Dysfunction

  • Urinary Incontinence

  • Chronic Renal Failure

The list could go on for pages. Obesity is not a normal state of the body, and is detrimental to your health. Increasing aerobic activity can virtually eliminate the chances of many of the diseases and conditions. Simply losing 10 percent of your body weight can have dramatic health benefits.

Reduction in Bone Density Loss: Especially important in the elderly, increased bone density is one of the easiest benefits to derive from physical activity. Researchers at the University of Michigan (2009) found that bone density increased in test subjects after only 12 minutes of aerobic activity three times a week. Bone density is crucial in helping to prevent broken bones and other injuries.

Improved Immunity: Regular exercise boosts your body's production of macrophages, cells that form your body's defensive army against invading bacteria. Having a larger army of defensive cells helps your body respond to problems faster. During exercise, your immune cells also circulate throughout your body at a faster rate, obliterating viruses and bacteria.

Improved Heart Health: Regular aerobic activity improves circulation to prevent blood clots, reduces bad cholesterol, increases good cholesterol, and lowers blood pressure -- all positive contributions to the health of your heart.

Toxin Removal: All aerobic activity increases oxygen delivery to your cells, which in turn helps your body remove toxins. Both increased breath rate and increased heart rate help your body remove toxins. When you lose weight, a vast amount of the waste products from the burned fat actually leave your body through your lungs (so don't forget the breath mints).

Benefits of Aerobic Activity

Reduced Stress: When you exercise, your body naturally releases a chemical called serotonin, a "happy chemical" that helps reduce stress, alleviate depression, and treat a host of other psychological problems. Both chemically and psychologically, aerobic activity really does make you feel happier.

Aerobic exercise simply works wonders on our bodies; oxygen is the key to aerobics and our health. Remember to warm up before and cool down before your aerobic workout. This will assure that your body is ready for a workout and that your muscles are stretched and ready for exercise.

Both warming up and cooling down are an important factor in working out and you do not want to re injure yourself by not preparing your body for a workout. Always wear the proper shoes and workout wear in order to give yourself the complete aerobic effect and obtain all of the health benefits you can get. Remember to follow all of these steps and you will enjoy the perks of becoming healthy through aerobic exercise.

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