Physical inactivity is identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. Inactivity is found to be a significant risk factor for many health conditions like Coronary Heart disease, Stroke, Diabetes, and Cancer. Regular physical activity is proven to help prevent and manage such non-communicable diseases, says one of the recommendations of WHO. These activities can include doing some easy aerobic exercises at your place. In this blog, we will be discussing aerobic exercises and their benefits.
Aerobic exercises or cardiovascular exercises are some of the finest physical exercises that make the heart pump faster and supply more oxygen-carrying blood to the whole body with every beat. The lungs adapt to take in more oxygen, making the muscles more efficient by using it. These exercises usually involve the whole body and use oxygen which is involved in the cellular reactions that provide the body with the energy necessary to perform the activity. The cells throughout the body increase the number and size of the mitochondria ( powerhouses of the cell), which uses oxygen to create energy that can fuel important reactions throughout the body, Mitochondria is a part of the body's cells that turn oxygen into energy which each cell uses to function.
Aerobic exercises help build strength in major muscle groups, keep the blood pumping, and also, help strengthen the heart and lungs. Other benefits of aerobic exercises are:
- Help lower the cholesterol.
- Reduces the risk of a heart attack.
- Reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Reduces the risk of certain cancers breast, colon, etc.
- Helps increase bone density for patients with osteoarthritis or other rheumatic conditions.
- Reduces pain and swelling due to arthritis.
- Improves immune function.
- Lowers blood pressure.
- Helps in weight loss.
- Build endurance and stamina.
- Tones the muscles and improves posture.
- Improves balance.
- Helps decrease anxiety.
- Alleviates symptoms of depression.
- Improves balance.
- Improved mood.
- Helps manage stress through sleep and mood-regulating benefits.
- Lowers the risk of dementia and may improve cognition.
Aerobics exercises can be done anywhere and do not require equipment. To prevent injuries, do warm-up before and cool-down exercises after the workout. For moderate-intensity aerobic exercise aim for 150 minutes a week and vigorous exercises for 75 minutes. Given below are some examples of aerobic exercises.
Start slowly with alternate walking and running for 1 minute at a time. Initially do short sessions twice a week, and then progress to 20–60 minutes, 2 or 3 times per week, as the strength increases.
Walking is the best aerobic exercise because it is easy to do and can be done anywhere. Do brisk walking for 10-minutes before and after work and at lunchtime or simply take long walks. Monitor the steps, you can set a target of 10,000 steps per day and work out your goal by adding 500 steps daily for half an hour to one hour thrice a week.
Dancing can be done while listening to your favorite music in the private room. It can be done for 30 minutes or for an hour, 2 or 3 times per week.
Start with a goal of a 15-minute workout thrice a week. Progress by increasing the no of jumps and the time thus making it more difficult.
Stand upright in front of the stairs, don't lean on the handles. Then place the foot on the step up and then place it back down. Look forward while using the muscles. Start at a slow pace, and then increase the speed thus increasing the intensity of the exercise. Then slow back. Do it for 20–60 minutes, 3 times per week.
Swimming is a great no-impact workout. Start with laps using one stroke, add more like the breaststroke, the backstroke, or advanced one i.e. butterfly swimming for 10–30 minutes thrice a week increasing the duration by 5 minutes each week, take rest between laps. Don't swim alone or without a lifeguard.
Adjust the bike to the proper height. Start with a slow pace for 5–10 minutes (warm-up), and then increase the pace for an hour thrice a week until it is a bit challenging.
Stand straight with the feet apart at shoulder's width. Move into the squat position. Use a jumping motion, to move up and out of the squat position. Upon landing, immediately move into a squat position and repeat.
This is a high-impact workout combining aerobics with martial arts and boxing. After a warm-up, punch and kick, proceed to the core workout or strengthening moves for an hour, thrice a week.
Lie down flat on the back and place the hands under the lower back for support. Lift both the feet up off the ground and then bring one up to form a right angle with the rest of the body. Bring it back down while moving the other leg to form a right angle with the body. Keep moving the legs up and down, don’t let them rest on the ground.
Perform balance and stretching activities to enhance muscle strengthening and flexibility exercises thrice a week. In case of any health issue consult your physiotherapist before beginning any exercise program.