Aerobic fitness is the foundation for a healthy body and building a strong aerobic system is essential for all health conscious individuals, whether one is a professional sprinter, a sports person or just an average guy trying to have a healthy and fit body. But aerobic fitness can be increased only by enhancing the effectiveness of aerobics exercise by pushing your heart rate to extreme levels and maintaining it for a prolonged time period. In this article, we have mentioned a few ways in which you can enhance the effectiveness of your aerobic workout sessions.
9 Health and Performance Benefits of Aerobics Exercise
There is a wide range of health benefits of performing aerobics exercise on a daily basis. Achieving the target heart rate and maintaining it for at least 20 minutes can help achieve an “aerobic effect”.
- The aerobic effect reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, certain types of cancer and bone diseases such as osteoporosis.
- Strengthens the heart and enhances its efficiency of pumping and circulating blood flow throughout the body.
- Aids in efficient transport of oxygen throughout the body increases total red blood cells count.
- Assists weight loss and weight management by promoting calorie burn.
- Increases well-being and reduces stress and anxiety through the secretion of endorphins.
- Manages the total cholesterol level in blood by increasing the level of healthy HDL cholesterol and reducing the level of unhealthy LDL cholesterol levels.
- Improves flexibility, muscle strength, coordination and balance.
- Allows the release of greater level of energy by enhancing the rate at which aerobic metabolism is activated in the muscles.
- Enhances the ability of the muscles to utilize fat as a source of energy during exercise.
10 Methods to Enhance the Effectiveness of Aerobics Exercise
Improving aerobic fitness through fitness exercises is the primary goal for fitness enthusiasts and athletes alike. Although there is a wide range of aerobic exercise workouts to choose from, certain points must be practiced in order to increase the efficiency of aerobic exercises.
Manage Your Workout Time
Most of us spend a couple of hours in the gym but are dissatisfied with the entire workout because we feel that the workout session has not been effective enough. This is because a lot of time is spent chit-chatting, waiting for the next equipment or spending too much time for rest. Try to limit your workout sessions to 30 to 40 minutes.
Short spells of intense aerobics exercise are the best killer workout to promote fat burning and enhance lean muscle mass. And if you really want to stay in the gym for more than that then involve in low impact aerobic exercises that work all the major muscle groups of the body.
Combine Aerobics and Weight Training
Aerobics is by far the best cardio exercise but most of us see cardio and weight training as two different entities which never go hand in hand. But in reality, you can maximize the effectiveness of your workout session by combining aerobics exercise workout with weight training.
You can create an interval training circuit with a few minutes of jumping ropes followed by bicep curls and then a few minutes of spot jogging. This combination helps in boosting the metabolism and increases strength.
Monitor Your Heart Rate
Doing aerobic exercise workouts with a heart rate monitor is like driving a car. Although, you might have a general idea of how hard you are exercising, but with a heart rate monitor strapped to your wrist you will be able to track the speed and intensity of your cardio session.
You will be able to plan your workout session accordingly and bring necessary changes to it in order to make it more functional and effective. A heart rate monitor can guide you when to work harder and when to keep it light and prevents you from wasting your time and energy by working unnecessarily on a piece of equipment.
Improve Cardiac Strength
In order to make your aerobic exercises more effective, you must build your cardiac strength. A cardiac system that is highly conditioned can adapt to fitness exercises of any intensity within seconds. Interval training is a great way to work on cardiac strength. You can do this by conditioning your heart rate on the treadmill.
Run on the treadmill at a quick pace for 30 seconds to a minute and wait till your heart rate hits 90%, then slow down and come to a walking pace and walk on till your heart rate drops below 60% and then repeat the exercise again. The driving up of the heart rate helps in building cardiac strength.
Work Your Threshold
The next step is to train your anaerobic threshold that helps in increasing your workout capacity. Anaerobic threshold is the heart rate at which you can no longer bring in enough exercise to support the intensity of the exercise. It is the intensity that is tough to maintain for a prolonged period. You can estimate it with a talk test.
When you reach your anaerobic threshold, you should be able to mutter just 3 to 4 words before taking a breath, but if you can speak without trouble then you need to increase the intensity. The best aerobic exercise trains this threshold that helps in enhancing the performance of intense cardio circuits and weight training.
Go Easy and Steady for Fat Loss and Conditioning
If you are only looking for conditioning and weight loss then opt for low-level cardio exercises for weight loss. Although most people prefer high-intensity aerobics exercise with intervals, but low-intensity exercises are useful during recovery days when you can train in a relaxed manner without straining your muscles or overtraining.
Working out at a moderate heart rate of 60 to 70% is effective enough to increase the blood flow to all the major muscle groups of the body without generating any intense training stimulus. Although, it should not be the main exercise format of your training program, but one or two days of easier cardio exercise such as step aerobics between hard workouts helps in easing the body and the mind.
Opt for Circuit Training
One of the biggest gym mistakes that most of us do is repeating multiple sets of the same aerobics exercise again and again without any interval in between. This lack of rest between sets prevents the muscles from recovering and it is a complete waste of your energy and time.
So, it is better to plan out a circuit training program where you can do multiple exercises in a circuit without any rest between the exercises and resting for 1 to 2 minutes at the end of the circuit. Circuit training is an amazing aerobics for weight loss that works the entire muscle group and provides good cardio workout between strength training.
Intensity of the aerobic exercises also plays an important role in enhancing aerobic fitness. An intensity of 60 to 85% of the target heart rate should be maintained in order to increase your aerobic fitness. You can calculate your target heart rate following this procedure. First find out your maximum heart rate that is 200 minus your age in years. The result should be multiplied by 0.70 in order to determine the lower limit of your target heart rate and it should be multiplied by 0.85 in order to determine the upper limit.
As a beginner you should target to maintain your heart rate near the lower end of the target heart rate range. You can gradually increase it towards the upper limit as your fitness and endurance increases.
Concentrate on Frequency
In order to make the aerobics for weight loss and improved cardiac health more effective you should also be aware of the frequency of the aerobic exercise workouts. It is suggested to opt for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week to obtain best results.
When beginning any exercise routine, it is best to start slowly and gradually pick up the intensity by adding more days and more time to your workout as you become fitter and stronger. For most beginners, 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 3 times every week is good enough. With time, they can add on another day and gradually extend it to six days per week.
Plan Proper Intervals
The best way to reap maximum benefits from aerobics exercise workout is to combine intense bouts of cardiovascular exercise with intervals of recovery. This process not only promotes fat burning, but also helps in developing lean muscle mass. Although there are many ways of incorporating intervals into workout routines such as circuit training with interval, one of the easier methods can be working out intensely for 1 minute, followed by 2 minutes of active recovery.
This cycle can be repeated for the entire duration of the workout. Intervals are not easy to plan and therefore, it is best to consult a physician before beginning interval training programs.
4 Best Cardio Exercises for Weight Loss and Toned Body
When it comes to cardio exercises, people are spoilt for choices. The cardio workouts not on boost up the heart rate, but also increase the body’s metabolism to speed up weight loss.
Walking it the simplest form of cardio exercise that can be done by people of all ages. The speed and intensity of walking can be adjusted to match the individual’s fitness level. In requires no other equipment than a comfortable and supportive walking shoe.
It is a good cardio workout option for beginners and for those who don’t want to stress their joints too much.
Cycling is yet another cardio exercise that is extremely effective for enhancing the heart rate. Cycling can be done using regular or stationary bikes and is it the best-suited exercise for people suffering from arthritis pain or any other orthopedic problems.
This workout provides overall cardiovascular benefits and acts as a full body workout that doesn’t put much stress on the back, hips, knees and ankles.
Stair climbing is an extremely functional cardio workout that can be done in the comfort of your home. This exercise works the muscles of the lower body right from lower back, to hips and glutes.
Aerobic dance is a fun filled and entertaining way to enhance cardio fitness. It not only strengthens the heart muscles, but also works as a full-body workout that tones all the muscles of the body. There are various interesting dance forms such as belly dancing, Zumba, Ballet, Salsa, pole dance and many others that one can choose from.
So, now that you know the best methods to increase the effectiveness of aerobic exercises, incorporate them into your workout routine to develop a healthy and shapely physique.