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Your Guide on Aerobic Basics

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What is aerobics exercise?

Dread the thought of spending an hour in the gym with the same monotonous routine? Well, you can rev up your heart rate in many interesting ways without schlepping to the gym. In case we lost you there, we’re talking about aerobics— Just because, a solid workout doesn’t have to be boring. Shoot your endorphins, work on those muscles and tone your body with your BFFs while moving to fast-paced music. Motivated, much?

What is Aerobics

Aerobics is a cardiovascular exercise that stimulates and strengthens the heart and lungs to improve oxygen circulation in the body while simultaneously aiming for physical fitness.

Benefits of Aerobic Exercises

  • Aerobic exercises strengthen your heart and pump blood more efficiently throughout your body. Improved cardiovascular health clears your arteries by raising good cholesterol and lowering bad cholesterol while reducing blood pressure.
  • If you’re a diabetic patient, this is your best bet at regulating insulin levels and lowering blood sugar.
  • Regularly performing aerobic exercises can help decrease the severity and frequency of asthma attacks. Stick to low-impact aerobic exercises with your doctor’s consultation.
  • Insomnia ruling your bed-time? The best part about aerobics is it keeps you wakey-wakey (read: energized) during day time and makes it easier to fall asleep at night.
  • To make your weight-loss diet plan more effective, incorporate aerobic exercises to burn more calories and reduce weight faster.
  • The choreography based steps performed in a group makes you work out without realizing the amount of effort involved in shedding calories and working those muscles. Now enjoying your workout session gives you less reasons to end up skipping it, right?
  • Daily aerobic exercises will increase your metabolic rate which means you burn calories faster and thus, lose more weight and gain less weight. Basically you can finally maintain a healthy weight.

5 Best Aerobic Exercises

Here’s a scoop on the different types of aerobics.

Dance aerobics exercises

1. Dance aerobics

  • Zumba:
    Love the dance-party vibes in clubs? Channel the inner dance diva in you in a Zumba class instead. Okay, it doesn’t matter if you’re an awkward dancer without your trusty cosmopolitan. Think about Zumba as an exciting high-energy workout that combines cardio, balance, flexibility and muscle coordination. This dance aerobic is a sequence of Latin inspired choreographed dance movements with varying intensity in each song that can help burn 350-650 calories, depending on the intensity.
  • Belly dancing:
    Fun fact: Belly dancing was originally performed to celebrate women’s fertility. Fast forward and it turns out it can be more than an ode to fertility. It’s a torso-driven dance that strengthens your core muscles while toning arms and legs too. Depending on your weight you can burn 250-350 calories for each session based on the intensity. With all the intense hip movements and those amazing beats, you’ll never even feel it’s ‘exercise’.
  • Jazzercise:
    Think of it as total body workout that brings together dance, strength and resistance training with a workout music on. What does it mostly target? Right from your legs and abs to your entire upper body. Depending on your weight you can burn upto 800 calories with an hour of Jazzercise. It’s your best bet at losing weight and improving your energy levels.
  • Ballroom dancing:
    You’ll soon run out of excuses to shun your workout. Because we’ve discovered a workout that’s nothing less than a steamy dance session with your bae! Yes, the ballroom dancing will require you to dance with your partner yet burn as much calories as a good solo cycling session can (read: 200-400). Improve your cardio endurance, posture, muscle strength and definition as you dance to modern waltz, tango, rumba and swing.

2. Water aerobics

If love the pool as much as we do, water aerobics is just the right fit for you. Take a dip in azure waters and indulge in some aerobics while you are at it; there’s nothing more fun that that!

  • Jumping jacks:
    Jumping jacks involves jumping up with your hands on your head while spreading your feet farther than hip-width apart. To make it more intense it can be modified with squats and rotations. This exercise helps reduce blood pressure and make weight loss easier.
  • Water back wall glide:
    Water back wall glide involves holding onto the pool ledge and pressing your feet onto the wall while bringing your knees against your chest. Then release and float on your back as far as you can. Regularly doing this water aerobic exercise helps stimulate the muscles in your core and lower body.
  • Noodle knee tucks:
    Noodle knee tucks involves wrapping an aqua noodle around your upper back and gripping under your armpits. Holding both the ends of the noodle with your hands in the front and floating with your toes pointing downward, contract your abs and lift your knees toward your chest. This will help tone your abs, hips and legs.
  • Arm lifts:
    Arm lifts involves holding foam dumbbells in your hands and lifting them to the height of the water surface. Ensure your elbows are pulled closer to your torso while you lift. This helps strengthen arm muscles and the weights only add more resistance to the arm movements which makes it more effective.
Water aerobics
Step aerobics workouts

3. Step aerobics

Another variation of aerobics, this one involves a choreographed routine of stepping up ‘n’ down over an elevated platform that resembles a step. It’s fun, it’s easy and it’s going to get your heart racing.

  • Basic right/left:
    It involves stepping onto the step box with the right foot followed by the left foot. The right foot is then moved back to the floor followed by the left foot. This can be also performed by starting with the left foot. This exercise targets your legs and helps improve coordination while burning calories.
  • A-step move:
    This exercise involves stepping onto a vertically placed step box with your right foot first followed by the left foot. Then step down on the other side by placing the right foot on the floor first. This step aerobic exercise helps lower blood pressure and improve bone strength.
  • Charleston:
    This exercise involves placing your left foot on the step box and kicking your right foot off the floor while leaning back. The right foot is then brought back on the floor followed by the left leg. Keep switching the feet positions. Without putting stress on your joints, this exercise helps build strength and reduce fat.
  • V-step move:
    This exercise involves placing your right foot on the step box followed by the left foot such that the feet movement draws a V shape. The feet should be wider than shoulder-width apart on the step box before returning to the floor with the right foot retracting first. This exercise raises your energy levels while improving balance and agility.

4. Low impact aerobics

If you aren’t in the market for anything too intense, try ‘low impact aerobics’ which are just as effective—without putting too much stress on your back or your spine.

  • Exercise walking:
    Exercise walking is different from your regular walking as the pace is maintained faster to elevate heart rate while gently working the muscles. You can add ankle or wrist weights to add resistance and make it more effective. Exercise walking can be done in your gym on a treadmill or outdoors in your nearby park.
  • Elliptical training:
    This exercise is done with the support of the elliptical trainer equipment which helps simulate the movement of jogging, running and walking indoors. It comes with varied resistance settings to help build muscle strength while burning extra calories. Elliptical training is popular for maintaining fitness post an injury as it doesn’t strain your body.
  • Stationary bicycling:
    Cycling is fun as long as there are no potholes and accidental falls. Enter: Stationary bicycle which gives you the benefits of cycling indoor and getting your heart pumping while burning fat. The best part is that you can modify the wheel resistance which will make it more challenging to pedal and thereby strengthen your lower body muscles and build more endurance.
  • Rowing:
    This exercise is performed with the support of an indoor rowing equipment that mimics the rowing of a watercraft. It works the major muscle groups in your upper and lower body without requiring extreme mobility. It’s a great cardiovascular exercise that can get your heart pumping while burning upto 350 calories in a 30 minute session.
Low impact aerobics exercises
What is sports aerobics

5. Sports aerobics

Sports aerobics involves a set of complex and high intensity exercises that are choreographed to fast paced music. This aerobic marries elements of rhythmic gymnastics and sports and is performed individually or in pairs, triplets and groups. The artistry of smooth execution builds strength, endurance, coordination and flexibility. It’s an exciting way to burn fat while improving your confidence. A competitive form of aerobics, it’s ideal for people who have the stamina as it can get taxing and doing it carelessly could result in an injury.

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