What is aerobic exercise?
Aerobic exercise is a great way not only to tone the body, but also to ensure the flow of oxygen to all organs and systems of the body during aerobic exercise.
Unlike fitness, where a certain strength load takes place, all aerobic exercise is quite simple, do not require special training, so even a person who has never played sports can easily withstand a workout.
Aerobics classes include several basic elements:
- Working out all muscle groups of the body;
- Breathing exercises;
- Work on the development of flexibility and plasticity.
The difference between aerobic exercise and anaerobic exercise is the way in which energy is produced:
- During strength (anaerobic) training, glucose is broken down, resulting in the formation of a large number of lactic acid molecules, which are responsible for the growth of muscle mass, as well as ATP (adenosine triphosphoric acid) molecules, the main source of energy. A lot of lactic acid is released, and little ATP.
As a result, there is an active process of muscle growth, while there is not enough energy for long-term strength activity (in bodybuilding, short periods of intense muscle work are practiced, followed by rest). During strength training, the body prefers to generate energy from carbohydrates.
- During aerobic exercise, the process of glucose breakdown occurs with the participation of oxygen. Such training is characterized by a much lower intensity than strength training, therefore, mainly fats are used as “fuel”. Saturation of the body with oxygen allows you to engage in 45-60 minutes without rest.
For greater clarity, we suggest studying the pivot table:
Primary goal of Aerobic exercise
- Weight loss
- Fighting body fat
- Increased endurance
Breakdown of glucose during aerobic exercise
It occurs with the participation of oxygen. It takes a certain amount of time to deliver oxygen to the cells (usually at least 20 minutes), so glycolysis is slower, which requires an increase in the duration of the session.
Intensity during aerobic exercise
Average – an increase in heart rate up to 60-80% of the maximum allowable rate (pulse average 120-160 beats per minute)
Training duration during aerobic exercise
From 45 minutes and more (maximum – 1.5 hours). Active fat burning begins no earlier than 30 minutes after the start of the workout.
Energy release duration during aerobic exercise
ATP molecules are formed in large quantities, which provides endurance and allows you to actively exercise for 45-60 minutes.
Primary goal of Anaerobic exercise
- Muscle gain
- Increased strength
Breakdown of glucose during anaerobic exercise
It goes without the participation of oxygen, so lactic acid begins to be released almost immediately after the start of the workout, ensuring the rapid breakdown of carbohydrates.
Intensity during anaerobic exercise
High – an increase in heart rate up to 80% and above the maximum allowable rate (heart rate on average 170-190 beats per minute)
Training duration during anaerobic exercise
30 to 45 minutes. After this period, the body is depleted (including oxygen starvation of the brain), which lengthens the recovery process and makes training ineffective.
Energy release duration during anaerobic exercise
ATP molecules are formed a little, so you cannot engage in more than 45 minutes.
It should be noted that at present most sports programs are “hybrid” – athletes actively combine aerobic and anaerobic loads to achieve the most effective result. For example, in aerobics, after 10-15 minutes of cardio load, a small 5-minute power set follows – an exercise with large weights (dumbbells, barbell, exercise on simulators).
The benefit of aerobics lies in the fact that, in addition to burning fat, during exercise, there is increased ventilation of the lungs and, as a result, the activation of the heart.
What are the benefits of doing aerobics exercise
Like any type of physical activity, aerobics brings tremendous benefits to our body :
Heart training . The heart muscle, like other muscles, needs constant support, especially since the health of our body largely depends on it. It is not for nothing that aerobics is called cardio exercise – during aerobic exercise, not only the muscles of the musculoskeletal system are actively trained, but also the heart (as a result, blood circulation improves, the organs receive the maximum amount of nutrients).
Lung training . In the process of doing aerobic exercise, the volume of “consumed” air increases significantly. This is achieved through the correct combination of motor and breathing exercises. As a result, all organs and systems of the body receive a sufficient amount of oxygen necessary for a full-fledged metabolism.
Training of all muscle groups . During aerobic exercise, almost all muscles work, which ensures that they are constantly maintained in sufficient tone. A tangible plus of aerobics – due to the active enrichment of cells with oxygen, an increase in muscle mass is practically not observed (lactic acid is not produced), therefore, doing aerobics is impossible to “pump”.
Stimulation of the gastrointestinal tract . The activity of the abdominal muscles well stimulates the work of the stomach and intestines, which will ensure the absence of intestinal disorders, constipation, flatulence, etc.
In addition, there are a huge number of benefits of aerobics specifically for weight loss and body shape:
Active burning of subcutaneous fat . During active cardio training, it is fat cells rather than carbohydrates that are used as a source of energy, while there is a slight increase in muscle mass.
Do not be afraid if, after 2-3 weeks of aerobics (subject to the diet), the figure on the scales has not decreased at all, and maybe even on the contrary – has become larger. The fact is that fat cells have less mass than muscle cells, therefore, with a significant decrease in body volume (due to fat burning), the weight can remain at the same level.
Improving body relief . Lack of excess weight is not always the main condition for a beautiful figure. Thin people who neglect physical activity have sagging muscles and skin, which does not add to their beauty at all. Regular aerobic exercise will help you maintain your weight easily and will also give your muscles good tone and definition.
Among other things, aerobic exercise provides a comprehensive health-improving effect:
- Improving endurance indicators.
- Improving posture.
- Prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
- Training of the vestibular apparatus (development of a sense of balance, coordination of movements).
- Decrease in blood pressure by activating the work of the heart muscle, increasing the size and number of capillaries.
- Normalization of metabolism in the body.
- Improvement of the psychological state, prevention of stress, rest after serious mental activity, normalization of sleep, etc.
An important advantage of aerobic training is low intensity; making this type of physical activity suitable for everyone, regardless of age, gender, physique and physical fitness. At the same time, it is women who most often attend classes:
- Aerobics is a fairly easy way to get rid of a couple of extra pounds and make your figure attractive and graceful.
- This is an excellent option for the prevention of breast cancer, as well as a good rehabilitation aid for people who have undergone surgery to remove a tumor.
- Cardio training is a great opportunity to completely safely strengthen the pelvic muscles, which will be very useful during pregnancy and childbirth, as well as help to avoid congestion in the pelvic organs.
The benefits of aerobics for the body as a whole are very significant – it is not for nothing that this type of activity (along with swimming) is recommended for people who have undergone surgery and need to restore vitality.
Indications for aerobic exercise
Aerobic exercise is not just one of the popular sports. Often, aerobic training is recommended by doctors as therapeutic exercises for people who need to recover from injuries and illnesses. Among the medical indications for aerobics are the following:
- Recovery of the body after long-term illnesses, especially if bed rest has been observed for a long time.
- Rehabilitation after injury, fracture or surgery. During this period, it is important to ensure a minimum load.
- Lack of regular physical activity, sedentary work.
- Constant feeling of fatigue, sleep disturbance, stress, tendency to depression, irritability.
Overweight and obesity (the intensity of training is determine based on the degree of neglect of the problem).
- Prevention of certain diseases (diabetes mellitus, heart attacks and strokes).
Aerobic training is excellent for strengthening the immune system, therefore, it is recommend for people who are often sick and difficult to bear infectious viral diseases.
Contraindications to aerobic exercise
Despite the fact that aerobics brings a lot of benefits and has an overall health effect, it is necessary to get an exhaustive medical consultation before starting a class. At the same time, there are a number of contraindications to attending workouts:
- The early period of rehabilitation after serious operations and injuries (surgery, fractures, sprains, etc.). It is recommend to start active restoration of motor activity no earlier than after 1.5-2 months.
- Diseases of the cardiovascular system (heart failure, tachycardia), blood diseases.
- Chronic diseases in the acute stage.
- Infectious viral diseases.
- Diseases of the musculoskeletal system, osteochondrosis.
If you ignore the recommendations of doctors, then from aerobics there will be more harm than good. In addition, do not forget about control over the intensity of training: do not try to surpass yourself – in no case should you work “to wear and tear”.
Aerobics during pregnancy
During pregnancy, all of your plans for physical activity should be discussed with your doctor. In some cases (the threat of miscarriage or premature birth, placenta previa, etc.), even despite the woman’s excellent health, the doctor may categorically prohibit any exercise. But in most cases, moderate activity is not just possible, but highly recommended for many reasons:
- Saturation of all organs and tissues with oxygen is useful not only for the expectant mother, but also for the baby.
- Exercising the heart will maximize the body’s endurance, which will come in handy during labor.
- Exercise your abdominal and pelvic muscles, which will also help during labor.
- Improving the emotional state, normalizing sleep, which is especially important during the period of bearing a child.
- Prevention of edema and varicose veins.
- The likelihood of gaining extra pounds is exclud.
During pregnancy, it is important not to overdo it with exercise – excessive exertion can lead to an increase in the tone of the uterus, which, in turn, can provoke spontaneous miscarriage (in the early stages) or premature birth (in the third trimester). In addition, it can lead to fetal hypoxia – oxygen starvation.
It is also recommend to exclude jumping, running, any sudden movements (especially active pelvic movements) from the aerobic training program.
Do not forget that the period of pregnancy is the time when a woman must first of all take care of her health and the health of her unborn baby. Therefore, if earlier the workouts were very intense and lasted more than an hour, now it is advisable to slow down and reduce the training time to 45 minutes.
The best option is to find a good group for pregnant women, where all the aerobic exercise will be specially designed for expectant mothers.
The main types of aerobics exercise
Aerobics is a relatively young form of physical activity, while today there are several separate areas, each of which has its own distinctive features:
Classical aerobics . Rhythmic dance moves to fast music that sets the rhythm and allows you to keep the tempo well. All muscle groups are strengthened, oxygen metabolism is enhanced, the heart is strengthened, posture is improved, the body becomes fit, flexible and plastic.
Water aerobics . In this case, the aerobic exercise is done in water. All muscle groups, joints and ligaments are worked out, and thanks to a light massage with water, the skin is tightened, the “orange peel” effect is removed, and the appearance of cellulite is reduced. Aquaerobic has a minimum of contraindications, even people with heart disease and varicose veins are allowed to practice.
Step aerobics . All exercises are performed using a special platform – step. During training, the muscles of the press, hips and buttocks are actively working, the relief of the body is well worked out, the strength of cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
Dance . Its main difference from the classical one is that the movements here are more complex, danceable, and the music can be very different. All muscles are strengthened and tightened, posture improves. Dance aerobics gives a huge boost of positive energy, therefore it helps to fight stress and all its manifestations (sleep disturbances, irritability, chronic fatigue).
Aerobics with fitball . Here, all exercises are performed with a large ball – a fitball. The main feature of this area is the ability to work out deep muscle groups. In addition, posture is restored, general health and mood improves.
Strength aerobics . The name speaks for itself – during training, not only vigorous aerobic movements are used to music, but also anaerobic (strength) exercises. During training, dumbbells, barbells, exercise machines are used. The result is an excellent cardio workout, “exercise” for the heart and respiratory system, a slender toned body, elastic muscles.
In addition, all types of aerobics, in the case of regular active workouts, help to fight excess weight and excess body fat.
General guidelines for aerobics exercise
Initially, it may seem that there is nothing difficult in aerobics classes. In fact, even such simple workouts require a special approach:
- Any workout should always start with a warm-up, and aerobics is no exception. Warming up exercises will help warm up your muscles and prevent you from stretching.
- To achieve a tangible effect from aerobic exercises, it is important to attend them regularly – 2-3 times a week, and allow 4-5 workouts for weight loss.
- An aerobic workout should be 45 to 90 minutes long, depending on your fitness level – beginners are unlikely to be able to handle 1.5 hours of vigorous cardio.
- It is recommend to start with a small load, gradually increasing it. To do this, you need to monitor your heart rate. During aerobic exercise, an increase in heart rate up to 60-85% of the maximum is allow.
Calculating your target heart rate (heart rate recommended during cardio) is fairly simple:
220 – age = maximum heart rate
Maximum heart rate – heart rate at rest = heart rate reserve
Resting heart rate + (60-85%) of heart rate reserve = target heart rate
For example, in a 30-year-old person, the resting heart rate is 70, during cardio training, it is plane to increase the heart rate to 80% of the maximum:
220 – 30 = 190 (maximum heart rate)
190 – 70 = 120 (heart rate reserve)
70 + 120 * 80/100 = 166 (target heart rate)
Remember, self-torture is not likely to do you much good. Exhaustion of the body, a long period of recovery – this is what those who do not know the measures risk to earn.
Aerobic exercise alone is unlikely to get you in shape. To achieve the desired effect, an integrated approach need:
- proper nutrition (increase the amount of protein in the diet, replace fast carbohydrates with slow ones, reduce the amount of fat consumed, exclude fast food). Eat at least 3 times a day, plus 2 snacks in between meals. No starvation!
- quitting bad habits (remember: cardio training and smoking are incompatible!);
- active lifestyle;
- healthy sleep for at least 8 hours a day.
It is also important not to forget to drink as much pure, non-carbonated water as possible: it helps to cleanse the body of accumulated toxins, protects against dehydration.
Do not forget about comfortable clothes and shoes for training: loose shorts and a T-shirt, sports leggings and a tank top (today you can find things with a stimulating effect on sale), gymnastic leotards, sneakers or sports slippers are perfect.
Which is more effective: aerobic exercise at home or in a fitness club?
If you have definitely decided that aerobics classes are exactly what you need, the next question arises:; where to do – at home or in a fitness club? It is difficult to give an unequivocal answer to this question – after all, we are all different, and our habits and preferences are very different. However, both at home and in the club have their advantages and disadvantages:
- an experienced instructor who will always help, prompt, support;
- a cheerful atmosphere, a lot of people who literally “share” their energy with you;
- “Group enthusiasm”, craving for healthy competition, the desire to “show oneself” – all this will help to achieve the desired result;
- classes take place at a specific time;
- all the necessary equipment is available – rugs, steps, fitballs, exercise machines, etc.
- the coach focuses on the “performance” of the majority, and most often these are people with an average level of training (if you are a beginner, it will be quite difficult for you to catch up with more experienced colleagues).
Classes at home
- the instructor is a video recording of the training;
- training time – at any time convenient for you;
- home environment has a more positive effect on many than the noisy atmosphere of a fitness club;
- home workouts are ideal for closed, shy people;
- you can choose any music you like, practice with your favorite video;
- you will have to buy or rent the necessary equipment for classes;
- it is often difficult to correctly perform certain exercises and movements.
Thus, the first experience of aerobic exercise or training is best obtained in a fitness club under the strict supervision of an experienced instructor. After you understand the basic movements, you can move on to home workouts.