As part of a healthy lifestyle, last week we introduced the three activities everyone needs to do in order to be fit: strength training, flexibility and aerobic. Since we focused on the first two last week, this week we’ll look at aerobic exercise.
“Aerobic” means “with oxygen.” Aerobic exercise promotes oxygen circulating throughout the body and according to the Cleveland Clinic it has many benefits:
- Improves cardiovascular conditioning.
- Decreases risk of heart disease.
- Lowers blood pressure.
- Increases HDL or “good” cholesterol.
- Helps to better control blood sugar.
- Assists in weight management and/or weight loss.
- Improves lung function.
- Decreases resting heart rate.
There are many types of activities that are considered aerobic exercise so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find something to keep your interest:
- Using an elliptical trainer.
- Jumping rope.
- Participating in high impact routines or step aerobics.
The easiest of the above exercises, and the one that requires the least amount of equipment, is walking. Now that we’re heading into warmer weather, you can get off that treadmill and walk outside. Take advantage of our beautiful neighborhoods or head to Ladue’s where the fitness trail is one mile long.
The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes a day, five to seven days a week, of cardiovascular exercise. It doesn’t have to be done in 30-minute increments; you can break your exercise into 10-minute segments. However, if you want to manage weight and improve your cardio-respiratory fitness level, then the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that a minimum of three of those exercise sessions include 20 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise.
In the coming weeks, we’ll explore the details of various types of exercise. Meanwhile, stop reading your electronic device and go take a walk.