Aerobic Exercises: The Best Tips
Everyone knows that exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. However, not all exercises produce the same effects on your body, and with all the different types of exercise, it can be hard to know what benefits each form offers. When it comes to aerobic exercise, the biggest benefit is seen with the heart, but there are many other ways this form of exercise improves your overall well-being.
What Is Aerobic Exercise?
Aerobic exercise includes any type of activity that promotes cardiovascular conditioning, and it is very often known as “cardio.” The definition of aerobic exercise is “with oxygen,” which means that your heart rate will increase when completing aerobic exercises.
Some examples of aerobic exercise include:
- brisk walking
- jump rope
It’s recommended to aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise (e.g., swimming, brisk walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity (e.g., cycling, running) each week.
Aerobic Exercise Vs. Anaerobic Exercise
While aerobic exercises focus on cardiovascular conditioning, which entails completing the activity (and keeping your heart rate up) for an extended period of time, anaerobic exercises focus instead on quick bursts of energy.
Some examples of anaerobic exercises include sprinting or weightlifting.
What Are the Benefits of Aerobic Exercise?
Although all forms of exercise are good for your physical well-being, aerobic exercise offers some significant benefits for your overall health.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
With the goal of aerobic exercise to promote cardiovascular conditioning, its most significant benefit is that it strengthens your heart and helps it pump blood more efficiently through your body. These actions help to improve your cardiovascular health and help those with (or at risk of) heart disease.
Balances Cholesterol Levels
Aerobic exercise helps to regulate your cholesterol levels by raising “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and lowering “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Aerobic exercises can help to lower blood pressure, which can put excess stress on the blood vessels and heart when too high. Those with consistently high blood pressure can see serious consequences such as a stroke or heart attack, in addition to the contribution of high blood pressure to heart disease.
A review of 391 trials even found that exercise is as effective as blood pressure medications in reducing high blood pressure, making regular exercise a beneficial addition to someone’s lifestyle if they wish to reduce the number of pills they take each day.
Regulates Blood Sugar
Regular physical activity, whether aerobic or anaerobic, can help to regulate insulin levels, which then ensures that the body is able to keep blood sugar levels in check. The muscles also use glucose from the blood when exercising, which is another way that exercise helps to lower blood sugar levels.
Controlling blood sugar levels, and keeping them in the proper range, is an important task for those with diabetes or those at risk of type 2 diabetes. Since high blood sugar can damage blood vessels and contribute to heart disease, it is very important to monitor.
While lower blood sugar levels are a beneficial aspect of exercise for many, it is crucial for those with diabetes to monitor their blood sugar levels and ensure that they do not dip too low following exercise.
Completing aerobic exercises during the day can help those struggling to sleep at night. Additionally, aerobic exercise can help you get more “deep sleep”, which is the type of sleep that allows the body to rejuvenate.
However, exercising too close to bed may have the opposite effect. This is because exercising releases endorphins, which can keep you awake. Exercising also raises your core body temperature, which sends a signal to the body that it is time to wake up. Because of these effects, it is recommended to avoid exercising within 2 hours of going to sleep, which provides enough time for endorphin levels and your body temperature to decline.
Reduces Chronic Pain
For those with chronic pain, low-impact cardiovascular exercise such as swimming can help to regain muscle function and build endurance. Additionally, regular exercise can help you lose weight, which can further help to reduce chronic pain.
Strengthens the Immune System
Regular and moderate aerobic exercise helps to increase immunoglobulins in the blood, which are a type of antibody. By increasing immunoglobulins, the function of the immune system also improves, keeping you healthy and illness-free.
Improves Cognitive Functioning
Aerobic exercise offers many benefits for the brain. Several studies have found that aerobic exercise may be linked to better grades at school and better performance on tasks involving the brain, such as memory tests.
Aerobic exercise can also provide benefits for later on in life, with regular aerobic exercise one of the most effective methods of preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Research has also shown that those with higher physical activity levels have a lower risk of dementia and cognitive decline.
Aerobic exercise can provide a significant mood boost. For those with depression, regular exercise can help to keep symptoms at bay. Additionally, those who suffer from anxiety can ease their tension and promote relaxation through exercise.
Exercise can also improve sleep, which plays an essential role in mood. When sleep-deprived, depression and irritability can spike, so getting enough sleep at night can help you have a better mood throughout the day.
Making the Most of Aerobic Exercise
Aerobic exercise is a simple form of exercise that anyone can do; all you need is a place to walk or run.
However, those with chronic health conditions should check with a doctor to ensure their exercise plan is safe. For example, those with high blood pressure or heart conditions may need to avoid high-intensity exercise.
To make the most of your exercise and ensure that you create a habit you can stick with, start slowly with only 10 to 20 minutes every other day before building up your goal workout length. This will ensure that you don’t experience fatigue and muscle soreness, which can make you less likely to continue exercising.
Another great way to build this habit is by tracking your daily goals. With the Circular Ring, you can quickly track your workouts, their intensity, and the cardio points obtained. The Circular Ring is also waterproof, making it a wearable health tracker that can keep up with you, no matter your preferred method of aerobic exercise.