Research has shown that aerobics is one of the most healthiest forms of exercise. The literal meaning of aerobics is with oxygen i.e aerobics helps us to use oxygen more efficiently by conditioning the heart and lungs. This helps in the reduction of stress and weight control. Aerobic exercises have a wide range of benefits such as it encourages cardiovascular and muscular fitness and increases flexibility. Aerobics workouts are great for building a stronger heart and leaner body, lowering cholesterol and improving sleep patterns.
Aerobic exercises are those which bring the heart rate into the `training zone` (60 to 80 percent of the body`s maximum heart rate) and increase the bodys circulation and respiratory rate. Aerobic exercise is sustained by oxygen and it is sometimes called fat-burning exercise, cardiovascular exercise or cardio work. Aerobic exercise can be kept up for long periods of time; in fact the longer you exercise for, the greater the health benefits.
Aerobic exercise has many health benefits. It burns calories very effectively and, if performed regularly can increase the basal metabolic rate, both of which aid in weight loss. Also aerobic exercise is proven to help people with conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, anxiety and premenstrual syndrome.
Aerobic exercise gives the heart a good workout , burns up fat, boosts the immune system and helps to prevent the build up of fatty deposits in the arteries. It enhances joint and muscle flexibility, stamina ,sleep and digestion and it normalizes hormone levels, helping to alleviate premenstrual syndrome and menopausal symptoms. Aerobic exercise that is weight-bearing can help to prevent osteoporosis by strengthening and slowing down the loss of calcium in the bones. It also helps pregnant women. Women who do aerobics tend to have an easier delivery than others.
It can put stress on the heart if we are not accustomed to it and this is especially true for old people or those with weight problems.. for this it is necessary to start slowly and build up gradually. As the fitness level of the body increases , the heart will slowly gain strength , until it reaches a point at which it does not need to work so hard to supply the body with sufficient oxygen to maintain exercise. Walking is a good way to get started on a programme of aerobic exercise : walking to work or to shops and walking up stairs whenever possible. As you become fitter, increase the challenge by walking faster and for longer periods or try hill-walking. Joining a low impacts aerobics class and working at our own pace is also a good idea. Cardiovascular equipments in gyms -such as treadmills and training bikes- is useful because it provides immediate feedback on the heart, allowing us to slow down if we are working too hard.
Guidelines for exercising
- It is necessary to warm up and cool down before and after exercise to allow a slow build up to our training heart zone and to avoid injury to muscles , tendons and ligaments.
- When lifting weights we should not train the same muscle groups on consecutive days. We should allow at least one or two days of rest between training sessions.
- We should always pay careful attention to our posture while lifting weights.
- Always wear comfortable well fitting sneakers that cushion the feet and offer good ankle support.
- Try to take moderate exercise three or four times a week rather than intensive exercise intermittently.
- While swimming avoid breast stroke if you suffer from back problems.
- It possible get a personally tailored exercise routine from a doctor, fitness instructor or personal trainer.
- We should be careful while exercising outside. Try avoiding bad weather conditions and don`t exercise in deserted areas.
- Wear sufficient amount of clothing and make sure that you are visible to oncoming traffic.
- Exercising with a friend is a good way to motivate oneself.
- If at any time during the exercise you feel dizzy, nauseous, faint or in pain stop exercising immediately.
How aerobics helps individuals suffering from diseases like diabetes, obesity, arthritis and osteoporosis.
- What is diabetes?
Diabetes mellitus is a group of diseases which is characterized by a condition in which the body has trouble taking glucose from the blood and delivering it to the rest of the body so that it can be used as energy. This is because of the inability to use insulin, the hormone required for the transportation of glucose from the blood to cells of the body.
- The two common types of diabetes are:
- Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, also known as Type 1. People who have this cannot produce insulin and must take insulin by injection. Because the medical concerns and complications, exercise for the Type 1 diabetic should be medically supervised. This is the more advanced and harmful form of diabetes as the individual is completely incapable of producing insulin.
- Non insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus is also known as Type 2 diabetes. People with this type of diabetes are insulin resistant, which means that though they produce insulin, it is not effective in taking the glucose into the cells. Eighty to ninety percent of the diabetic population is Type 2.A Type 2 diabetic will be put on insulin only as a last resort, in which case the patient has a poor lifestyle with incorrect eating habits and leads a sedentary life.
- How exercise can help to control blood glucose level?
Aerobic exercises are steady exercises which are done over a period of time that helps our body to use more oxygen. In diabetic patients aerobic exercise helps the glucose to get metabolized in the body and thus the normal blood sugar level is maintained. Exercise helps to increase body efficiency by increasing the tissue sensitivity to insulin in patients suffering from Type-2 diabetes. Exercising also causes more amount of glucose to be forced out of the blood stream and enter the cells where it is needed. This helps in reduction of glucose in blood. It enhances the ability of muscles to store glucose as those muscles which are in working order require more glucose then those muscles which are not.
Besides exercising also burns calories and therefore helps in losing and maintaining a healthy weight which in turn helps the blood sugar level remain in the normal range.
People suffering from diabetes often face problems in blood circulation mainly in the arms and legs. Aerobic exercises increase circulation which helps patients having this problem. It also provides relief from stress which is one of the main factors for increasing blood sugar levels. Regular aerobic exercise can not only reduce the amount of medication needed but can completely erase the need of medicines to control diabetes. This is especially true for Type-2 diabetes.
- What types of aerobic exercises should a diabetic patient do and how often?
A person who has recently been diagnosed with diabetes should start exercising only with their doctors consent. Preferably they should get an exercise routine best suited for them charted out by their doctor or aerobics instructor as all exercise routines may not always be suitable for a diabetic patient.
As many Type 2 diabetics are sedentary and overweight, low-impact exercise such as walking or stationary cycling is recommended, along with enough exercise to promote weight management. Their goal should be to exercise five times per week, up to 40 - 60 minutes per session at a moderate intensity. This level of exercise can be reached gradually, starting as low as 10 - 20 minutes a few times a week for an individual who has never exercised.
- What is obesity?
Individuals who are overweight by 30 percent of the ideal body weight are called obese. Being obese and being overweight are not the same thing. An obese person has a large amount of extra body fat, not just a few extra pounds. People who are obese are very overweight and at risk for serious health problems.
Obesity is one of the leading causes of related health problems. It can result in serious complications such as heart attacks, intestinal disease, respiratory diseases, strokes and renal failure. Dangerously obese people at risk of death.
The problem of obesity can be solved through a regiment of proper diet and regular exercise.People turn to surgery like gastric bypasses in order to quickly lose weight in life threatening cases of obesity .
- How exercise can help to control obesity?
Exercise helps to reduce body fat by building or preserving muscle mass and improving the body`s ability to use calories. The combination of physical activity with proper nutrition, can help control weight and prevent obesity, thus reducing the risk factor for many other diseases as well.
- What types of aerobic exercises should an obese person do and how often?
In the beginning people should not undertake very strenuous exercises. Especially obese people should be extra careful while starting as they have limited movement and can have respiratory problems or cardiac arrest is also possible. They should start with low-impact exercises or jogging for at least 20-30 minutes a day. As their system and muscles get used to the exercise routine he can start with the more strenuous exercises and do it for an hour a day.