Thursday, August 16, 2012

Getting the Most from your Aerobic Exercise Routine

The goal of aerobic activity is to increase cardiovascular health and lose weight. Many believe that to be effective, aerobic exercise needs to be performed within your target heart rate zone for at least thirty minutes. However, recent studies have shown that weight loss is actually better accomplished through intervals of cardio interspersed with muscle-building calisthenics, and by cycling through the levels of intensity in short intervals. This releases fat from the cells faster, improves metabolism, and prepares the heart muscle for the varied intensity needed for everyday activities - much healthier than longer forms of endurance exercise. This is great for you, as it means you can get a better workout in less time! Here are some more tips for optimizing your cardio workouts for faster and healthier results:

English: Exercise work zones (Fox and Haskell ...
Exercise work zones (Fox and Haskell formula between 20 and 70-year-old): red zone (VO2Max), anaerobic, aerobic, weight control and warming up. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
1. Apply circuit training techniques to your aerobic routine. This can be done one of two ways. First, let’s say that the treadmill is your favorite cardio machine. Create a program that will challenge your muscles and heart at different levels of intensity. Start out with a light walk for the first five minutes to warm-up. A warm-up is important to avoid muscle cramping and muscle injury.

After the first five minute interval, try a brisk walk at a speed you can handle with proper form and breathing. Maintain this pace for no more than 2-3 minutes. Increase the speed even more until you are performing a slow jog, and then crank it up to a full-out run for 1-2 minutes. If you are new to jogging/running, you may wish to stay with the jog for now. Lower the speed back down to a fast walk for the next two-three minutes. Then repeat, 2-3 times. Then be sure to perform a five minute cool down.

Cool downs are just as important as the warm-ups. The cool down gives you a chance to catch your breath again and stretch your legs. There is no need to increase this workout time unless you wish to, but even then, be sure to vary your intensity every 2-3 minutes, and make sure to cool down at the end to allow your heart rate to return to normal. And remember to stretch when finished.

Aerobic In The City
Aerobic In The City (Photo credit: MR MARK BEK)
2. You can also try the circuit training philosophy on different types of equipment in the same session. For example: Start out on the elliptical trainer. If your workout place has an elliptical with poles, you’ll benefit from the upper and lower body working at the same time. Use this machine for no more than 10 minutes, again varying intensity at least every 3 minutes. Then transition to the recumbent bike, and do the same thing. Finish up with a 5-minute cool down on the treadmill.

Working out at home is not a problem when it comes to maximizing aerobic benefits. If you use aerobic videos or DVD’s, choose one that conforms to your time constraints, but also provides a varied upper and lower body workout of different intensities. Workouts which include stretching in them are also great. All aerobic videos include a warm-up and a cool down phase.

By varying your workout intensity and methods, you'll lose weight faster, be healthier, stay motivated, and have more fun!

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment