Although I have previously blogged one or two simple aerobic exercises which can help with aerobic fitness, I thought it helpful to put together a summary of those, together with some new aerobic exercises.
Walking can improve our health through better cardiovascular fitness, lowers blood pressure, lowers risk of heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and increased muscle strength. It’s also a safe, low-impact exercise that most people can do and it’s especially good if you’re overweight, unused to physical activity or pregnant.
Walking for 30 minutes a day at moderate intensity is excellent and walking for a longer period of time is even better. As you get fitter, you should be able to walk more briskly. Walking up and down hills should also help increase stamina and leg strength. You’ll get even more benefit from a walk, if you swing your arms, as this helps you walk faster and can burn up to 10% more energy.
Like walking, running is an inexpensive exercise you can do anywhere and at any time. Running is beneficial in helping to improve heart and bone health. Its advantage over walking, is that it improves heart fitness and burns energy at a greater rate. It roughly burns double the energy compared to walking.
Jogging is running at a slower pace and is still a great aerobic exercise. Like walking, running or jogging is a social activity that you can do with a friend, or in a group.
If the weather isn’t good enough for walking or going for a run, you could try swimming. It’s a low-cost workout for the whole body; especially the muscles of the back, shoulder and arms and improves flexibility as well. It’s a particularly good way to exercise if you’re overweight, pregnant or have joint problems, as the water should help support your weight and should also reduce the pressure on your joints. The risk of injury to muscles, ligaments or joints is very low.
Cycling doubles up as an aerobic workout as well as being a low-cost, eco-friendly form of transport. It is a good exercise for improving leg strength and toning leg and buttock muscles, but with less stress on joints compared to running or walking. If you’d rather not ride outdoors, exercise bikes at home or in a gym, are a good alternative.
Spinning classes which are available at some fitness centres, are another indoor cycling option. These involve simulating different biking activities on a stationary bike, for example, cycling uphill or sprints and are choreographed to music.
Aerobic or ‘cardio’ classes
Available in most gyms and community centres, these classes keep you moving to music using a variety of different exercises that raise your heart rate.
Dancing can provide an aerobic workout and improve flexibility and bone strength as well as being a lot of fun. It’s also an indoor activity you can do in all weathers. Dancing classes are available in many community centres, gyms and dance schools.