What is Aerobic Exercise?

Your blood is pumping, your heart rate is elevated, and your breathing is faster…are you reading a great romantic novel? Nope, you’re just doing aerobic exercise!

In order to know what aerobic exercise is, we need to take a look at the word ‘aerobic’. Aerobic means “with oxygen”. Therefore, aerobic exercise is the exercise you perform that raises your heart rate and makes you breath heavier.

When you perform aerobic exercise, the action of your large muscle groups (your thigh muscles, back and stomach muscles, and of course your gluteus maximus, which is the largest muscle in your body) increases the need for oxygen in your body. Your breathing becomes harder and faster to accommodate the oxygen need, and your heart pumps more blood through your system in order to provide the oxygen to your lungs.

The health benefits of this type of exercise are many and varied. When your heart rate becomes elevated due to the need for increased oxygen, you work the heart muscle harder, and it becomes stronger in the process. You also strengthen your lungs, increase their capacity, and increase your circulation to all areas of your body, including your brain, which can also result in clearer thinking.

One fact you may not be aware of, is that when you perform any type of aerobic exercise, your body burns more fat. And that fat-burning action doesn’t stop when you do. This increase in your metabolism will last for hours after you stop exercising – so the effects last much longer than your exercise session does.

Forms of aerobic exercise can be nearly anything, so long as your heart rate becomes slightly to moderately elevated (this, of course, will depend on your current health and athletic ability). Walking at an increased speed, jogging or running outside or on a treadmill, elliptical training, and even hiking hills are all forms of exercise that require a greater amount of oxygen to accomplish.

Generally speaking, if you are tall and lean, aerobic exercises will come easier for you. If you are short and stout, they will often be a challenge. The key to enjoying this type of exercise is to find things you truly enjoy doing, while receiving the benefits of the aerobic action. An aerobic workout doesn’t just mean running endlessly on a treadmill.

Do you enjoy swimming? Hop in the nearest pool. Do you live in an area where you can take brisk walks in the beautiful woods? Take in the scenery while revving up your heart. Do you own a treadmill or elliptical trainer? Don’t just use it as a clothes rack…get on it and get moving! No matter where you live, or what your current health, you can find an aerobic workout routine that fits your lifestyle and time constraints.

Your heart, lungs, metabolism and especially that waistline will thank you when you add aerobic exercise to your daily routine. Health benefits have been recorded at just 20 minutes a day. So there really are no excuses, just the awesome benefits of a healthy body and mind!

Anaerobic Exercise Means More Muscle

When someone says “anaerobic exercise”, do you know what they mean? Muscle building! And you don’t have to be afraid of building muscle – it takes a rare physique and genetic capability to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The word anaerobic means “without oxygen”, so this type of exercise is that which requires less lung capacity, and more physical strength. And there are as many benefits to building your muscle strength as having a great cardio workout!

For instance, did you know that muscle tissue requires more calories to maintain on a daily basis than fat tissue does? That’s right! That means that the more muscle you have, the more calories you will naturally burn without even trying! Your body will simply use more calories to maintain what you’ve already got.

Fat Burning Cardio Workout – 37 Minute Fitness Blender Cardio Workout at Home

Muscle also weighs more than fat, so if you’ve been lifting weights along with performing your fat-burning cardio workouts, you may notice the scale going in the opposite direction than you’d like. Not to worry. Since muscle does weigh more, you can see a reduction in inches, and notice your clothing fitting better, while seeing the number on the scale actually go up! This is why many people who weight train ignore the scale in favor of looking in the mirror to judge their results.

Lifting weights may seem daunting at first – but you don’t need to join any hard-core gym to be able to get results and benefits from a weight-bearing workout. Use things you have around the house – cans of vegetables or sauces are a good choice – and perform some simple arm curls or chest presses using just that amount of weight.

If you’d like to get more serious with your weight training activities, you can certainly join a gym and let those around you motivate you to better health and a stronger body. A home gym is also an option for those who may not have time to get to a gym every day. If the equipment is in your home, you may be more apt to use it!

Weight-resistance exercise also increases bone density, making your bones stronger and more resistant to breaks, so it can be an important activity for those who deal with (or have a family history of) osteoporosis. Always make sure you consult your doctor before embarking on any exercise regimen.

You can also combine your anaerobic and aerobic workouts into one with something called Circuit Training. This is an excellent option if you’re pressed for time during your busy day, but you still want to get in a good workout.

Circuit Training, or Interval Training, as it’s also called involves doing a few minutes of aerobic exercise, then switching over to a weight training exercise, usually performed on a machine. You will generally work all your major muscle groups with the weight machine exercises, and fill in the in-between time with aerobic activities like jogging in place, jumping jacks, or jumping rope.

Where your overall health is concerned, you can’t go wrong by adding weight training into your exercise plan. You’ll gain muscle strength and stamina while losing weight and shedding inches, and you’ll feel like a million bucks!