What's so great about aerobic exercise?
Folks are always asking what the best form of exercise is--is it aerobic exercise, or weight training? They also ask if it's necessary to do aerobic exercise.
The answer really is, it depends on what your goals are. Are you trying to lose weight? Are you training for a specific event? Are you working to be better at a specific sport?
Aerobic exercise is defined as exercise that is done "with oxygen". Before you get sassy and think something like "duh, of course you need oxygen!", think about anaerobic exercise: without oxygen exercise. The difference is that aerobic is done between 60 and 85% of heart rate maximum, while anaerobic is done above that level.
Without getting overly technical, we need to be doing a bit of both forms, but the mix depends on what you are trying to accomplish. To get your heart and lungs stronger, aerobic is the answer. To work on speed and agility, you would require a larger proportion of anaerobic work.
Remember too, that if you are working consistently at a pace that is totally comfortable, you will cease to progress, so we do need to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones.
Below is something for you to try:
Example circuit. (Click to see exercise demonstrations found in the Fitness Resource Center, Spark People website):
1.Step-ups – 30 seconds
2.Ball squats – 12 reps
3.Lumbar extension – 16 times
4.Push-ups with Swiss ball – 10-15 times
5.Jump rope – 100 times
6.Hamstring flexion with Swiss ball – 12 times
7.Bicycle crunch – 20 times
8.Reverse flies – 12 times