Aerobic exercise, also referred to as cardio, is physical activity ranging from low to high intensity that pumps oxygen to working muscles. Regardless of your health goals, it’s a wildly beneficial exercise that assists with weight management and improves your whole quality of life!
“The benefits of aerobic work may have a lasting impact on mental, emotional and physical health,” says health/fitness professional and yoga instructor Laurel Dierking, MEd, NFPT. “Lower levels of stress, improved heart health, sustainable energy, decreased pain and improved muscle tone are all results of consistent exercise. Regardless of your weight, exercise gives you use of healthier and happier body, clearer mind and much more self-confidence. It gives your body the opportunity to function at its highest potential.”
Aerobic Exercise: Getting Started
Getting began with any new activity can seem to be daunting. What do you do? For how long? What is the strategy to make sure you’re doing the work right? Consider this:
Stretching regularly will help prepare your body for more movement and lower soreness from any new routine. Flexibility is really important to exercise, though it’s unfortunately often neglected.
Set Realistic Goals
Ideally, if you’re just getting to grips with fitness, you can work up to between 15 – 60 minutes of consistent aerobic exercise three to fives time each week. Diversity is okay!
Choose an Exercise
Start with low impact pursuits like swimming, biking, Pilates, step aerobics or walking. This can limit or reduce stress on your joints. Training having a partner is a great way to stay accountable.
Make Steady Progress
Once you’ve been consistent with exercise for four to six weeks, and the work starts to feel easier, it’s time for you to switch things up. Instead of walking, try jogging for short intervals followed by a longer rest (walk) before you can jog all the way.
As your exercise routine starts to change and you begin reaching your goals, don’t stop there. This is an opportunity to challenge yourself, set new goals and reach new accomplishments!
Disclaimer: Before beginning any new exercise plan or program, talk to your healthcare provider to ensure your safety and hang realistic goals.