Top 3 Aerobic Exercises
Whether you prefer walking, running or biking, aerobic exercises (also known as cardio) are a great way to get fit. Aerobic exercise stimulates the growth of tiny blood vessels in your muscles, which help deliver oxygen and carry away waste products.
Low-intensity aerobic exercise can include activities like brisk walking, while moderate-intensity workouts raise your heart rate to around 70 percent of its maximum, such as dancing or jogging. High-intensity activities elevate your heart rate above 90 percent of its maximum, such as a jog or running stairs.
With gyms overcrowded and 5K races selling out, it’s easy to forget that one of the most effective aerobic exercises is also one of the simplest.
Brisk walking can provide a cardio workout that boosts your fitness and, when done regularly, can significantly reduce your risk of developing several chronic diseases and health conditions. It may even help prevent the bone loss that often occurs with age.
And it’s a great exercise for people of all ages, fitness levels and abilities. In fact, the CDC recommends adults get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week if they want to maintain their current level of physical fitness or improve it.
The most popular of the aerobic exercises, jogging is running at a conversational pace. Jogging uses both the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems to build stamina and endurance.
Jogging works the muscles in your legs, calves, thighs and glutes. It also burns calories and helps you lose weight. Like other moderate aerobic exercises, jogging reduces the risk of heart disease and improves your immune system. It can even help you cope with stress and anxiety.
To get the most benefit from jogging, you need to gradually increase your distance and speed. A gradual progression is important because you can avoid injuries. Before you start a new jogging routine, consult with your doctor to make sure it’s safe for your health. You should also warm up with a short walk to get your body ready for exercise.
Whether it’s as an eco-friendly mode of transportation, a calorie-burning way to hit the grocery store or an energizing exercise to your favorite Beyonce playlist, biking is a great low-impact aerobic exercise. It’s also an endurance activity that can improve your soccer game, according to a study published in 2018.
Like other aerobic exercises, biking burns body fat and increases breathing and heart rates. But it also helps to strengthen your muscles and improve balance, coordination and core stability. It can even help you feel better about life. A 2011 study found that regular exercise — including cycling — causes a release of “happy hormones,” known as endorphins, which counteract stress and make you feel good. (7)
Whether you’re a competitive swimmer or just swim laps at your local pool, the motions involved in swimming exercise nearly all of the muscles in your body. It’s a great low-impact workout that can strengthen your muscles and improve cardiorespiratory fitness. It also counts toward the 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week recommended for healthy adults.
In addition, swimming is a good bone-building exercise. Studies have shown that women who regularly swim have lower bone density loss than those who don’t, particularly post-menopausal women.
To make your swimming workout more challenging, try increasing the speed you swim at. You can also use equipment such as fins or paddles to increase the muscle-strengthening benefits of your workout. Incorporate interval training in your swimming workouts by doing a warm-up set, main set and cool-down session.
Skiing requires a lot of physical strength and endurance. A full day of skiing in a comfortable, moderate pace can burn up to 700 calories for a 130-pound woman.
In addition to working the large muscles of the upper and lower body, skiing also challenges your balance and coordination. The weight shift of gliding on uneven surfaces increases your “kinesthetic sense,” which helps you to feel where your feet are in space. The diagonal stride movements required by cross-country skiing increase your hip, core, and arm muscles.
Skiing is a great cardiovascular exercise that can be done indoors or outdoors, and it is relatively low-impact. Those who enjoy skiing on a regular basis often discover that their resting heart rate is lower after weeks of training.