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Is Step Aerobics a Good Workout?

author image Pam Murphy
Pam Murphy is a writer specializing in fitness, childcare and business-related topics. She is a member of the National Association for Family Child Care and contributes to various websites. Murphy is a licensed childcare professional and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of West Georgia.
Is Step Aerobics a Good Workout?
Step Photo Credit George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

A 155 pound person burns approximately 260 calories in 30 minutes of step aerobic activity, according to the Harvard Health. You may burn more or less, depending on your weight and body composition. Step aerobics is an intense cardio workout that can help you improve your fitness and your health, as well as manage your weight.


Step aerobics is a vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise, which requires more than six times the effort of sitting quietly, notes the CDC. Although strengthening and stretching exercises are important factors in improving your health and preventing injury, aerobic activities burn more calories than any other form of physical activity.


The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends a minimum of two hours and 30 minutes of moderate activity or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous activity weekly. To enjoy additional health benefits associated with activity, such as weight loss or weight maintenance, the recommendation increases to five hours of moderate activity or two hours and 30 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise. Step aerobics is an effective way to meet physical activity recommendations, improve your fitness and manage your weight.


Because step aerobics is a high-impact activity, it may not be appropriate for adults with diminished bone density or heart problems. The American Council on Exercise says that step aerobics carries a lower risk for injury than other high-impact exercises, such as running and traditional aerobic dance. Proper shoes that fit well protect your legs, shins, ankles and feet from exercise-related injuries. The USDA recommends cross-training shoes for step aerobics.


Use a bench height that doesn't require you to bend your knees more than 90 degrees. Keep your head and chest up, abs contracted and your shoulders down. When stepping up, land the whole sole of your foot on the platform. Protect your Achilles tendons by not letting your heels hang over the edge of the platform. You also need to step down toe first and lower your heel completely before taking the next step. Look ahead instead of watching your feet to prevent neck pain, and avoid lunging movements because they put too much stress on your joints.


Warm up your arms and legs before using the bench. Follow step aerobic exercise with cool down movements to get your heart rate back down. If your joints start to hurt during the activity, stop the exercise. If you have a history of knee problems, a different activity may be more appropriate.

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