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What is Considered Aerobics?

author image Lou Martin
Lou Martin has been writing professionally since 1992. His work has appeared in the "Los Angeles Times," the "Long Beach Press-Telegram" and the "Deseret Morning News." Martin holds a Bachelor of Science in history and communication.
What is Considered Aerobics?
Aerobic activities are good for you. Photo Credit UberImages/iStock/Getty Images

Aerobic exercises comes in many forms, including walking, jogging, swimming, bicycling and dancing. If you perform an activity for 15 to 20 minutes straight while maintaining a heart rate that is 60 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate, then it’s considered an aerobic activity. Aerobic activities provide many benefits, such as improved cardiovascular health and improved stamina.

Aerobic Vs. Anaerobic

Long-duration, low-intensity activities are known as aerobic exercises, while short-duration, high-intensity activities are known as anaerobic exercises. Examples of anaerobic exercises include sprinting, racquetball, football and weightlifting. Aerobic means with air or oxygen. A good way to tell if your exercise is aerobic or anaerobic is your breathing. During aerobic activities, for instance, you should be able to carry on a short conversation while engaging in the activity. Anaerobic activities, on the other hand, will have you gasping for air if you try to speak. You are also more likely to experience sore muscles and fatigue after anaerobic activity than you are after aerobic exercise.

Aerobics Benefits

Aerobic activity conditions your lungs and heart and improves your heart’s ability to use oxygen. This type of exercise, when partnered with a healthy diet and strength training, will help you gain control over body fat content. You will also increase your resistance to fatigue and will feel more energetic as you regularly engage in aerobic activity. Other benefits include toned muscles, improved moods, reduced anxiety, increased lean body mass and decreased tension.

The Curve

As you begin a regular aerobic exercise routine, it’s important to avoid applying what’s known as the aerobic curve to your workout sessions. This curve involves increasing the intensity level of your activity until you hit your target heart rate, then decreasing the intensity for the duration of the workout. Aerobic activity is most effective when you increase the session’s intensity until you hit your target heart rate, then maintain that level for the rest of the activity. If you are out of shape or haven’t exercised for a long time, you will reach your target zone more quickly than those who are more conditioned. As your heart becomes more conditioned to aerobic activity, you will need to work harder to reach your target heart rate.

Aerobics Classes

Aerobic classes are a common form of exercise for those seeking the benefits from this type of exercise. These classes typically involve high-intensity and low-intensity exercises. If you become too tired or a particular activity is too difficult to perform, keep moving at a less-strenuous pace, walking in place or slowly pacing the room. To fully benefit from aerobic exercises, it is important to keep moving until the session is over. Effective aerobic activity should also involve a cool-down period that keeps the body moving as your heart rate returns to normal.

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