Move that body: the benefits of aerobic exercise are many. With the start of the new year looming, it is time to consider doing regular activity such as swimming, hiking, walking, and jogging as well as group exercise classes including Zumba and Tae Bo can enhance your quality of life and promote life-long fitness and good health.
Studies show that people who participate in regular, daily aerobic fitness activities:
- Decrease the risk of heart disease and chronic illness.
- Experience lower blood pressure and improved efficiency in the muscles used for breathing and circulation.
- Maintain a healthy body weight, including lean muscle, by burning fat for energy.
- Enhance muscle balance, coordination, and agility.
- Manage stress effectively and recover better from stressful events.
Prior to getting started, check with your ND to make sure you are ready for exercise.
Getting Started: Steady Progress Reaps Benefits
Consider taking a twenty minute stroll after dinner or during your lunch break which is a wonderful first step toward improving your heart and lungs and enhancing muscle endurance.
As you become comfortable with more movement, begin following the American Heart Association’s recommendations for enhancing overall health.
30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days a week.
25 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic activity at least 3 days a week.
Choose an activity you enjoy and you’ll be more likely to stick with it. You’ll also be more likely to maintain an exercise routine when you work out with a partner or small group. Steady progress provides more benefit than going “all out” and suffering an injury. Be patient. Give yourself several weeks for your body and mind to adjust to your healthy behavior change.
What Aerobic Exercise Does for Your Health http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/fitness/in-depth/aerobic-exercise/art-20045541?pg=2
Statement on Exercise: Benefits and Recommendations for Physical Activity Programs for All Americans: A Statement for Health Professionals by the Committee on Exercise and Cardiac Rehabilitation of the Council on Clinical Cardiology, American Heart Association http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/94/4/857.full
AHA.org. “American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults” Accessed 5 Sept 2017: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/American-Heart-Association-Recommendations-for-Physical-Activity-in-Adults_UCM_307976_Article.jsp#.Wa72tK0_k19
AHA.org “Benefits of Aerobic (Endurance) Exercise” http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/Endurance-Exercise-Aerobic_UCM_464004_Article.jsp#.WY8Tu8a-I18
Physical Activity and Public Health: A Recommendation From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine. http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=386766