What is aerobic exercise?
Aerobic exercise refers to any physical exercise that requires the body’s metabolic system to use oxygen and thus to produce energy.
It therefore mainly improves cardiovascular endurance.
Examples include walking, cycling, jogging, running, hiking.
Effects of aerobic exercise on the body-
- Improved endurance
- Blood volume increases
- Improved cardiac muscle strength
- Improves HDL
- Reduces atherosclerosis risk
- Improves overall well being
- Improves bone density
Healthy adults – 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week
Calories burned (per hour) with aerobic exercise-
- Outdoor Bicycling -540-620
- Stationary bicycling- 480-540
- Dancing- 300-350
- Gardening- 270-300
- Jogging- 530-630
- Skipping rope- 650-800
- Running- 650-850
- Swimming- 400-480
- Regular speed walks- 150-200
- Brisk walks- 250-300
Burning fat with aerobic exercises-
Aerobics burn a higher percent of fat as compared to anaerobic exercise. As Fat has higher density than carbohydrate, it takes more oxygen to burn fat. During aerobic exercise, more oxygen is delivered to the muscles therefore a higher percentage of fat is burned whereas, When less oxygen is present like during anaerobic exercise, a higher percentage of carbohydrate is burned.
However both fuels are almost always burned simultaneously, except during the most intense workouts. It’s the percentage of fat and carbohydrate burned that changes during a workout depending on the intensity.
Calculating target heart rate(HR) for aerobic exercises-
Maximum HR = 220 – your Age
Heart Rate Reserve = Max HR – resting heart rate
Training Heart Rate = HRR x percent at which you want to train
Target Heart Rate = Training HR + resting HR
Risk factors –
For people with presence of comorbidities, it is important to consult their doctor before progressing with their exercise program. The recommended guidelines are given below-
- Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs)- CVDs are the number one cause of death globally. For people with any cardiac diseases, aerobics for 30 minutes/session plus resistance exercise 30 minutes/session, 3 days/week can be beneficial.
- Diabetes-In people with type 2 diabetes, hba1c and cholesterol levels improve with exercise. Both aerobic and resistance exercise are beneficial. Recommendation is 150 minutes of aerobics per week. It should be combined at least 2 sessions per week of resistance exercises.It is mandatory to maintain the dose of insulin, time of exercise and also carbohydrate intake during and after exercise. This thus helps prevent post-exercise hypoglycemia.
- Chronic pain– Aerobic exercise stimulates endorphin release. Recommended duration is 15 to 45 continuous minutes.
- Mental health– Recommended duration is Exercising for about 45 minutes, at moderate intensity, three times/week, for positive mental health. Moreover exercising shows anti depressive effects.
- Pregnancy and Aerobics: Regular, low-impact aerobic exercise are recommended. It has numerous benefits such as strengthening heart, to tone muscles, ease pregnancy aches and allows a better night’s sleep. It is important to take guidance and supervision before beginning.
The final word
Regular exercise can help you live a healthier life. It can reduce health risks, maintain a healthy weight and strengthens your heart. It reduces significant mortality and morbidity.