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Low Impact Aerobics for High Impact Results E-mail
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Aerobics to Tone, Firm and Build Muscle

The term "aerobics " is often known as a series of rhythmic, large muscle exercises, usually done to music in a class led by an instructor. However, the term can also be used in a general sense as a cardiovascular workout that improves coordination, muscle strength, mobility, while promoting general well-being.

Health Benefits of Aerobics

Aerobics provides a whole host of health benefits, including but not limited to:
  • Burning calories
  • Reduction in body fat
  • Improvement in bone density when used with weight resistance
  • Reduction in stress
  • General improvement in well-being
  • Weight management
  • Reduction in risk to cardiac diseases by lowering blood pressure and slowing down atherosclerotic processes
  • Improvement aerobic fitness
  • Improvement in coordination and balance
  • Improvement in muscle shape and tone
  • Improvement in muscular endurance and flexibility
  • Improvement in muscular strength, posture and body performance

High Impact vs. Low Impact Aerobic Exercise

Many people suffer leg injuries from traditional aerobic workouts, often considered high impact aerobics. As knowledge about fitness increased many people seeking to increase their level of fitness and improve their shape have turned low-impact aerobic exercises.

High impact aerobic exercises such as simulated rope jumping or jumping jacks, so popular in regular aerobics, are a thing of the past. Low-impact aerobic exercise exclude exercises where both feet leave the ground. Newer fitness routines that are considered low impact aerobic exercise focus on exercises where one foot remains on the ground at all times.

Types of Low Impact Aerobic (Cardio) Exercise

Today there are many types of low impact cardio exercises being used at home, in gyms, and in many fitness centers across the world. To make up for the lack of jumping, many of these newer routines include forms of kick boxing, boxing, yoga or other forms of martial arts. To increase intensity many fitness professionals also incorporate weights into the aerobic (cardio) workout.

Low Impact Aerobic (Cardio) Exercise Intensity

Low impact aerobic exercise doesn’t mean low intensity. Many low impact aerobic exercises can burn more fat and more calories than the older traditional high impact aerobic (cardio) exercise routines. Today’s low impact aerobic (cardio) exercise routines can still challenge you, and build up the cardiovascular system.

Benefits of Low Impact Aerobic (Cardio) Exercise

Low-impact aerobics can improve your health by increasing cardiovascular fitness while minimizing lower-body injuries that can occur due to higher impact exercise. Higher impact exercises then to put stress on joints, tendons and ligaments resulting in increases incidence of overuse syndrome, as well as increased incidences of strains and sprains and joint injuries.

Potential Drawbacks of Low Impact Aerobic (Cardio) Exercise

  • The problem with low-impact aerobics is that, depending on the level of the program, you may not be pushing the heart hard enough to derive any aerobic benefits. The optimum pulse range to achieve in an aerobic workout is your normal pulse plus 75 percent. In other words, if your pulse is normally 100 beats per minute, your rate during aerobic exercise should be around 175. This rate may be impossible to achieve during a low-impact workout. In fact, if you’re in good cardiovascular shape and then go on a low-impact program, you may be reducing your heart health, oxygen utilization, and energy reserve.
  • Another potential drawback of the low-impact system is that for many of the weight exercises you have to strain and stretch your muscles just to maintain your balance. Since your feet are usually on the floor, this can overwork the muscles of the upper body.
  • Low-impact exercisers suffer from tendinitis and even bursitis of the shoulders and arms. Many low-impact exercises are done on the floor standing erect and there is also a tendency toward ankle injuries.

Conclusion

Perhaps the best solution is to utilize low impact aerobic exercise with resistance (weight) training as a separate workout. Another solution would be to perhaps alternate low impact aerobic exercise with high impact aerobic exercise routines. This way the body gets a variety of different types of training, which has shown to maximize fitness gains, while also giving the muscle routine. As with all exercise, beginners should start slowly.  In regards to aerobic (cardio) exercise all beginners should start with a low-impact workout until their bodies become acclimated to aerobic (cardio) exercise. Once the muscles have been properly introduced to the wonders of aerobic exercise, it’s time to increase the intensity, whether it is by increase the time, increasing the pace, increasing the complexity of the routine, or whether it is by periodically incorporated a for the high-impact workout.

 
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