Sunday, December 9, 2007
Do you sometimes get bored with your aerobic exercise? Do You sometimes feel like you're not getting the results you should from your aerobic exercise? If so, then aerobic cross-training is for you.
Aerobic cross-training refers to using two to three different types of aerobic exercise during an exercise session. For example, if you plan to exercise for 60 minutes, you might start with 20 minutes of walking or jogging, followed by 20 minutes of biking, and finish with 20 minutes of rowing.
Now, please don't get the impression that you have to be in great shape to do this or that it has to be 60 minutes long. You can start with something as simple as a ten minute walk followed by ten minutes with an exercise video. This is cross-training too. You can gradually build up from there.
Here are some of the exercises you can use in your cross-training program; walking, jogging, biking, rowing, stair climbing, swimming, exercise videos, etc. Any combination of aerobic exercises will do. You simply go from one to the next with very little time between them.
Aerobic cross-training is beneficial to you in several ways:
1. It provides variety which eliminates the monotony often associated with doing the same exercise for a long period of time.
2. If your exercise sessions are less monotonous and more enjoyable, you are much more likely to exercise more often and for longer periods of time.
3. You are less prone to over-use injuries that sometimes occur from doing the same exercise movements over and over again.
4. You tone more muscles because you are using more muscles. For example, walking tones mostly the lower body muscles and rowing tones upper body muscles also. Even exercises like walking and biking that both tone lower body muscles, tone them at different angles and each tones some small muscles that the other doesn't.
5. Aerobic conditioning is very specific to the muscles being worked. For example, you can walk ten miles a day and still be somewhat breathless after climbing stairs because you haven't trained the muscles for that specific movement. Aerobic cross-training allows you to develop more comprehensive aerobic training.
6. Aerobic cross-training is effective for weight loss because your are toning and training the fat-burning systems of more of your muscles. It turns more of your muscles into 24-hour fat-burning machines! You are also more likely to exercise on a regular basis and for longer periods of time. this also promotes weight loss and fitness.
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Take an easy twenty-minute walk at a nice bright place. Find a nice place to walk, away from pollution. If there is no such space drive to a park, beach, grassland or the countryside away from pollution. You need to be able to keep up a conversation. If you are in oxygen debt you wont burn calories as well so take it easy at first. Upon returning, spend about ten or fifteen minutes stretching. You should do it regularly, otherwise the extra calories can store in thighs or butt." When you start with some regular activity, the brain begins to think this body is active and needs to increase the metabolism. Then the brain will take to a higher metabolic level. As you increase your exercise program you will have more byproducts called free radicals. This is the reason for us to work with nutrition as well, because you need to increase the antioxidants to keep the body healthy from the free radicals.
Just stretch for ten to fifteen minutes. If you find a pool, may be opt swiming for ten to fifteen minutes.
Walk fast for twenty-five minutes. Stretch for fifteen, or if you have it down, it could only take ten minutes to get a good stretch.
Swim and stretch for at least twenty minutes and ten respectively.
You might miss one. Or walk maybe longer and easy or hard depending on how you feel.
Walk a good deal faster for thirty minutes. If you feel tight walking, stop after you break into a light sweat and stretch for a few minutes. Regarding the legs and gluteus muscles. Then continue, finishing up with a good ten minute stretch.
If you didn`t miss one day, take an easy walk, swim or stretch, may be do something with family or friends. If you got distressed at all during the week, then rest and just stretch or swim.
Continue this program until you can walk thirty minutes without losing your breath at all. This can take two weeks for most people and up to four weeks for others. If it takes you longer, stay with twenty-five minutes for two months, and then move into the next level. If within two weeks your body serves you well, you can proceed with the next level.
Continue on the following day with a brisk walk for thirty minutes. Now we will start to burn some fat. From now on, you workouts should last about forty-five minutes. As you get stronger, your easy days become more like your hard days when you first started. Walking can increase to five times per week within the first few months, depending on your body. At this level its not as critical as it will be when we start the strengthening program using weights, running or strengthening exercises.
Six to Eight Weeks
After six or eight weeks, start your strength-training program. Once again, listen to your body. If you dont feel quite ready at six weeks, take eight. You can go in either of two directions with this addition to your program, with various levels of intensity depending on your body and your abilities.
If you are able and willing to run for your particular goals, you may now start to run. Start with easy jogging for twenty minutes every other day, and weight training every other day. Running at this time should be at least three days a week, the same for weight training. There is some evidence, however, that we could get by with two days of weight training and still do okay. Include one day of rest. The day you rest could be a very easy workout, either stretching, swimming or family fun.
For weight training we need to start just as easy. Many of us think that weight training will build large muscles. We see all these big bodybuilders, and although some of us admire the dedication it takes to build that kind of body, it is not necessarily true that weight training builds large muscles. It all depends on how you train, how much you train, and your age as well as the system of training. We know that by stressing any muscle naturally or unnaturally, we work with the law of irritation and adaptability to produce the result we want. Basically, this means the body will adapt to irritation.
There is another way to use weight training to develop strength as well as endurance. This system works on the premise that using progressively more weight builds size and strength. Starting with more weight and then progressively reducing the weight with longer repetitions, we build endurance in the muscle instead of bulk. This is a good way to shape the body without building mass.
Step Aerobic Routine
Step aerobics works as a good calorie-burning workout. A typical class of about 50 minutes will help you burn off 250-400 calories but can vary depending on the level of exertion. A session of step aerobics can be started as a 20-minute session and later increased to an hour, once your muscles and heart have become used to the workout. Step aerobic routine involves intensive lower body workout by making use of a step to increase muscle conditioning. This also makes for a low-impact workout. The perfect posture for a step aerobic session is head up, shoulders down and tight back, abs and butt.
Step aerobic routine must be preceded by adequate warming up. Stretching all the major muscle groups, especially the lower back is a good warm up for a step aerobic routine. This warm up session is critical since it causes gradual raising of the heart rate. Failing to do this can result in injuries. Ideally, a step aerobic session should alternate fast paced steps with slower paced ones. Squats, leg lifts and lunges are carried on to the beats of aerobic music. You can also use light dumbbells to add an additional upper-body workout. A typical step aerobic routine must be followed by a cooling down session. This is done to slow down the heart to a normal rate. It is also necessary to bring the blood circulation back to the earlier state without pooling in the extremities. Cooling down prevents sore muscles that are caused due to chemical build up in the muscles used in the step aerobic routine.
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To combat these problems people used medicinal drugs, pills and sometimes even go in for surgery in extreme cases( in case of heart attacks). But recently exercise, more specifically aerobic exercise has become popular. Exercise not only helps to cure these problems but it also helps us to keep fit in the long term.
Climbing up a staircase, jogging, brisk walking, working around the kitchen, doing normal household tasks all come under aerobics. Hence it can be done by almost anyone and does not require any special training or class. This is the reason why aerobics is more popular than any other form of exercise.
There are also more specific form of aerobics such as step aerobics, dance aerobics, water aerobics and low impact aerobics. These aerobics are done in a class and in the presence of an instructor. They help in reducing weight, maintaining the body shape and increasing flexibility. As they do not require any special training and are not very strenuous in nature, they can be done by anyone from working men and women, housewives and even overweight youngsters.
What is Aerobics?
Aerobic exercise is defined as any repetitive physical activity that is done long and hard enough, to enhance circulatory and respiratory efficiency. Aerobic means `with oxygen` and it requires the lungs and heart to meet the body`s increased oxygen demand. Hence, it may be called a system of physical conditioning that involves exercises such as running, swimming, cycling and skipping.
Ailments, such as hypertension, stroke, heart disease, diabetes and cancers can be avoided by regular aerobic exercise. The other benefits of regular aerobic exercises are that it can also lower our blood pressure, build stronger bones, improve muscle strength and flexibility. Aerobics also helps us to control depression and body weight thus enabling us to lead a happy and healthy life.
Exercises are not same in nature. It depends on an individuals own potential and capabilities. However, it is interesting to note that a certain form of aerobics called water aerobics suits most individuals. The reason is because it makes the body buoyant, thus causing less strain and stress on the joints and muscles. There are also many other types of aerobics such as low-impact aerobics, step aerobics and dance aerobics. Dance aerobics has become one of the most popular forms of aerobic exercise as it not only gives an excellent workout but it is at the same time enjoyable. It is popular with the young crowd and also with housewives and working women as it is entertaining as well as useful.
There are various types of aerobics such as
1. Low impact aerobics
2. Water/Aqua aerobics
3. Step aerobics
4. Dance aerobics
5. Sports aerobics
Advantages of aerobics
Normal day to day task is also a part of aerobics, though we may be unaware of it. These include walking running, hiking, bicycling, swimming, cross country skiing, stair climbing, rowing, aerobic dance and many other activities. Some of the benefits are as listed below:
Aerobics helps to strengthen our heart and lungs which in turn leads to better expulsion of waste materials such as carbon di oxide.
It helps the heart by increasing its blood stroke volume.
Efficient use of oxygen helps to burn fat more effectively.
It strengthens the defense system, lowers blood pressure and helps in reducing the risks of developing diabetes and other life threatening diseases.
Aerobics increases good cholesterol and decreases bad cholesterol and helps a person to recover faster form any sort of disease.
Our cardiovascular system is also affected. It becomes more efficient while doing aerobics and as a result it increases our chance of maintaining healthy weight later in life.