What is aerobic exercise?
Aerobic or “with oxygen” exercises provide cardiovascular conditioning that require the pumping of oxygenated blood by the heart to deliver oxygen to working muscles helping them burn fuel and move. Aerobic exercise is sometimes known as ‘cardio’ and it functions by stimulating the heart rate and breathing rate. Read on to learn about its many benefits and ways to incorporate it into your routine.
Improves cardiovascular health
Aerobic exercise is recommended by most doctors to people who are suffering from heart diseases or to the ones who are at a risk of developing such heart conditions. Regular exercise strengthens your heart, pumping blood more efficiently and improving blood flow throughout the body.
Adequate aerobic exercise keeps your arteries clear by raising the levels of your high-density lipoprotein (HDL), aka the ‘good’ cholesterol, and lowering your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the ‘bad’ cholesterol in the blood. This way, it aids in lowering blood pressure and inhibits the accumulation of plaques in your arteries. Aerobic exercise may help you manage coronary artery disease to a great extent.
Lowers blood pressure
Aerobic exercise can help keep blood pressure within a healthy range. High blood pressure puts stress on the blood vessels and heart thereby increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke. A good 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise done 4-5 times a week can help lower blood pressure. When it comes to reducing high blood pressure, research has shown that exercise is as effective as doctor-prescribed medications.
Controls blood sugar
Consistent physical activity assists in regulating insulin levels and lowers blood sugar for people with type 2 diabetes. Keeping blood sugar levels within a healthy range is important for reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Insulin is essential for regulating blood sugar and practicing aerobic exercise helps in increasing insulin sensitivity. It keeps insulin levels in check in order to control blood sugar levels. High blood sugar can prove to be damaging for blood vessels, leading to fatal heart diseases.
Manages chronic pain
In case you have ever experienced chronic back pain, low-impact cardiovascular exercises like swimming help improve muscle function and build endurance. Exercise also helps you lose extra kilos, which in turn reduces back pain. It also helps minimize pain and improve movement in people with osteoarthritis. For those who are suffering from cancer, aerobic exercises could improve the quality of life by keeping you fit and active throughout the day.
Lose those extra kilos
We all know a healthy diet and exercise are the building blocks to weight loss. Combined with a balanced and clean diet, aerobic exercises hold the power to help you lose weight and keep it off for good. Aerobic exercise causes the body to burn calories for energy, creating a caloric deficit. Depending on your current weight and goal weight, you will need to reduce the number of calories consumed per day initiating a caloric deficit in your body which will lead to weight loss. You will need to burn more calories than you consume in order to lose weight.
Strengthens the immune system
Aerobic exercises ward off viral diseases and make you less susceptible to illnesses like the common cold and flu. Regular and moderate aerobic exercise increases a type of antibody in the blood cells called immunoglobulins. They activate our immune system in a good way, ultimately strengthening it. It even lowers cortisol levels.
Aerobic exercise consists of a wide range of health benefits that enhance the physical capabilities required by a person to function on a day-to-day basis. Studies show that people who practice regular aerobic exercise tend to live longer than those who don’t. Aerobic exercise keeps your muscles strong, heals injuries and lowers the risk of dying due to heart disease and certain types of cancer. It also helps keep your mind sharp, boosts memory and increases cognitive abilities. It delays the onset of dementia and improves the overall quality of life.
Regularly practicing aerobic exercise eases the gloominess of depression, reduces anxiety, increases the level of happy hormones, and promotes relaxation. Moving your body more may literally elevate your mood. Even a simple 15-20 minutes of a treadmill session a day can work wonders for your mental health, significantly reducing symptoms of depression and improving sleep. Including some type of activity or exercise in your daily routine may have a big impact on minimizing stress levels.