Saturday, September 22, 2012

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic Exercise: Repetitive rhythmic movement involving large muscle groups and preformed continuously over a period of time.

Examples- Running, Jogging, Cycling, Step Aerobics, Zumba, Swimming, Rowing, etc

Aerobic exercise is also commonly referred to as "Cardio" because it also exercises your heart; increasing your heart rate and blood pressure (temporarily and necessarily) while  strengthening your heart muscle.  Being aerobically active increases your circulation, strengthens your heart, uses up calories and is helpful in weight loss and disease prevention.  The harder and more frequently you work, the higher the benefits are (within reason of course, you can over train but that's another topic).

In general I like to suggest you try to get at least three sessions of cardio in per week, preferably alternating on and off days.  If you are just staring out and haven't exercised in more than 6 months; make it a walk.  Get used to walking 3-4 times a week for 20-30 minutes and make it a manageable routine.  Getting out there is the first and often the hardest step so don't go out to fast or two hard.  Pushing yourself too hard right from the beginning can lead to unnecessary injuries and discouragement.  We don't either one!

If you have been walking and are comfortable with that it's time to step it up!  Keep your routine and add a little spice (much like my coffee going from summer coffee to fall pumpkin spice lattes ;-).  Start your session out with your walk, 5 minutes in try a little jog.  Not too fast, it's not time to sprint, its just time to get your body used to the feeling of jogging.  It's higher impact so make sure you have good shoes and comfortable clothes on.  Shoot for jogging 5 minutes then going back to your walk for 5 minutes.  If you feel okay start the next 5 jogging again.  Do, what you can, it will most likely be a bitfor as long as you're comfortable with and walk when you need to.  Just make sure you walk first and last because that is your warm-up and your cool-down.

Keep it up- keep getting outside or to the gym.  Keep working towards 5 minutes jogging and 5 minutes walking.  If that becomes comfortable up it to 8-10 minutes on (jogging) and 5 minutes off (walking).

The longer you stick with it the better it will feel, the better it feels for you to get out there and do it the better you will feel, the better you feel, the harder you can work, the harder you can work, the more you can do, the more you can do and who doesn't love it when they feel they are doing a great job and are fit to be mom?!?!

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