Aerobic exercise, health expert’s state, does more than just keep you in shape. It reduces your risk of various health conditions, improves physical health, alleviates mood, improves mental health, improves your ability to handle stress, keeps depression at bay, and promotes a feeling of overall wellbeing.
With so many important benefits that aerobic exercise offers, it is but natural that you must do cardiovascular exercises at least a few times a week, if you want to lead a healthy and productive life.
So, how much aerobic exercise is enough? Read on to know this and about:
- Numerous health benefits of aerobic exercises
- Common beginner’s mistakes
How much aerobic exercise is enough?
The answer to this question varies from individual to individual and depends largely on the following two things:
a. Your fitness goal
b. Your current fitness level
With this said, health experts agree that you must spend 20-60 minutes, at least 3 times a week and no more than 6 times a week, doing cardiovascular exercises. If your aim is to lose fat, it is recommended that you do up to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise 5-6 times a week.
Here, are a few aerobic exercises that you can do. To make exercising more interesting, you may consider doing different cardio exercises on different days of the week.
- Power walking
It is important to continue with your efforts and try to make it part of your life by exercising regularly. Depending on local conditions for where you live, it is often difficult to pursue exercise outside in the winter, it may be prudent to consider purchasing a lightweight treadmill or even alternatively choosing from one of the many exercise bikes online.
An overview of benefits of aerobic exercise
- Reduce your risk to various health conditions – Health experts state that regular aerobic exercise significantly reduces the risk of all health conditions that fall in the category of lifestyle diseases’. This includes cardiovascular disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, stroke, and type II diabetes.
- Strengthens your lungs – Regular cardio exercise increases the efficacy of your lungs. This, in turn, ensures that the body cells receive adequate oxygen, which is essential for all bodily functions.
- Allows the body to remove toxins more efficiently – Regular aerobic exercise strengthens your heart. As a result, it starts working more efficiently. This, in turn, improves blood flow. Better delivery of oxygen and essential nutrients to the cells, in turn, allows your body to flush out toxins and waste materials more efficiently.
- Burns fat – Aerobic exercise is an effective way to lose extra calories and burn excess fat. Cardio exercise directly burns excess fat, as the oxygen you intake is converted into energy during the exercise.
- Promotes a feeling of overall wellbeing – Aerobic exercises enhance the production of endorphins, our body’s natural painkillers and feel good chemicals. Endorphins improves mood, mask pain and promotes a feeling of overall wellbeing. In addition, aerobic exercise also enhances the production of serotonin, dopamine, and adrenaline. The improved production of these chemicals improves your mood, sleep, and helps you maintain a positive outlook. Another significant advantage of aerobic exercise is that it may help you respond better to stress.
- Help us maintain good mental health as we age – Studies show that regular exercise is linked to good mental health, especially as we get older. In addition, there is strong evidence which suggests people who exercise regularly recover faster from mild depression.
Common beginner’s mistake that you must avoid
There are a few things you must keep in mind while doing aerobic exercises:
- Wear footwear that gives adequate cushioning – You must invest in footwear that provides adequate cushioning to your feet. Otherwise, you may end up exposing your feet and knee joints to undue stress.
- In beginning focus on regularity instead of intensity – If you are exercising after a long time or are extremely out of shape, it is but natural that your body will not be able to bear the extreme pressure right from the word go. That is why health experts recommend that in the beginning, your focus should be on regularity and not on intensity. After some time when your body has got used to the exercise regime, you can gradually increase the intensity.
- Set aside one day for rest – In the case of aerobic exercises, like many other things in life, more does not necessary spells good news. The focus, instead, must be on doing things the right way. Give your body adequate rest to allow it to recover from the stress that you are putting it through.
Health experts recommend that a day’s rest in a week is necessary. At the same time, health experts also warn not to observe a gap of more than 2 days between sessions. The benefits of cardio exercises are cumulative, and if you have more than the recommended number of off days between exercise sessions, you may not get the desired results.
- Consult your doctor before starting if you suffer from a serious condition – If you are recovering from an injury or have a serious medical condition, it is imperative that you consult your doctor before starting an exercise regime.
Peter Markovic is a author and copywriter who is passionate about fitness and good health.