Aerobics is called aerobic exercise . This sport has many benefits. From improving heart function to lowering blood pressure and increasing mental strength, aerobic exercise is possible.
In this article, quoting world-renowned experts, we fully explain what the benefits of aerobic exercise are, what happens to your body during aerobic exercise, how much you need to exercise to achieve the benefits of this exercise and how to check your changes.
What is aerobic exercise?
Suppose you are practicing. You are sweating, you are breathing hard, your heart is pounding, blood is flowing in your arteries to deliver oxygen to your muscles, and you can continue this exercise for more than a few minutes.
This is aerobics! In the vocabulary of sports clubs, it is also called cardio . Aerobic exercise is a sport that lasts more than a few minutes and in which the heart, lungs and muscles are constantly working.
What is the difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise?
As mentioned earlier, aerobic exercise refers to exercises that increase your heart rate and respiration; But not to the extent that you can no longer continue training for more than a few minutes. Aerobics means “with the air”; Therefore, anaerobic exercise is a sport in which you breathe less after a few minutes (such as when you lift weights or climb a large number of steps to increase endurance).
Swimming, water aerobics , cycling , walking , mountaineering, climbing stairs (go up two to get a heavier workout), kickboxing , all cardio exercises and many other exercises are examples of exercise They are aerobic.
These exercises should not be done heavily, because in this case they become anaerobic exercise; For example, cycling on a steep slope does not fall into this category, and instead, recreational cycling at a speed of 9 to 13 kilometers per hour is considered aerobic exercise. The intensity with which you use exercise determines whether that exercise is part of aerobic exercise.
Basic description of aerobic exercise
- Aerobic exercise is sometimes known as cardio. Exercise that requires oxygen-carrying blood from the heart to active muscles;
- Aerobic exercise increases heart rate and respiration. In such a way that its sequence is maintained until the end of the exercise. In contrast, anaerobic exercise causes shortness of breath (such as sprinting or heavy weight training);
- Cardio, running, swimming, hiking, mountaineering, aerobics classes, cross-country skiing and kickboxing are examples of aerobic exercise (of course, there are different types of aerobics);
- If aerobic exercise is done at a high level and with high pressure, it becomes an anaerobic exercise;
- Aerobics not only contributes to fitness , it is also beneficial for physical and mental health .
Answer: In high-intensity exercise, muscles burn a higher percentage of fat than carbohydrates ; But they do not necessarily burn more fat or calories than high-intensity activity.
What happens to the body moment by moment when you start aerobic exercise?
The beginning; Oxygen enters the body
Aerobic exercise begins with proper breathing. An average healthy adult inhales and exhales between 7 and 8 liters of air per minute. As you fill your lungs, they screen small tubes called bronchitis to oxygenate the air (20% of the air is oxygen). The screened gas then reaches the alveoli. Respiratory alveoli, or air sacs, are microscopic sacs from which oxygen enters the bloodstream. This part is directly connected to the heart.
Travel to the heart; The center of life of the body
The heart has 4 chambers (2 atria and 2 ventricles) that fill with blood and pump blood. It also has a number of coronary arteries that are very active. Due to the level of activity that the heart has, it needs a fresh source of oxygen. As explained earlier, this source of oxygen is supplied by the lungs. The heart uses what it needs. It then pumps blood, oxygen and other nutrients to all the organs, muscles and tissues needed. It does this through the left ventricle and the circulatory system (cardiovascular system).
High heart volume means that the heart no longer needs to pump rapidly to meet the body’s needs. Lower heart rate and more blood transfusions mean higher heart productivity. Imagine a pump that drains water from the ground. The pump works better and has a longer life when it can pump more water per cycle.
Instead, imagine a pump that has to run faster because of its smaller capacity. High heart rate is the reason why athletes’ hearts do not need a fast pump during exercise and they are able to continue exercising with a low heart rate .
Some athletes even exercise with a heart rate of 40; While the average heart rate of normal people is between 60 and 80.
In addition to exercising their muscles, athletes also have amazing hearts!
When your heart beats between 60 and 80 beats per minute, that is, 100,000 times a day and 30 million times a year. The heart of a 70-year-old person beats a total of 2.5 billion times. The heart sends a volume of blood with each beat. This blood carries oxygen and other vital substances and flows throughout the body. A healthy person’s heart pumps about 5 liters of blood per minute.
With aerobic exercise, your heart becomes stronger and pumps more blood with each beat. Professional athletes consume more than twice as much oxygen as normal people.
Fresh, conditioned hearts have more diameter and volume! Yes, the heart is a muscle and it gets bigger when you train it; Therefore, it can pump blood more efficiently and keep the body saturated for longer.
Because the heart chamber has a higher blood capacity, it pumps more blood with each beat.
Consumption of oxygen and muscles
All the oxygen pumped by the blood is important. You may be familiar with the term “Consumption Oxygen”. In the world of science, it is called VO 2 or “volume of oxygen consumed”. This term refers to the amount of oxygen that muscles extract from the blood. Its unit of measurement is milliliters per kilogram of body weight per minute (ml / kg / minute).
After the heart, it is your muscles’ turn. Muscles are more efficient at consuming oxygen when you do regular aerobic exercise. Remember that consuming oxygen means that muscles extract oxygen from the blood.
Imagine 100 oxygen molecules moving around a muscle. If you can absorb all these 100 molecules, you will be twice as fit as you can absorb 50.
In other words, if the volume of oxygen you consume is 60 ml / kg / minute, you will have twice as fit a body as someone who has the number 30 in this field. In exercise, your body will be more resilient, because your muscles will not be depleted of oxygen.
The effect of aerobics on muscles
With aerobic exercise, mitochondria increase the number and amount of activity in the muscles. Mitochondria are the energy center of cells. They use oxygen to burn fat and carbohydrates. These organs perform all these heavy tasks so that you can continue to move. The good news is that if you make aerobics a habit at any age, these organs will multiply by about 50%.
Muscles are like engines that use fuel. Like a car that runs on fuel. The only difference is that muscles burn fat and carbohydrates instead of gasoline. Oxygen plays an important role here.
Oxygen helps burn fat and carbohydrates when it reaches the muscles. In this way, the muscles will have enough fuel to move. The more successful our muscles are at receiving oxygen, the more fuel we will have to exercise, the better our fitness, and the more time we will be able to exercise.
A treadmill stress test (when the person is asked to walk as fast as possible) shows that the amount of oxygen consumed by sedentary adults is usually around 35 milliliters per kilogram per minute.
This number means that a person consumes 35 ml of oxygen per minute for each kilogram of body weight. Professional athletes can increase this number to 90.
How is such a thing possible? Perhaps part of the reason for this miracle is the athletes’ genes! But continuous practice also has a great effect. Gradually, their bodies adapt to this process. The good news is that the body of ordinary people is gradually adapting to exercise.
What are the benefits of aerobic exercise?
According to the previous sections, you must have realized that aerobics has many benefits for the body. In summary, we mention the most important of them:
- Burns calories;
- Burns body fat;
- Helps regulate sleep;
- Controls high blood pressure ;
- Increases the body’s resistance;
- Strengthens the immune system ;
- Increases the body’s beneficial cholesterol ;
- Lowers blood triglycerides;
- Can control the pain and swelling of osteoarthritis ;
- Increases the risk of survival from heart attack ;
- Reduces the risk of some cancers, such as breast cancer and colon cancer ;
- Reduces the symptoms of depression (in some cases, it is as effective as medication or counseling sessions);
- Increases bone density (especially with exercises that require you to support your body weight such as walking);
- Relieves chronic pain (if you have low back pain , aerobic activities such as swimming or water aerobics can improve the function and endurance of your back muscles);
- Increases the power of the mind (the brain gradually loses some of its tissues after the age of 30. Aerobics can slow down this process and improve the cognitive function of the brain);
- Reduces asthma symptoms (aerobic exercise can cause people with asthma to experience longer repetition periods and less seizures. Of course, your doctor’s opinion is very important);
- Reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes (regular physical activity, because it helps control body weight, regulates insulin levels and lowers blood sugar . Both aerobic and anaerobic exercise can help improve this).
How to measure your heart rate during aerobic exercise?
Heart rate increases during aerobic exercise. The heart rate may also rise from an average of 70 to 170. Depending on the intensity of the exercise, the amount of fitness, age and other factors may vary.
Some people like to know more about their heart rate during exercise to analyze it. Target heart rate zone can help you with this assessment. Heart rate range is a numerical target between 50 and 100% of your maximum heart rate.
Everyone’s maximum heart rate is determined by their age, which is explained below.
This figure is below 85% for aerobic exercise and above 85% for anaerobic exercise. The best number to start with is 50 to 65% and for eligible people it is between 65 and 85%.
The following is the formula for calculating this index:
- 220 – Your age = maximum heart rate;
- Resting heart rate – Maximum heart rate = Save heart rate;
- Save heart rate x Percentage of heart rate you want to experience through exercise = Heart rate in training.
- Working heart rate + resting heart rate = target heart rate zone.
To better understand this formula, consider this example:
Suppose the resting heart rate is 70. The person is 27 years old and wants to experience about 70% of training:
- Maximum heart rate: 193 = 220 – 27
- Save heart rate: 123 = 193 – 70
- Heart rate in training: 86 = 123×70.
- Target heart rate range: 156 = 86 + 70
So a 27-year-old should try to maintain a heart rate of 156 during aerobic exercise.
What do aerobics and weight loss have to do with each other?
We mentioned earlier that fats and carbohydrates are the fuel for muscle. The difference between the two is that fat has 9 calories per gram, but carbohydrates have only 4 calories per gram; So by burning every gram of fat, you get more energy and you can do more activity.
That is why fat is a more efficient fuel for consumption. In addition, it is better to use aerobics for weight loss to burn excess fat. The problem is that the fat is denser and you need more oxygen to burn it.
As we have said, with regular aerobic exercise, your body becomes stronger in producing oxygen and burning fat.
How Much Exercise Should You Have to Achieve Aerobic Benefits?
There are two types of aerobic exercise guides. In the first model, aerobics is looked at through the eyes of lifestyle advice ; This means that you can adjust it based on your daily life and activities.
It is recommended that all adults do 30 minutes of light exercise during the day. This activity may not be continuous and coherent; For example, spend 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes after lunch and 10 minutes at dinner.
Semi-heavy activity means feeling warm and breathing a little. Recently, the effectiveness and usefulness of this type of guide has become a bit controversial; But it is still valid.
The second guide recommends that you continue aerobic exercise 3 to 5 days a week, between 20 and 60 minutes continuously. Do this exercise until you reach 60 to 90% of your maximum heart rate.
This recommendation is closer to “exercise” than the previous recommendation. If you like, you can add 10 to 15 minutes of heavier exercise to this guide.
According to experts, there is nothing wrong with increasing your physical activity in addition to aerobic exercise; For example, go up and down stairs, tidy up your gardens, walk, and so on.
Some experts also recommend 150 minutes of light aerobic exercise (brisk walking or swimming) or 75 minutes of heavy aerobic exercise (running or cycling) each week.
Which advice to choose depends on your personal decision. The first type of advice may be a good start for people who are not motivated enough. At least when you are well motivated, you can follow the second recommendation.
How many calories will you burn by doing each aerobic exercise?
Aerobic exercise burns a lot of calories. In the table below, based on your weight, you should do each exercise for a few minutes to burn 300 calories.
The following table shows a list of aerobic activities and the amount of calories that each person weighing 68 kg per hour will burn:
What should we consider for daily aerobic exercise at home?
Experts always suggest that you start exercising at home : start simple, plan , be comfortable, and be realistic. If you have not been active for a long time, do not be hard on yourself at first. Choose a time and type of activity that you can stick to. You may not like hiking, but the advantage of hiking is that it does not require any special knowledge or equipment; So it’s the easiest option to start with.
You need to have a plan for your exercise. Planning helps change behavior. It’s a good idea to set goals for each week; For example, what days you are going to exercise, what time you plan to exercise, how many minutes you want to exercise, where and with what movements you continue your training. Be realistic. Getting started is very valuable. You do not have to think ideally.
Example of a sports program:
- Saturday at 7 am, 20 minutes, I walk around the house 4 times;
- On Sunday, I repeat the same exercise on Saturday;
- Monday at 6:30 pm, 20 minutes walk;
- I rest on Tuesday;
- On Wednesday I repeat the same exercise as on Saturday;
- Thursday I walk with my family in the park near my house for 45 minutes;
- Friday I ride my bike for 1 hour with my wife (my mother will take care of my baby).
What does aerobics have to offer for the lazy?
Another simple plan we suggest is to walk away from where you are for about 5 minutes and return to the first point. This program is fixed and executable. It is true that it is not a special job; But it increases your level of activity. You can at least increase the time of this exercise. If you are motivated and enthusiastic, you can add Swedish sitting or swimming to your workout. You may not be able to swim in your standard way. In this case, simplify it. Lean against a wall or table, or place your knees on the floor.
Start with 2 or 3 periods of sitting and swimming and repeat the movement 12 to 15 times in each period. Do this exercise 3 to 4 times a week. Once your body has become accustomed to this exercise, you can increase the number of sessions or do the movements more slowly. The coach’s suggestion is to record your results and monitor them. Keep planning for at least 3 months. After 3 months you can check your progress and make new decisions based on the results you have achieved.
The last word
Aerobic exercise is a wonderful workout. It strengthens your heart, helps stretch muscles, improves muscle metabolism, increases your endurance and energy, improves your mood, and promotes your fitness and health. Spend just 30 minutes of your day practicing aerobics to see results. Your health is important; So try to maintain and improve it. If you have any questions about this article, please let us know in the comments section.