Other Forms of Aerobic Exercises
Let us read about other forms of aerobic exercises
1/ Fitness Walking
Fitness walking is another very popular form of aerobic exercise. Fitness walking can be done indoors, outdoors or even on a treadmill and it should be done wearing comfortable loose clothing and good walking shoes. Brisk fitness walking provides a good cardio effect and mainly affects the lower body. The muscles affected are the quadriceps, hamstring, calves and glutes.
The shoes should be good walking shoes. The shoes should have a good rubber sole to prevent slipping. The shoes should fit well with adequate space in front of the toes. The toes should be able to move slightly within the shoe. The shoes should be well cushioned and well ventilated.
1. Good posture, chin up, back straight.
2. Arms moving in natural rhythmic motion on the sides of the body. The arms can go up to form an angle of 90 degrees with the body.
3. Walking can be done at different speeds such as strolling, brisk walking or race walking to alter the intensity of the aerobic effect.
a) Strolling: This type of walking is done at approximately 3 miles per hour with the arms swinging loosely along the sides.
b) Brisk walking: This type of walking can be done at 4 miles per hour and the arms swinging energetically along the sides.
c) Race walking: This type of walking can be done at 5 miles per hour which is quite fast and the arms can be bought up to a 90 degree angle to the body.
Walking should not be over done as there is a risk of injury.
It is essential to stretch the body before and after walking.
During the walk, the speed should be built up slowly. Start at a slower pace and then build up the pace during the walk. This greatly reduces the chance of muscle pulls.
Always avoid dehydration. The water intake should be properly planned before walking, during the walk and after the walk, especially if the pace is very brisk and/or there is a lot of humidity or heat.
While walking, wear comfortable loose fitting clothing. Do not walk in rubberized clothes. Avoid walking in extremely humid or hot temperature.
Always walk in the direction opposite to the traffic.
Treadmills are one of the most popular forms of aerobic equipment available with people at homes and in health clubs (gyms). The treadmill is basically an indoor fitness walking device with a motor that drives a belt on which an individual can walk. Commercial treadmills have a speed adjuster built within them which can allow an individual to control the speed at which he/she is walking. Speeds can vary from the 3 minute mile to even the 12 minute mile in most models. The speed at which the motor runs defines whether the individual is walking at a comfortable pace, jogging or even running. If the person cannot match the speed of the belt, he will be forced off the treadmill (this has been known to cause injuries in the past). Many commercial treadmills have the ability of allowing the user to adjust the angle of the walking belt. Walking at an incline can be very taxing on the body and requires a lot of work load on the muscles. The angle can be increased up to 30 degrees in most models.
Walking on a treadmill should be done for about 20-60 minutes at a time, and 2-3 times a week and at an intensity level of 55-85% of the max heart rate to get good aerobic benefits. A treadmill is a very ingenious exercising device and can help an individual walk, run or jog indoors away from the traffic, pollution, heat and dust. Most treadmills have the capability of providing information regarding the amount of distance covered, time spent, calories expended, elevation level etc. These features provide a motivating factor to the individual.
When you get on to the treadmill, you should start at a slow pace and get accustomed to the surface of the treadmill and its speed and angle.
Use the first few minutes to warm up and then gradually begin to increase your speed. When you have completed your exercise, gradually decrease the speed instead of stopping abruptly.
Always look in front when walking on the treadmill.
Never try to walk or run backwards on the treadmill.
Increase the elevation of the treadmill gradually. As it puts a lot of additional pressure on the body, it is always a good idea to let the body adapt itself to the incline slowly.
Is Walking the Best Type of Aerobic Exercise?
Walking rarely raises the heart rate into the target training zone which is 55-85% of the prescribed maximal heart rate (220-age). So the benefits of walking are limited to a few people in whose case the heart rate increases to the required level. However, while saying this, one must remember that the benefits of walking are there for all age groups. Even age groups of 65 and above get substantial improvement in their fitness levels by walking regularly.
3/ Exercise Cycles
This is one of the most common forms of exercise equipment available in homes, in gyms in many places around the world. Exercise cycles are of 2 types.
- Simple exercise cycles
- Cycle ergo meters (with meters) which have built in systems which calculate how hard you are working. The meters may provide information such as the pedal rate, calories consumed, distance traveled and the watts expended.
Exercise cycles have a built in mechanism which allows the user to control the resistance of the cycle. While setting the resistance, the speed must be kept in mind. The design of the cycle must be kept in mind while purchasing the cycle. The pedals should be as close to the seat as possible to avoid extra strain on the knees. Cycling is an excellent aerobic exercise and places a heavy load on the cardiovascular system and helps the individual to burn upto 1000 calories an hour.
Advantages of Indoor Cycling
- It is a safe way of exercising.
- It can be done indoors and the routine need not be altered due to bad weather. It keeps one away from traffic and pollution.
Advantages of Outdoor Cycling
- One inhales fresh air while cycling outdoors.
- One has the feeling of being on the move and the pleasure of seeing new things.Disclaimer: The information contained in this topic is solely for educational purposes on the given subject. It should not be considered a medical advice nor should it be used as a substitute for medical advice and expertise of a physician, physiotherapist or a dietitian.