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Aerobic training – principles, effects, exercises. Learn the pros and cons of the most popular type of workout activity

Aerobic training, also known as aerobic training, is the most versatile and most commonly practiced type of exercise. Aerobic training is simple to implement and does not require a great deal of effort, so it is suitable for practically everyone regardless of age, fitness or sports level. Regularly performed cardio training has a positive effect on and fitness and gives satisfactory silhouette results. It also has a health-promoting effect, so it is recommended for the prevention of many diseases, including hypertension and diabetes. Aerobic workouts are also part of elaborate training plans, combining different types of exercises, such as mass training plans. What are the characteristics of aerobic training, and how should it be carried out to be most effective? Is doing aerobic exercise a good way to get rid of excess weight?

Aerobic training – what is it and what are its characteristics?

 women do aerobic training

Aerobictraining, or aerobic training, aerobics or cardio training, is a type of physical activity based on increased aerobic exchange in the body. It involves exercising at a moderate pace, in a uniform rhythm and at a constant intensity. With increased physical activity, the work of the heart muscle during aerobic exercise is accelerated.

While normally our heart works at a rate of about 70 beats per minute, during aerobic exercise it beats at a rate of about 120-140 beats per minute (this is known as the aerobic heart rate or aerobic heart rate). Maintaining such a pulse for 45 minutes or 60 minutes, because that’s how long aerobic training usually lasts, our metabolism clearly accelerates, which translates into more efficient fat burning.

To make aerobic training as efficient as possible, the heart rate during exercise should be at about 70% of the maximum heart rate. To calculate our maximum heart rate, simply subtract our age from 220. The result we get is our maximum heart rate.

Since cardio training speeds up the heart rate, raises the heart rate and stimulates blood circulation in the body, it also affects the supply of oxygen to the muscles at a very high rate. As a result of aerobic metabolism occurring in the muscles, stored glycogen in the muscles and liver is burned to obtain energy at firsttrove of glycogen (this is a chemical compound from the sugar group that is a reserve energy material), and then fat reserves are activated.

Aerobic training vs. anaerobic training

The opposite of aerobic (aerobic) training is anaerobic training, or anaerobic training. During aerobic, or aerobic, exercise, we are accompanied by low effort, our muscles are supplied with oxygen optimally, and energy for them is obtained through aerobic metabolism.

In contrast, during anaerobic exercise, the effort is very high, our breathing and pulse rate accelerates very intensely. It is easy to become breathless or unable to catch our breath for a moment. There is then an oxygen deficit, and our muscles draw fuel mainly from glycogen through anaerobic metabolism. As a result of such an oxygen deficit created during anaerobic training, metabolism speeds up for hours after the workout. The body then tries to compensate for the oxygen deficiency and uses larger deposits of energy to do so, and we thus burn more calories and lose excess weight much more easily.

Principles of aerobic training in 5 simple points

  • Exercise at a moderate intensity, at a steady rhythm, so that on the one hand to stimulate the body to a light exertion (and to make our pulse and breathing accelerate), and on the other hand not to get out of breath. The heart rate should oscillate between 60-70% of the maximum heart rate.
  • We exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes, and preferably 45-60 minutes.
  • Exercise at least 3 times a week, and preferably 4 times a week (the more advanced can even afford 5 exercise sessions a week). In practice, a system of training every other day works very well, our muscles then have time to recover.
  • We choose a type of exercise that engages most or all of the large muscle groups (legs, buttocks, abdomen, back, shoulders, arms and forearms).
  • We avoid overly strenuous exercises and heavy weights. After aerobic training, we do stretching (stretching).

What types of activity do we count as aerobic training?

 A man exercises on an exercise treadmill

Aerobic training is a very general term, which includes a myriad of types of exercise, ranging from exercise on machines in the gym to training on a simple skipping rope. Even disciplines that combine features of dance and sports, such as zumba, fall under the term. They all have in common a moderate pace and the mobilization of many muscle parts.

Examples of aerobic exercises

Aerobic training at home

  • jumping on a skipping rope,
  • light exercises with a barbell,
  • running in place,
  • aerobics,
  • stepper exercises,
  • step aerobics,
  • zumba,
  • stair climbing,
  • step-ups,
  • squats,
  • push-ups,
  • light exercises with dumbbells or kettlebells.

Aerobic training at the gym

  • exercises on a stationary bike,
  • exercises on an exercise treadmill,
  • exercises on an ergometer,
  • exercises on an orbitrek.

Aerobic training outdoors

  • running,
  • swimming,
  • nordic walking,
  • marching,
  • climbing uphill,
  • cycling,
  • roller skating.

What are the benefits of aerobic training?

Aerobic exercise makes our breathing and heart rate faster, and the level of blood circulation, oxygenation and nourishment of cells and tissues much higher. Not surprisingly, systematic aerobic training brings a whole range of benefits to our health and appearance.

The main benefits of aerobic training:

  • increases lung capacity, improves respiratory efficiency,
  • strengthens the heart and supports its proper work,
  • improves circulation, prevents cardiovascular diseases,
  • helps normalize blood sugar levels,
  • leads to an improvement in the efficiency of the body,
  • adds energy and vitality,
  • improves mood,
  • has a positive effect on sleep,
  • helps to relax, improves mood,
  • by increasing oxygenation of the brain, positively affects mental performance,
  • improves mental and physical fitness,
  • supports muscle function,
  • slims and slenderizes the figure, emphasizes muscles,
  • speeds up metabolism, supports weight loss.

Aerobics and weight loss

 woman running around town

Aerobic training is a highly recommended activity for overweight and obese people. If it lasts long enough and is carried out with the right frequency, it gives very good results in weight loss. Due to its moderate nature, it is by far the best choice for people who are new to weight loss, have not played sports before and are in relatively poor shape.

While for health purposes aerobic exercise can be shorter (e.g., lasting about half an hour), for figure and weight loss purposes aerobic training should last about an hour, a minimum of 40 minutes. Aerobic effort causes glycogen to be burned first, for energy purposes, and fat tissue is activated later, after 30 minutes or so. Thus, the longer you exercise, the better the results in reducing excessive pounds. The optimal length of aerobic training for weight loss is 50-70 minutes.

To make fat burning even faster and more effective, we can compose ourselves a training plan combining aerobic exercises with strength training.

For example: on some days we do cardio exercises (such as running, aerobics or cycling), and on other days we focus on barbell exercises. Or: we do 4 workouts a week, and within each workout we first do aerobics for 30 minutes, and then do exercises with weights for 20 minutes.

As our fitness builds, we can, over time, begin to introduce interval training into our exercise program as well – more difficult and demanding than aerobic training, but a hell of a lot more effective at eliminating unwanted body fat. During interval training, we perform a given exercise with varying intensity, for example. For example, for half a minute we exercise very intensively, at 90% of maximum heart rate, and for the next 1.5 minutes we exercise at moderate intensity, at a heart rate of about 50% of maximum heart rate, and then we repeat such a cycle a dozen times.

Aerobics for mass – does aerobic training go hand in hand with building musculature?

Combining strength training with aerobic training is not very popular among people aiming to build and sculpt the ideal musculature. It is much more common to focus on typical strength training with heavy weights, exercising individual muscle parts one by one. Meanwhile, aerobic workouts for mass can be very helpful and useful for many reasons, so at least once or twice a week it’s worth doing a session (even if only for half an hour) on a bike or treadmill.

Aerobic training on the mass helps the body recover

Aerobic training has a beneficial effect on the work of muscles and makes them recover faster after increased exercise cycles. If we want our body to recover more easily after training with heavy loads and cope better with soreness, a short aerobic session properly integrated into an individual exercise program will be a good option.

Aerobics for weight give a slight anabolic effect

Aerobics stimulate the metabolic rate taking place in our body. If we attach cardio sessions to weight training, it will promote anabolic processes taking place in muscle tissue. Our muscles will be stronger, sturdier, less prone to strain, even their growth rate may be slightly improved.

Cardio for mass is a good way to fight unwanted fat

A diet for mass is a diet with increased calories, so it carries the risk of fat accumulation, especially if it is not quite well adapted to the individual needs and conditions of the body. By using mass training and adding jogging to it, sessions on the bike, orbitrek or in the pool, we will reduce the risk of fat accumulation. Aerobics turn up the metabolism and can crack down on excess calories.

Aerobics for mass increases energy levels and improves the overall performance of the body

Being in a cycle of building muscle mass, we can use aerobic training either on non-workout days or on workout days (after strength training). In either case, we will reap a number of benefits, including an increase in energy, fitness and endurance. When we do aerobic exercise, the oxidation level of all tissues and cells in the body increases, lung capacity increases, heart and circulatory system function improves. All this promotes health and immunity.

cardio weight training is a method to relax the mind and body

Aerobic training also has a relaxing, calming effect, reducing fatigue and states of tension. If we happen to feel exhausted after weight training, if we are prone to stress, and if we sometimes find it hard to tame negative emotions, aerobic training is sure to level out these states. It will help us relax both physically and mentally, add vitality and enthusiasm.

Category: Training

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