What is aerobic training?
Aerobic training can also be simply called “cardio.” Run, walk, bike, swim, row, etc. Any gym you go into will have a “cardio” section with fitness equipment. It is basically any physical exercise done at low intensity that can be performed for extended periods of time.
What are some key benefits to training aerobically?
When you are training consistently at an aerobic heart rate (lower HR, extended periods of time) your heart gets stronger and pumps more blood per beat. As your heart gets stronger it pumps more efficiently, meaning it doesn’t have to pump as fast to meet the demands of exercise. Your resting HR will get much lower (40-50bpm) than average (60-80). You may also develop more endurance because your muscles will not run out of oxygen as quickly.
Another key benefit is that your body will begin to burn fat instead of carbohydrates. If regular aerobic exercises is performed, your body gets better at using oxygen which is needed more, to burn fat.
As you increase your aerobic capacity your body will become more fit. You will be able to handle harder and longer workouts without causing damage to your muscles or risk injury. Your muscles will get stronger by burning fat and building leaner muscle mass.
Longer term benefits
Over time your body will see improvements in circulation and blood pressure (lower). It may help reduce stress and improve your overall outlook on life (reduced depression). It can also lower your risk for diabetes. As your aerobic capacity develops bone growth is stimulated resulting in a lowered risk of osteoporosis.
As always, consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. Start slowly, 20 minutes per day, 3-5 times per week and increase your duration by only 10% per week. Always listen to your body and stay hydrated, resting when needed and do not exercise if in pain.