Thursday, March 20, 2008

18 Benefits of Regular Aerobic Exercise

Heart Rate Monitor

We all know that regular exercise can result in weight loss and maintaining an ideal weight, but did you know that there are reasons to exercise that have absolutely nothing to do with weight? That even if your scale reads 105 and you are happy in your size 2 clothes - you still need to exercise. Daily.

For some reason when I think of aerobic exercise I think of body suits, leg warmers and some jazzy music.

What exactly is meant by aerobic exercise?

"Aerobic exercise refers to exercise that involves or improves oxygen consumption by the body. Aerobic means "withoxygen", and refers to the use of oxygen in the body's metabolic or energy-generating process. Many types of exercise are aerobic, and by definition are performed at moderate levels of intensity for extended periods of time. Aerobic exercise involves a warming up period at 50-60% of maximum heart rate, followed by at least 20 minutes of exercise at an intensity of 70-80% of maximum heart rate and a cooling down period at an intensity of 50-60% of maximum heart rate." (Wikipedia)

This explains it in easier to understand terms (at least for me) - "Using the same large muscle group, rhythmically, for a period of 15 to 20 minutes or longer while maintaining 60-80% of your maximum heart rate."

When I am involved in aerobic exercise I wear a heart rate monitor to make sure I am exerting myself enough. I don't want to waste 25 min a day on exercise that doesn't give me the full benefits that I am seeking. A heart rate monitor is a device that allows you to measure your heart rate in real time.

So here are some of the benefits of regular aerobic exercise:

1. Strengthens your heart muscle and blood flow, while reducing blood clot risk
2. Increases lung capacity
3. Lowers blood pressure
4. Protects against the start of adult0onset diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity
5. Strengthens your bones, slowing down the process of osteoporosis
6. Helps to move about more easily by keeping joints, tendons, and ligaments more flexible
7. Quicker recovery time from sickness or surgery
8. Improves sleep
9. Increases levels of HDL or "good" cholesterol, while reducing "bad" cholesterol
10. Boosts the immune system
11. Reduces the risk for the most deadly diseases: heart disease and cancer
12. Longer life expectancy
13. Greater enjoyment of active leisure activities
14. Improves mood due to endorphins releases in the brain
15. Raises self-esteem
16. Reduces emotional stress and muscle tension
17. Reduces the likelihood of depression
18. Increases intellectual capacity and activity


Anonymous said...

You say you use a heart monitor? do you have to wear that under your clothes or ontop? Maybe you can show a picture of you wearing it. I really, really like your blog.

Edi said...

You wear the monitor UNDER your clothes so I shall not be providing a picture of me wearing it :)

The thing that looks like a watch - you put it on your wrist or when I am doing the Nordic I attach it to the "handle" of the Nordic. The band goes around your chest. I only use the heart monitor when I am doing something make sure that my heart rate is high enough.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info edi. My wife says I spend too much time on the internet and not enough time in the gym. your blog has inspired me. Did I mention that I really love your blog?