Fitness for Women
A Quick Guide to Aerobic Exercise
Aerobic exercise is one of the cornerstones of a fitness program and a great way to keep in shape. You should try to exercise aerobically at least three or four times a week for a period of 30 minutes or more. The goal here is to increase your heart rate, strengthen the capacity of your lungs and increase the amount of oxygen that reaches your blood stream.
Adding a regular aerobic exercise activity to your fitness schedule will help you to improve your overall health. Along with running and walking there are several other physical activities that you can do to increase your level of physical activity. These activities include biking, aerobic dance classes, and jumping rope. Which one you choose can depend on several factors.
Walking is the easiest exercise, and the least stressful on your body. It is a good introduction to more strenuous activities like running. More and more women today though are taking up running as part of their fitness routine.
Although it is harder on the body, running is an efficient exercise, and only 30 minutes will benefit your fitness. As we said earlier, women today don’t have a lot of time to devote to their fitness so running can help here.
Cycling is another good aerobic exercise, but you have to work at it! It is very easy just to pedal along without increasing your heart rate sufficiently. Try a varied terrain, with some hills to get your heart pumping.
Aerobic dance programs usually provide the hardest workout. I wouldn’t recommend this to any one just starting out on a fitness program. For those of us with some training however this is an enjoyable alternative.
Jumping rope can be very strenuous. You need to pace yourself so you are not continuously out of breath (remember the goal of aerobic exercising). Personally I have found rope skipping to be hard on my joints so I generally avoid this type of exercise.
If don't have any time for aerobic exercise on a regular basis, you should try to sneak moments of activity into your daily schedule. Whenever possible, you should take the stairs instead of the elevator, as little things like that will do wonders for your body. You can also park your car around the corner and walk that extra block or two to get to your destination. There are many other things you can add to increase the activity in your life.
Many women experience sleeping difficulties and the amount of physical exercise that you exert during the day is one of the key ingredients to helping you get a good night’s sleep. The more active your body is during the day, the more likely you are to relax at night and fall asleep faster. However, you should not be exercising less than three or four hours before you go to bed if you can avoid it.
Summary. This has been a very quick overview of some of the more common ways to include aerobic training as part of your fitness program. In future articles we will look at each of these in more detail, with particular emphasis on women’s issues.
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