Hiking, running, swimming, cycling, kickboxing, Zumba, dance. Whatever aerobic sport you choose, you know it’s going to be fun, energetic, and usually accompanied by great music. But if that’s not enough to get you to put your smartphone aside, know that aerobic exercise has also been known to save people a lot of money — by helping them stay healthy, that is.
Want to stop exchanging paid work days with expensive visits to your doctor or the urgent care clinic? Fun aerobic exercise might be the answer.
What is aerobic exercise?
Aerobic exercise usually increases your heart rate above your average heart rate for a prolonged period of time. It includes moving several large muscle groups, like arm, leg and stomach muscles.
Yes, we know, it might be painful at first, but it’ll get better. Plus, think of the energetic background music. You won’t be able to keep your body still because you’ll have too much fun moving. And better yet, you can exercise in any setting you’d like: in a group if you enjoy the company, or on your own if you need a break from the world.
Aerobic exercise improves your physical health
Besides the fun, aerobic exercise has clear benefits to your physical health. Here are a few of the key ones:
- Aerobic exercise is also called cardio exercise because it helps the heart receive more blood at every beat, which reduces heart rate.
- According to Mayo Clinic, your breathing and heartbeat grow faster. This allows more oxygen to flow to your blood, more blood to flow to your muscles, and more waste product to flow out of your body.
- According to a 2014 study conducted in Brazil, aerobic exercise is good for your respiratory system. It improved the quality of life and reduced breathing issues in study participants who suffer from severe or moderate asthma.
Aerobic exercise improves your emotional and mental health
When you engage in aerobic exercise, you won’t only breathe better, you’ll feel relieved. Perhaps aerobic exercise will leave you feeling like you can’t move at first, but as you practice you’ll stop feeling so tired all the time because your stamina will significantly increase.
The endorphins aerobic exercise activates are calming hormones that tend to improve people’s mood. If you often feel grumpy, give exercise a try. Chances are, over time, you’ll feel happier and less stressed.
Staying consistent with aerobic exercise is a great way to keep yourself healthy and away from the urgent care clinic, but only if you do it right. Before you start exercising — or making changes to your current exercise regime — stop by your primary care doctor for a checkup and get recommendations on what you can and cannot do.
Then, you may consider consulting with a professional trainer and developing a program that fits your specific body, medical condition, and other life responsibilities. A trainer will know which type of aerobic exercise has the best gifts to support your health goals.
Start slow and build up gradually from there. You’ll be able to take full advantage of the benefits of these incredibly fun sports activities.