What Is Aerobics and Why Is It Good For Us?
When we hear the term, ‘Aerobics’ we probably picture one of the three great legends of our time – Mr Motivator, Jane Fonda or the ‘Green Goddess’ herself Diana Moran, right? The headbands, the leg warmers, the brightly coloured leotards and bumbags – cue the nostalgia! Throughout the 1980s and 90s Aerobics was a hugely popular choice of exercise, there’s no doubt about that. Still, it hasn’t completely disappeared – in fact, the Green Goddess has never really stopped, and she’s looking sensational (as are Mr Motivator and Ms Fonda for that matter).
Also known as ‘Exercise to Music’, Aerobics is the original home workout. It was one of the number 1 fitness trends and was around way before HIIT became a big hit (excuse the pun!). Nowadays, there are so many choices of exercise, and there’s something to suit everyone. So can this classic workout stand the test of time? The answer is yes, and here’s why…
Timings will vary depending on the intensity level, but usually, the class looks something like this –
- 5-10 minutes of warm-up
- 25-30 minutes of cardiovascular activity
- 10-12 minutes of strength and conditioning
- 5-8 minutes of cool down and stretching
Structurally it’s already looking good as it has a bit of everything and it devotes time to warming up and cooling down which is essential for avoiding injury.
What exactly does the cardio section consist of?
Aerobics combines different steps to create rhythmic aerobic routines which work the entire body. There is a gradual build in intensity during the class, and an aerobic peak is reached, before coming back down again in preparation for the toning section and cool down. The steps are taught, broken down, repeated several times, then added together to create an exercise sequence. It’s similar to that of a dance routine!
Apart from improving cardiovascular efficiency, muscular strength and flexibility, this form of exercise has several excellent benefits to boost your energy, ability and mood…
Let’s start with Coordination. Learning new combinations at a moderate pace not only gives our body a thorough workout but our brain too – helping motor and movement coordination. Aerobics is full of familiar movements, but putting them all together in a sequence adds that extra layer of challenge. Not to mention the various adaptations of each movement that can be introduced – just to keep us on our toes!
Then there’s balance, another important component of fitness. The change of space, feet, arms and direction all at the same time will make your body work much harder. To top it off, it’s a non-stop class, so it also forces you to react faster to the changes in movement. As a consequence, our core is engaged for much of the class as it enables us to move more efficiently and with more control.
Because the majority of time is spent on our feet, it means there’s a certain amount of weight-bearing exercise being done. Like running, every time our foot hits the floor, a level of pressure is applied to our bones, muscles and joints. It sounds like a bad thing, but actually, the right amount of stress can do wonders for improving our bone density making them stronger—an important factor for physical longevity.
It’s fun and can improve your confidence! Probably the best benefit of all. This class is typically done to music, and I think we can all agree that a funky beat can undoubtedly lift our mood and our enthusiasm for exercise. The natural boost we often feel when moving to music is linked with improvements in self-confidence and that what it’s all about isn’t it, feeling good!
All in all, Aerobics offers a well-rounded, allover body workout. It burns calories, tones the body and even if you don’t get the steps straight, there’s an element of enjoyment mastering them over time.
On that note – we are super excited to share our new InstructorLive Beginners Aerobics with you, so watch this space!