Aerobic exercises or cardio exercises work to increase heart rate. All workout and exercise routines include some form of cardio workout.
Aerobic means 'with oxygen'. When you do aerobic exercises, heart rate and breathing rate rise. Heart, lungs, and blood vessels benefit from regular aerobic exercise.
Aerobic activity is different from anaerobic activity. Activities that require short bursts of maximum energy, such as weightlifting and sprinting, are considered anaerobic. In aerobic workouts, you have to put in constant effort for sustained periods.
There are different types of aerobic exercises you can do to keep fit. Swimming, running, jumping rope, various sports and bodyweight exercises are all cardio workouts you can do. Keep reading to find out about the different aerobic activities you can do at home or in the gym.
Benefits of Aerobic Exercises
Numerous health benefits have been linked to engaging in cardio exercises. People have reported experiencing the following after doing aerobic exercises regularly.
- Increases sense of well-being and good mood
- Decrease psychological distress and anxiety
- Decreases perceived stress
- Less emotional exhaustion
Aerobic exercises are also excellent for those who are trying to lose weight. They help in:
- Reducing body fat
- Improving weight loss parameters
- Improving body mass index
- Reduction in fat percentage
Overall, aerobic exercises are a great option for those looking to improve their physical and mental health. Moving the body can be a great way to elevate mood and maintain normal bodily processes.
Aerobic Exercises at Home
Check out the following aerobic exercises to do at home or at the gym:
The move is straightforward but taxing on the cardiovascular system, respiratory system, and muscles. Combine it with your typical cardio routine to up the ante and improve your strength, speed, and stamina.
To do it:
- Spread your feet about hip-width apart, and squat down, touching the floor in front of you with your hands.
- In a push-up position, on your hands and toes with the body in a straight line, jump explosively while extending your feet behind you.
- Start on your hands and knees, and do push-ups (this is optional and adds quite a bit of intensity).
- Jump your feet back to the starting position 10-15 times or for 30-60 seconds, and stand up.
2) Squat Jump
Squat jumps are a fabulous cardio exercise that can get your heart rate up. You can do them once or twice during your cardio workout to increase intensity or change things up, or add them at the end of your routine for an extra boost.
Protect your knees and other joints by landing on a soft surface when performing this advanced, high-impact exercise. Make the move without jumping if the impact is too great. Start slowly and with small jumps if you've never done it before.
To do the exercise:
- Spread your feet about hip-width apart, and brace your abs.
- Get down on your knees, and touch the ground with your fingertips. Do not overextend your knees by failing to send the hips back.
- Lift your body into the air, and reach your arms skyward.
- Return to a squat position with a soft landing, and repeat for 30-60 seconds.
3) Plyo Jack
Plyo jacks, also known as plyometric jumping jacks, are another way to increase heart rate and challenge the body in a new way.
Plyo jacks resemble jumping jacks at a snail's pace. Like a jumping jack, you spring into the air before decelerating into a deep squat. As you land from a backwards jump, your feet will be together again, putting you into a low squat position.
The hips, glutes, and thighs, as well as heart rate, feel the effects of this workout. The circling of the arms also contributes to the intensity of the move.
To do it:
- Start with your feet together, and squat down, bringing your arms in front of you.
- Jump your feet apart; squat down, and circle your arms above your head.
- Repeat the previous jump, this time bringing the feet together and bringing the arms down in a circling motion.
4) Mountain Climber
If you're looking to add some extra intensity to your workouts and get your heart rate up, mountain climbers are a great advanced exercise to try. This is an excellent all-around exercise, as it strengthens the legs and helps improve agility.
When starting a new exercise, it's best to take it slow and build up to the full intensity of the movement gradually. Refrain from this exercise if you experience any pain or discomfort. You will need a strong core and sturdy upper body to pull off this move.
To do it:
- Perform a push-up, starting on your hands and toes, with the back flat and abs engaged,
- Keeping the right foot on the floor, and draw the knee towards the chest.
- While in the air, perform a standing foot switch by bringing the left foot inside and right foot outside.
- For the next 30-60 seconds, keep alternating your feet as quickly as you can.
If you do these aerobic exercises to lose weight regularly, you should notice an increase in your stamina, energy level and metabolism over time, which will contribute to weight loss. Include both anaerobic and aerobic exercises in your routine.
Have a good sleep routine; drink lots of water, and look to put in at least 150 minutes of exercise per week.