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Feb 26, 2011

What is an Aerobic Workout or Aerobics?


What is Aerobics? Understanding the Terminology
For those who are not quite sure exactly what aerobics is all about – and perhaps also those whose sole knowledge of this exercise is based on the 1980s fad of leg warmers and sweatbands – the dictionary definition defines aerobics as a mode of conditioning your body in order to increase its circulation as well as its breathing competence.
Regimens associated with this goal include any form of vigorous exercise, such as cycling, jogging, and swimming. Further narrowing it down, the terminology behind “aerobics” points to the efficacy of oxygen as it is used by the body during the prolonged exercises that are indicated.
Of course, aerobics is not a new idea, nor did it originate in the 1980s. Instead, it was Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper – air force physician and former track runner - who in 1968 would change the world of exercise as it was known by publishing a book entitled “Aerobics,” thus coining a term thus far not used. A persuasive speaker, great motivator, and engaging television personality introduced him into the living rooms of thousands. In many ways this publication started a craze which got people exercising in droves.
The exercise regimens themselves were easy to start and easy to follow. Aerobics had to be exercises that would force the body to increase its oxygen intake; therefore, the exercises had to be continuous and at the same time rhythmic to avoid dips and spikes in the oxygen consumption. All the large muscle groups were used, increasing the work heart and lungs were performing. In the late 1970s this meant wearing impossibly printed leotards and dancing to disco music, while in the 1980s the outfits and the music changed. Yet for those who would not be caught dead in these poses, the ideas of cycling, swimming, and also jogging were appealing. Add to this the less frequently seen aerobic exercises, such as speed walking, rowing, and pogo stick jumping, and you will quickly understand the universal appeal of aerobics. While weight lifting by and large is not considered aerobic exercise, it may be turned into such a workout if it is modified to follow a heart rate increasing pace. As you can see, the terminology behind aerobics simply refers to any form of exercise that will get your heart pumping for a continuous period of time, which in turn will increase your oxygen intake. This will lead to fat burning and subsequent weight loss. If you think about your likes and dislikes with respect to physical activity, there is bound to be something you enjoy that will qualify as your aerobic workout!

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