Aerobics, Wellness and You

The term “aerobics” is a commonly misunderstood word. It is usually associated with low to moderate level intensity workouts for an extended period of time, usually half an hour to an hour. The term “aerobic” when describing exercise actually means “in the presence of, requires, or uses oxygen.” As opposed to “anaerobic” which means, “in the absence of oxygen.” High intensity aerobic exercise and a clean diet are what our bodies need to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle.

Every exercise starts out as anaerobic, but as soon as our bodies pass the threshold for the need for oxygen we engage in aerobic activity. An aerobic exercise is most efficient at 65-85% intensity for at least 30 minutes a day. 65-85% intensity translates to a sustained elevated heart rate and respiration for the duration of the workout. For those of us that are just getting started on our fitness journeys, a routine of 30 minutes/day at 3days/week with a target intensity of 65% is all you need to start feeling better. Once you are a couple weeks into your routine you should slowly start to increase the duration, intensity, and frequency of your workouts appropriately.

With adaptation of a proper aerobic workout plan, a clean and healthy diet should be implemented into your lifestyle as well. To start, slowly eliminate meals high in sodium and starches. Buying and preparing your own means ensures that you are eating healthy. Be sure to include plenty of dark green vegetables and lean meats and fish. Try to limit drinking alcohol and only consume alcohol in small quantities because of the fact that cocktails are filled with sugar, empty calories, and bad decisions. A healthy diet paired with a consistent workout plan is the keys to fitness.

Our bodies are highly complex and impressive machines that run off of a main energy source called ATP. ATP is burned without our skeletal muscles during exercise which releases heat and energy. We get ATP from the food we eat, so therefore, the cleaner the food, the more efficient your energy source will be. Muscle cramps result from the lack of ATP in our bodies. So we must be sure to be adequately fueled by eating healthier foods in lower amounts but more often. This means that instead of eating three large meals in a day, we should eat less at the main meals, but have healthy snacks throughout the day.

One main diet component overlooked when we are trying to obtain a fit body and a healthy lifestyle is water consumption. If an individual of moderate fitness is working out three to five times a week for at least 30 minutes per day and is keeping a clean diet, then that individual should be drinking a gallon of water per day. Our amazing bodies are primarily made up of water, so it only makes sense that we should be putting more in than we need. The only downside to drinking a lot of water is the need to go to the bathroom more often. You will feel better and more energetic with every week that passes under this healthier lifestyle.