A step further in aerobic exercises is running and jogging. A common quote attribute to the Spartans goes like this;
“If you want to be strong—run; if you want to be healthy – run; if you want to be wise—run.”
The benefits of running have been known for years. While running, you get breathless, oxygen gets depleted and so the body burns fat. Running also strengthens your heart muscles.
A slow jog or an all out sprint improves the heart and lungs. While sprinting is an anaerobic exercise that needs power from the muscles, long-distance running is an aerobic activity, which requires muscular endurance. Since running is a high-impact activity, it can help maintain or increase bone density, helping to ward off osteoporosis. However, it may put more stress on the joints.
Running can be done anywhere, at any time and is an effective type of exercise. Running or jogging on a beach on sand is a good exercise option. Sand provides enough resistance for lower limbs.
Running helps you build immunity and can reduce stress related ailments from occurring. However, you have to be healthy to run. Consult your doctor before you run, if you have a history of diseases in the family, pain in different parts of the body, asthma, epilepsy, high BP.
The sport run can take many forms—fun runs, cross-country races and marathons. Most runners run to stay fit and most importantly they do it because they enjoy it.
While walking or running, Wear well-fitting footwear—a good pair of socks and running shoes. Wear comfortable loose clothing. Dress warm in order to cause sweating; it helps in cleansing the body. Run on soft earth or areas with vegetation (grass); because running on cemented floors and stone causeways may cause damage and lead to the inflammation of your knee joints. Do not run immediately after having your meals; do it after a gap of 2-3 hours.
For any exercise that you choose, warm-up is a must. Start by walking at a brisk pace, swing your arms vigorously and then begin a slow jog. You can combine walking and running alternately. Jogging is described as running at a slow pace. Remember that you should run at a pace at which you can comfortably talk; if you become breathless, slow down walk till you have recovered, then set off again.
Begin by walking or running for about ten minutes. Gradually increase the walking time and pace. Even if you are feeling good, do not increase your running time by more than 10 per cent each week. Slow down gradually at the end of a walk, jog or a run and wait until your heart beats and breathing returns to normal.
Keep your enthusiasm going and keep yourself motivated. Make exercise a habit. Stop the walking or running if you are suffering from viral illnesses of fever. Get better and start back again gradually.
You have to be really fit for any of the sports you wish to play, be it cricket, badminton, table tennis, lawn tennis, squash, field games such as football, thrown balls, volleyball, basket ball, Kho Kho, Kabbadi, and so on. An aerobic fitness can also be got through stepping or sliding.
Racquet sports such as badminton, tennis or squash are termed as sprint sports, which need skill, stamina, strength, energy, power and good reflexes. Field sports are also sprint sports, which involve sprinting, running fast or slowly, walking or even standing still. The games also involve acceleration, changes in direction, running backwards or forwards. The player should have a basic aerobic endurance to last the full game without getting excessively tired.
This is not just an exercise but also a transport that causes no pollution—that’s what cycling is all about. Cycling steps up your cardiovascular fitness. Studies have shown that those who cycle at least 4-5 kilometres everyday are half as likely to have heart problems than those who do not cycle at all. Cycling burns 300 calories an hour. In order to control weight, if you cycle twice a day, the numbers soon add up.
Although cycling is not a weight-bearing exercise, bicycle supports your body and hence is good even for strengthen bones and muscles to some extent. However, it may not be that effective for protection against osteoporosis. The benefits of cycling include good posture and poise; it helps in digestion, helps keep the mind happy and given your skin and glow.
Do not cycle if you have back and neck problems or problems or problems with joints. There is always a risk of injury if you fall down. But you can wear helmets to protect against head injury.
Exercise bikes are indoor cycles available at gym or at home, like stationary bikes, studio cycles, training bikes, etc. which come in different shapes and sizes. These are great for a cardiovascular workout. An exercise bike can come in the form of an upright bike, a recumbent bike, or even an upper body cycle for people of all ages.
Spinning workouts are cardio exercises, which put you in shape. Spinning bikes are very popular amongst youngsters as they can be fun and challenging. These are a type of a stationary bike, which are similar to road bikes. They are more upright, pedals that you can clip your shoes into. These bikes allow you to both push down and pull up on the pedals, giving you a better workout than a regular stationary bike.
Your gym instructor would ask you to change positions, speed and resistance so as to mimic biking up and down the hill. The fun part is the music, which motivates you to stay at the same pace. Around 45 to 60 minutes of spinning will knock out around 450 calories or more. The workout can be tiring. Beginners can decrease the intensity by spinning at a lower speed and lower resistance.