Aerobic is a biological terms which means “with air” or “in the presence of air”. When it comes to define Aerobics, we replace the word “air” with “oxygen”. Yes, aerobics or aerobic exercise includes all such steps or activities which involve a systematic inhale and exhale of oxygen, which enhances cardiac strength and also helps in fat loss by adequate metabolism activity. Every such exercise that enhances efficiency of respiratory and circulatory systems is included in aerobics; for example cycling, swimming, dancing, jogging, brisk walking etc. As these exercises involve stretching and strengthening too, these enhances the flexibility of the body, at the same time strengthening of muscles and heart. Many gyms provide such fitness classes that include dance like steps according to individual abilities of work-out. Regulating these exercises prevent from cardiac diseases, diabetes and other fat related ailments.
History of Aerobics
The term “Aerobics” was first coined by Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper in 1968, who was an exercise physiologist at San Antonio air force hospital, Texas. He developed this system of exercises initially to prevent coronary artery sicknesses, later he start using it to increase muscular strengths and enhance metabolism by measuring individual abilities of using oxygen while breathing. He wrote a revolutionary book named Aerobics, in which he included around forty exercise and fitness programs, five best of these include cycling, running, swimming, walking and cross-country skiing. He deduced a point system in Aerobic Exercises that is based on the duration, intensity and type of exercise conducted, and recommended to score at least 120 points per month. Because of his remarkable contribution, he is rightly known as "The Father of the Modern Fitness Movement".
Apart of Dr. Kenneth’s contribution in developing aerobic exercises, some other people have also contributed towards formulating new steps and activities that incorporate into aerobics. Jackie Sorenson proposed a specific set of dance steps with music to be included in aerobics that helps in improving cardiac fitness and overall body fitness. These aerobic dance steps gained immense popularity throughout US and worldwide in a short time span of less than twenty years. It can be judged from the statistics of those involved in aerobics raised from 6 million in 1978 to 19 million in 1987 (Aerobic History, n.d).
Other personalities who contributed towards aerobics include Howard and Karen Schwartz, who developed sport-aerobics in 1983 and promoted it up to national level, which is now included in the gymnastics category during any national or international championship. Sports Aerobics include basic activities like push-ups, kicking, jumping, supporting and balancing or making leaps etc. These help to keep the body in shape and at the same time allowing oxygen to get mixed into blood and makes one healthier (HubPages, n.d).
Gin Miller, in 1989, proposed the physical therapy treatment of knee muscles by stepping up and down, with an addition of music to comfort the environment. This technique was then termed as step aerobics and it is a famous exercise for legs and buttocks area (Aerobic History, n.d).
Cameron Electra introduced strip aerobics in the start of new century, and her first Aerobic Striptease was released in October 2003. It became immense popular due to its compatibility and steps that can even be performed in bed. The modern form of aerobics contains all of these; striptease dance along with step and other exercise movements (HubPages, n.d).
Procedure and Precautions
Since Aerobics directly concern with heart activity and its beating rate, one must have proper knowledge of preparing and doing aerobics so that he/she would not endanger him/herself, by doing excess workout that could increase the beating and breathing rate. Hence appropriate preparation is an essential element of aerobic exercises. First of all, one must warm-up his/her body so that the muscles could not get strained by direct impacts of excessive work-out. This can be achieved by 10 minutes of walking, stretching or doing sit-ups. After properly warming the body, any kind of aerobic can be adapted as per individual requirement, but to make sure that the postures are accurate and the exercise would not cause any negative effects such as chest tightness or light-headedness.
For example, a person having knee or joints problem in the lower part must avoid too much of step-aerobics and dance that can harm them more. He/she must restrict him/herself to light impact aerobics such as walking, or by doing Yoga. Also, the number of heart beats must be recorded continuously by simply checking the pulse for 10 seconds, multiply the number by six and check whether the range is between 60-85% of maximum heart beat. If the number is more than 85% of it, then one must slow down the rate of exercise. Slowing is also a process in aerobics that needs attention, since stopping at once is not a good idea at all. Experts suggest that stopping abruptly can even cause fainting, since blood does not reach to every part of the body, particularly brain. Instead, one must cool down him/her self and take the heart beat rate lower than 30% of maximum. The process is just like warming-up; 10-15 minutes of slow walking and then stretching. This will allow the blood to reach in all parts of the body and at the same time allow the heart to make beat slower in slow pace. Thus different kinds of aerobics can be done by keeping the entire procedure and precautions in mind; also the individual can switch between low to high intensity work-outs, depending upon heart rate and the capacity of doing it (Schawartz 2010, UPDP n.d).
Top 12 Aerobic Exercises
According to a study conducted by Duke University, Aerobic exercises are the best for burning fat and losing weight, as they tend to increase resting metabolic rate while simultaneously decrease lean body mass. Let us have a look over some of best aerobics that are most effective to lose weight, cut fat and to give an appropriate physical appearance as well.
- Walking: Recent research published in Journal of Applied Physiology of Duke University has suggested that people who walk 12 miles a week are more prone to lose weight than those who do resistance trainings, such as weight lifting or body building. This consumes about two hours each day, walking either on a tread mill or at some track outdoor. It makes a positive effect on entire body, particularly legs, buttocks and abdomen area, if some fat has deposited in it. Apart of weight loss, walking also prevents from the risk factors of diabetes and cardiac diseases (Doheney 2012).
- Cycling: Likewise walking, cycling is one of those aerobic exercises that are easy to do and there are no particular posture problems associated with it. All you need to have is a bicycle, either stationary or regular, which you can drive for at least one hour each day. It is specifically for lower areas, particularly the thighs and buttocks, and if performed regularly, do consume a lot of excess fat over them (Cleveland Clinic, n.d).
- Swimming: It affects the entire body muscles in an efficient way and makes body strong and toned, particularly arms; fore and biceps and upper body muscles. It is also recommended for at least one hour each day, if you are not performing any other activity. Swimming is defined as doing “water Aerobics” and is highly beneficial for those who have any joints pain, since the water buoyancy relives stress from these areas (Cleveland Clinic, n.d).
- Jogging: Mild running or jogging for at least an hour each day makes one healthy and fit. The extensive use of leg power make them strong and toned, and particularly if performed in outdoors like jogging tracks or in parks, there will be pleasant affects over breathing and sinus as well. Also, the heart becomes strong and deprived of any diseases (Cleveland Clinic, n.d).
- Stepping: For those who want perfectly shaped legs, thighs and buttocks; stepping is an excellent exercise to burn fat from these areas. But it should be kept in mind that the step should not be too long or too short to climb. A moderate-heighted step, with a regular frequency definitely works (Cleveland Clinic, n.d).
- Dancing: It includes every step you like to do, from bhangras to hip-hop and break dance, just do not forget to play a rocking music that can keep you busy for longer. According to movements, it is effective on every part of the body; arms, abdomen, legs, buttocks and wherever excess fat have been deposited (Cleveland Clinic, n.d).
- Jumping: The most efficient way to do this is to jump a rope. Due to its high intensity, it must be limited to half an hour or so, particularly depending upon individual strength. The most positive effect of jumping is on heart; it gets stronger day by day as you continue (Delta Fit 2012).
- Skiing: Cross-Country skiing is sometimes regarded as the best aerobics to burn maximum calories. It involves both the lower and upper body and hence is effective to trim the entire body. The most worthy benefit is that the heart rate does not get up drastically, so it can be enjoyed for longer durations as well (Delta Fit 2012).
- Elliptical: An alternate to cross-country skiing at indoors is elliptical trainer machine, usually found at gyms. The intensity can be increased or decreased according to individual requirements, as in a treadmill. Both arms and legs move in a natural way simultaneously and bring perfectly shaped body with burnt fat throughout (Delta Fit 2012).
- Body-weight Squats: It is a compound exercise that is mostly used to increase the strength of back, legs and buttocks. Although common squats contain an element of weight, it is not necessary in body-weight Squats and thus is easy to do at home too. However, if one can keep a small weight in both hands and work with these, it would be effective for shoulders, chests and arms too (Delta Fit 2012).
- Push-ups: One of common sport-aerobics is doing push-ups, which can easily be performed at home, by putting both hands on the matt and lifting entire weight over arms. Since the arms be in-action, the forceps and biceps get strong as well as the bones and tendons of the arm and hand get strength. It is not recommended to people who are obese and cannot pull their own weight on their arms. However, it is a good exercise to get strong muscular arms (Delta Fit 2012).
- Kickboxing: A very good exercise for adjusting the coordination of reflexives is kickboxing. This can be done by simply punching and kicking on a sand-bag, which involves movement of both upper and lower body. Hence both arms and legs get strong and at the same time the body becomes ready to adapt choreographed movements (Delta Fit 2012).
Recommendations and Conclusion
Hence to conclude, aerobics are not only necessary to get rid of excess fat and to lose weight, but it also prevents to gain excess weight, keep us healthy and at a longer distance from diseases that are particularly associated with excessive weight gain; such as diabetes, cardiac problems, cholesterol, hypertension, depression etc. A morning walk or jogging of about one an half hour keeps us fresh all day long and at the same time makes our lungs and heart strong, which directly impacts our respiratory and circulating system and makes them more efficient. When appropriate amount of oxygen gets mixed with blood, healthy cells are produced and our immune system gets stronger. Other weight bearing aerobics also helps in prevention from osteoporosis and troubles associated with joints. Also, aerobic exercises are good in terms of lowering low density lipoprotein LDL, which gets deposited into blood vessels and blocks our arteries. Hence we can keep our arteries clear by doing aerobics and at the same time increase our high density lipoprotein HDL, which transports cholesterol to liver to get digested. Therefore, aerobics must not be associated with cardiac and diabetic patients only; we must do any form of aerobics to keep ourselves healthy, wealthy and wise (Functional Fitness Facts, n.d).
Aerobic History. (n.d). Retrieved April 5, 2013 from
Cleveland Clinic. (n.d). Heart and Vascular Health & Prevention. Retrieved April 5, 2013 from
Delta Fit. (June 22, 2012). The Best Cardio Workouts You've Never Tried. Retrieved April 5, 2013 from
Doheny, K. (Dec 15, 2012). Aerobic Exercise Seems Best for Weight, Fat Loss. Retrieved April 5, 2013 from
Functional Fitness Facts. (n.d).Top 5 Benefits of Aerobic Exercise. Retrieved April 5, 2013 from
HubPages. (n.d). Fitness and Exercise - History of Aerobic Dance Workouts. Retrieved April 5, 2013 from < http://soni2006.hubpages.com/hub/fitness-and-exercise-history-of-aerobic-dance-workouts>
Schwartz , J. (Feb 4, 2010).What Is the Process of an Aerobic Exercise? Retrieved April 5, 2013 from < http://www.livestrong.com/article/79488-process-aerobic-exercise/>
UPDP. (n.d). Aerobic Exercise: Meaning and Scope. Retrieved April 5, 2013 from